Turbulent Times Ahead
It turbulent times, the first task of management is to make sure of the institution’s capacity to survive a blow.
In turbulent times, the first task of management is to make sure of the institution’s capacity for survival, to make sure of its structural strengths, of its capacity for survival, to make sure of its structural strengths, of its capacity to survive a blow, to adapt to sudden change, and to avail itself of new opportunities. Turbulence, by definition, is irregular, nonlinear, erratic. But its underlying causes can be analyzed, predicted, managed.
But its underlying should – and can 0 – manage is the single most important new reality underlying a great deal of the turbulence around: the sea-change in population structure and population dynamics, and especially the shift in population structure and population dynamics in the developed countries of the West and Japan. These shifts are already changing the modes of economic integration throughout the world. They are likely to lead to a new “transnational confederation” based on production sharing and market control, replacing in many areas the old “multinational corporation” based on financial control. They are creating new consumer markets and realigning existing old consumer markets. They are drastically changing the labor force to the point where there will only be “labor forces,” each with different expectations and different characteristics. They will force us to abandon altogether the concept of “fixed retirement age.” And they will create a new demand on management – as well as a new opportunity – to make organized plans for redundancy.
ACTION POINT: Define the underlying causes of turbulence affecting your enterprise today. What steps should you take now to protect your organization and to allow it to thrive in the midst of turbulence?
The New Entrepreneur
History moves in a spiral; one returns to the preceding position, but on a higher level, and by a corkscrew-like path.
We are again entering an era in which emphasis will be on entrepreneurship. However, it will not be an entrepreneurship of a century ago, that is, the ability of a single man to organize a business he himself could run, control, embrace. It will rather be the ability to create and direct an organization for the new. We need men and women whop can build a new structure of entrepreneurship on the managerial foundations laid these last eighty years. History, it has often been observed, moves in a spiral; one returns to the preceding position, or to the preceding problem, but on a higher level, and by a corkscrew-like path. In this fashion we are going to return to entrepreneurship on a path that led out fro a lower level, that of the single entrepreneur, to the manager, and now back, though upward, to entrepreneurship again. The businessperson will have to acquire a number of new abilities, all of them entrepreneurial in nature, but all of them to be exercised in and through a managerial organization.
ACTION POINT: Establish an entrepreneurial culture in your organization.
“In Ireland, you go to someone’s house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you’re really just fine. She asks if you’re sure. You say of course you’re sure, really, you don’t need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don’t need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn’t mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it’s no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting.
In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don’t get any damned tea.
I liked the Irish way better.”
“In the cherry blossom’s shade there’s no such thing as a stranger.”
“Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
“There is no hospitality like understanding.”
“Whenever you go on a trip to visit foreign lands or distant places, remember that they are all someone’s home and backyard.”
“True hospitality is marked by an open response to the dignity of each and every person. Henri Nouwen has described it as receiving the stranger on his own terms, and asserts that it can be offered only by those who ‘have found the center of their lives in their own hearts’.”
“I’ll pour you the first one and after that, if you don’t have one, it’s your own f****** fault. You know where it is.”
“Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion, and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved by the multiples of those with whom it is shared.”
“One of the more tiring aspects of hitchhiking is a need to be sociable and make conversation with whoever is driving you. It would be considered poor form to accept a ride, hop into the passenger seat and then simply to crash out until you reached your destination. How I longed to do just that, but instead I chatted merrily away, energy ebbing from me with each sentence, until Chris dropped me at the address of the lady who had offered me free B&B.
One of the more tiring aspect of accepting an offer of free accommodation is a need to be sociable and make conversation with whoever had offered it to you. It would be considered poor form to turn up, dumb your bags, crawl into your bedroom and order an early morning alarm call. How I longed to do just that, but instead I chatted merrily away to Marjorie, energy ebbing from me with each sentence, until the tea was drunk, the cake was eaten and I finally plucked up the courage to mention just how exhausted I was. I apologised and said that I simply had to grab a couple of hours sleep, and Marjorie understandingly showed me to my room.”
“There is great value in being able to say “yes” when people ask if there is anything they can do. By letting people pick herbs or slice bread instead of bringing a salad, you make your kitchen a universe in which you can give completely and ask for help. The more environments with that atmospheric makeup we can find or create, the better.”
“His abhorrence and fear of alcohol did not extend to his power as host. He kept a huge cupboard of drinks in the station house and loved to serve large measures to visiting relatives–especially those he disliked–about which there was a definite element of spreading bait for garden snails.”
“But entertaining isn’t a sport or a competition. It’s an act of love, if you let it be. You can twist it and turn it into anything you want—a way to show off your house, a way to compete with your friends, a way to earn love and approval. Or you can decide that every time you open your door, it’s an act of love, not performance or competition or striving. You can decide that every time people gather around your table, your goal is nourishment, not neurotic proving. You can decide.”