Friday, February 8, 2013

Secrets of Generation Flux

Robert Safian wrote a fascinating article for Fast Company magazine in the November 2012 issue, called "The Secrets of the Flux Leader." I am so interested in the emergence of consciousness about The Flow, and the principles inherent in flow perception, that this article really intrigued me.

Safian says, "Generation Flux is a term I coined several months ago, in a Fast Company cover story that explained how the dizzying velocity of change in our economy has made chaos the defining feature of modern business. New companies—even industries—rise and fall faster than ever: Witness Apple, Facebook, and Amazon; witness Research in Motion, Blockbuster, and MySpace; witness the iPad and, yes, cloud computing. Accepted models for success are proving vulnerable, and pressure is building on giants like GE and Nokia, as their historic advantages of scale and efficiency run up against the benefits of agility and quick course corrections. Meanwhile, the bonds between employer and employee, and between brands and their customers, are more tenuous than ever.

Generation Flux describes the people who will thrive best in this environment. It is a psychographic, not a demographic—you can be any age and be GenFlux. Their characteristics are clear: an embrace of adaptability and flexibility; an openness to learning from anywhere; decisiveness tempered by the knowledge that business life today can shift radically every three months or so. . ."

Here are a few other excerpts:

"Twenty years ago, a management professor by the name of Margaret Wheatley published a book called Leadership and the New Science. It was prescient then; it is even more eye-opening now. Her premise: Organizations and society have been structured to match our understanding of the natural world, which goes back to the 17th-century ideas of Sir Isaac Newton. Newton famously posited theories of cause and effect, and referred to our world as a machine—a closed system (set in place by the Great Watchmaker). In Newtonian physics, there is no greater goal than stability. That scientific conclusion helped us to embrace hierarchy and one-size-fits-all models. And our businesses have indeed been constructed for efficiency. Following the example of Henry Ford, we have extended our manufacturing prowess into shipping and logistics. We have used technology to enhance effectiveness, to track data and mine it for new refinements."

"We now know that cause and effect is not a given in the natural world. Creation comes not from stasis but from unpredictable movement."

"For a world of constant change, a company needs widespread mental plasticity. "In the old-style economy, where objects tend to remain in place, you could segment these types of intelligence. So you put your crazy intuitive people in marketing and your analytic people in engineering," he explains. "But as we've moved to an economy in which the adoption of new ideas happens so fast, you need all kinds of intelligence in all parts of a business. You can't have people siloed in their particular areas of strength. You have to value all styles, because you will never know which type will solve a problem."

I encourage you to read this article if you're interested in how business is likely to change in the Intuition Age.

1 comment:

alex grim said...

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