Episode 9: Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Rosabeth goes into leading-edge corporations, learns from them and
then serves up what she's learnt in nicely digestible messages
for the rest of us.
Her early work looked at the communes of the 1960's and the
social movement that brought them into existence, and the book she
wrote about it, called "The Men and Women of the Corporation", had
a big impact.
The new model organization, she notes, is lean, flat and athletic,
rather than tall and authoritarian.
It's the job of the people at the top, Kanter says, to set the goals
and values of the corporation, below them the middle layers design
and manage the programmes and the systems, the forums and relationships
that bind the whole together, while the project ideas and innovations
hopefully bubble up from the bottom layers.
Her latest book e-Volve, draws together the best ideas of the best
companies. The Internet, she says, could produce a great leap
forward to a shared consciousness around the world and
connect peoples everywhere. The best businesses in the digital world,
she says, will be those that foster community internally
and serve communities externally.
Rosabeth, of course, ends with a list of the qualities needed by
business managers if they are to succeed in the new world of digital
- curiosity and imagination
- good communication skills, near and far
- cosmopolitan mindset, not confined to a single world view
- grasping complexity, finding the connections
- caring about feeding peoples' bodies and spirits
Our next guru also worries about that, but he starts from the technology
end. He is Bill Gates,
author, prophet and, of course, a hugely successful entrepreneur
Read Rosabeth Moss