The shift from Brick and Mortar Business to a virtual world is an epic cultural breakthrough in society. We think we will look back to see this paradigm shift as an explosive “Age of Innovation” in a World without Walls. Virtual worlds are inherently fluid, meaning social interface and business conduct is dynamic. Fluid environments require fluid systems or they don’t function – it is just that simple.
As we evolve from hierarchical management to whole systems management, interestingly, this area is where the greatest paradigm shift occurs. Hierarchical systems are inherently inert and rigid, where decision making travels up and down defined chains of command predicated on the leadership hierarchy. In hierarchical systems, competition is external – e.g., us vs. them. It is reductionist in nature, consisting of right or wrong, black or white and all too often, “my way or the highway”. Therefore, hierarchal competition withholds information rather than expands; it hoards resources rather than shares; it competes employees, boards, ideas and outcomes in a context of survival of the fittest – e.g., win or lose.
Conversely, in the context of whole systems, at all points of performance – whether with individuals, corporations, governments, organizations or communities, knowledge and resources are shared for the purpose of achieving common goals and outcomes. We are transcending from silos to collaborations, from duplication to shared resources, from isolation to group effort and instead of “me” it is “we”. Thus, these interdependent relationships will always enhance independent performance. Likewise, as independent performance increases, it will simultaneously enhance interdependent outcomes.
At all levels, the fluid freedom of this environment exponentially accelerates innovation. Thus, at its most basic level, competition, within a whole systems environment, becomes an internalized force of ever-increasing levels of excellence. In the dynamic exchange from independent to interdependent, the competitive strength of both expands in tandem.
This dynamic exchange places power structures in the hands of the world where excellence and integrity will determine leadership, sustainability, growth and expansion. “Who We Are” as it informs “What We Do” becomes visible in real-time. Therefore, “power structures” will become increasingly less dependent on our position in the hierarchical structure of business and exponentially more dependent upon our ever-expanding knowledge and performance. You may never physically meet those you conduct business with, yet your integrity and the quality of your exchange is visible in the marketplace and becomes your brand – your “identity blueprint” in the world.
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