The Shape of the Meaning Organization

A very interesting article I just read by a fellow named Umair Haque . . .

Umair Haque is Director of the Havas Media Lab and author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. He also founded Bubblegeneration, an agenda-setting advisory boutique that shaped strategies across media and consumer industries.

New Year’s resolutions: what are they really about? I’d say that they’re about habits — and especially about breaking the less than beneficial ones. So here’s a thought. As I’ve argued here and in my book (officially published today!), it’s the behavior of industrial age institutions — corporations, banks, governments — that’s the invisible fist of this great crisis. Instead of creating enduring, authentic value for people, they’re consistently, systematically, one might say habitually extracting wealth from them — and the result is the game of musical chairs writ large that is this crisis.

What are the habits of this whirling machine? Roughly, I’d suggest that they’re strategy, marketing, finance, and the rest of the drear, dismal, passionless stuff that makes most of us snooze through meetings and dread the arrival of Monday morning, dilberting our joint prosperity, perpetually disappointing our ever-more apathetic customers, and gleefully embezzling from the future.

I’d suggest that the economic historians of the 23rd century are going to look back on the economies, markets, and organizations of the 20th the way we look back on the debtors’ prisons, indentured servitude, and mercantile colonialism of the 18th. “How,” I bet they’ll ask themselves, “could they spend their time, energy, and resources — their very lives — in pursuit of the trivial and the inconsequential, the pedestrian and the pointless, the predatory and the predictable? Especially when confronted by a Great Stagnation, why didn’t they rethink their suffocatingly, stultifyingly self-destructive habits?”

It’s well past time to begin imagining an organization of a radically different kind — one that takes a quantum leap beyond strategy, marketing, and finance into a novel galaxy of unexplored, untapped economic possibilities.

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