Cycles. To everything there is a season.
The focus of our culture seems to swing from technology to people and back. From institutions to individuals. From central authority to decentralization. From top-down control to bottom-up.
Extreme swings toward technology and institutions were Taylor's Scientific Management, robber barons, Business Process Reengineering, and narrowly-defined eLearning (removing all the people to make it work.) The pensulum had swung far in the opposite direction when we had flower children, itinerant hippies, anti-war protests, and, more recently, the Open Source movement and the proliferation of blogs.
I recognize the main current crashes into a lot of rocks. Eddies go the opposite direction. We can have guards with machine guns rooting through everyone's suitcases at the airport at the same time the power of the 'net gives a louder and louder voice to the people.
In yesterday's presentation for Collaborative Learning 04, we asked "In business culture, where's the pendulum this year?"
And the group replied:
Emphasis on institutions 0
In the middle 60%
Emphasis on individuals 40%
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