Leading in the New Economic Ecology of Ideas

I just finished re-reading Dr. Amit Goswami‘s book, “How Quantum Activism Can Save Civilization”, and if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.  Dr. Goswami is a quantum physicists that explores the societal implications of downward causality, the non-locality of consciousness, tangled hierarchy and discontinuity; all experimentally proven tenets of quantum physics.  We integrate his work into our professional development workshops and coaching programs, as it introduces novel concepts (which sparks neurogenesis, new neural connections, and creative thinking) which are critical if we are to lead and manage business from a higher place of consciousness.

This is no longer becoming a choice.  We’ve migrated out of the Industrial Age and into what can best be described as the Idea Age.  Ideas emerge from the quantum field of our minds, and when creative ideas intermingle in the right environment (i.e. organizational culture) and within the right context, innovation and subsequent value creation is not far behind.  This isn’t new information.  We can see how the change has effected nearly every aspect of our lives.  Yet many sectors of the economy still cling to outmoded models of leadership, strategic planning, and organizational culture that actually hobble the cultivation of creative ideas and innovation.

In Goswami’s book, he explores the fundamental shift that must occur in light of this new economic ecology.  As he discussed his perspective, he went into the etymology, or original meaning, of the two words.  I think it adds some poignancy to the conversation of leading in this new era as well.  The root meaning of the word economic is the management of place.  The root meaning of the word ecology is the place of knowledge.  The raw materials, or value producing inputs, of the Industrial Age were natural resources, labor and capital.  Customer demands and needs were met via mass production, where economies of scale, command-and-control hierarchy and process controls ruled the day.  Large corporations evolved to leverage these drivers of success.  The ecology, or place of knowledge, leveraged value through the scarcity of goods, services or capabilities; and the economics, or management of that place of value, evolved to suit both its opportunities and constraints.  Companies grew to guard their tacit knowledge, or know how, very carefully, as its scarcity helped firms maintain competitive advantage.

The ecology, however, has shifted dramatically with major implications as to how we lead, organize and plan for success in this Age of Ideas.  Technology, the internet and social media have combined to virtually dissolve the scarcity of knowledge.  The combination of these forces is accelerating the transformation of tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge and the resulting rate of innovation.  Economies of scale have been displaced by economies of relationships and speed of talent (adaptability) is now more important than stability and control.  One no longer needs to create a monolithic corporation to create value.  Entrepreneurs, networks of professionals and relatively small teams of knowledge workers can, and do, create value at a much faster pace.

So here’s the question I ask of us all…

If the place of knowledge (the ecology) is no longer concentrated in the hands of a few industrialists and financiers, but opening up more, everyday, to the people of the world, mustn’t the management of place (the economics) evolve as well?

Source ~ Background materials for this blog were garnered from the report “The Innovation Driven Economic Development Model” by Collaborative Economics, 2008.

© 2012, Terry Murray.


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