Traditionally, management has been a top-down, hierarchical, pyramid organization. This is true for almost all corporations, the military, government, etc.
Corporations as Cancer The global corporations that are the ruling institutions of the suicide economy are required by law, structure, and the imperatives of global finance to maximize financial returns to absentee owners without regard to the consequences for people or planet. In short, they are programmed to behave like cancers that seek their own unlimited growth without regard to the consequences.
We seek to use a new paradigm of management, one in which a network of interconnections, much like those between cells in an organism, replace the top-down organization structure. (See Evolution of Biology and Management, below, for a survey of how organizations and organisms have developed in parallel, and the characteristic of the next level of development of a business.)
One of the tools for Open Management will be a collective intelligence desicion making software to assist with intelligent decision making. This program will allow the collective intelligence of experts the world over to participate in various decisions. The vote of each participant will be weighted according to the expertise of the voter and the interest of the voter. For example, an expert in road construction may have greater influence over the design of a road, than a plumber, or over a decision to build a road versus start a business, but someone who lives in the neighborhood served by the road may have more weight than that of some other person (non-expert) who lives in an unaffected area.
It is important to balance the influence of the head (intellect) and that of the heart (intuition, feeling) in this decision making. Thus, the opinions of certain representative shamans, priests, and women will be sought to balance the usual male-dominated decision process. And the entire software package is subject to modification, based on consensus and expert opinion.
Pound for Pound, the Most Innovative Company in America
GGT seeks to follow the model created by W.L. Gore & Associates. In an article in Fast Company magazine, the billion dollar company that makes water-shedding hiking boots, heart patches, fire fighting equipment and space hardware is lauded for their innovation. “Pound for pound, the most innovative company in America is W.L. Gore & Associates.” Alan Deutschman, Fast Company, 2004.
Deutschman says, “Gore is a strikingly contradictory company: a place where nerds can be mavericks; a place that’s impatient with the standard way of working, but more than patient with nurturing ideas and giving them time to flourish; a place that’s humble in its origins, yet ravenous for breakthrough ideas and, ultimately, growth. Gore’s uniqueness comes from being as innovative in its operating principles as it is in its diverse product lines. This is a company that has kicked over the rules that most other organizations live by…And in its quietly revolutionary way, it is doing something almost magical: fostering ongoing, consistent, breakthrough creativity.
Malcolm Gladwell, in The Tipping Point, points out a few of the characteristics of this innovative company:
The company is privately owned, mostly by its workers, or “Associates”. By the way, few of the employees at Gore have any title other than “Associate”. No one has an office better than any other. Gore limits its buildings to 150 workers, as this is the limit for control and communication that has been realized by many different groups, including most military organizations. Working with the same 150 people allows for cooperation, knowing the other members of the organization, and obviates the need for a boss! Indeed, in a group of this size, peer pressure is more effective than is a boss. Instead of a boss, new hires are given a Sponsor or Mentor.
And by sharing in a network of employees, new ideas that come from those implementing the tasks can filter to those who are designing the operations, without running into egos and corporate artificialities. At the same time, the designs and intentions of the creative personnel can be readily understood and implemented at the production level.
Network Management in GGT
As a Trust, GGT will be supervised by a small group of trustees. These trustees will be advised by a large and diverse Board of Advisers, chosen out of the world experts in many different fields. Decisions of the Trustees will also be influenced by representatives of the worker teams, Letters of Wishes submitted by the beneficiaries, and the Collective Intelligence Decision Making software package.
Subordinate to GGT are a network of companies, each of which are made up of teams of workers, each team less than 150 workers in size. Each team member will be encouraged to spend 10% or more of his time in new product development. Each team selects one or more representatives to participate in a management council. This management council participates with a team of experts and advisors, and with a manager, to direct the distribution of funds and attention within the company.
Representatives of each company management council will participate with the Board of Advisors in advising the Trustees of GGT.
GGT is created as a Massachusetts Trust or Common Law Trust. GGT will be owned by its employees (associates), who will receive stocks as part of their compensation package, and by its beneficiaries and stockholders. Shares of stocks are fully transferable, and stockholders are the beneficiaries or cestui que trust. Beneficiaries will not have voting shares of stock, but as beneficiaries, they may submit Letters of Wishes to the trustees.
GGT will own, or have partial ownership of, several subordinate companies. These subordinate companies may have various types of business structures: corporation, partnership, LLC, etc. In general, in these companies we will prefer to copy the management style of W. L. Gore and Associates, as described above.
Evolution of Biology and Management
Bruce Lipton, PhD, in his seminal book The Biology of Belief and its audio version The Wisdom of Your Cells, describes his discovery that each cell acts as a tiny microcomputer, complete with memory storage device (DNA) and microprocessor (cell membrane). He then discusses the development of the human brain and human organizational structure as parallel processes. Some of his thoughts are summarized here:
Humanity evolves in a manner similar to the evolution of vertebrates:
Emerging from the Sea
The first cultures to emerge were mericultures, tied to the ocean. This parallels the emergence of fish from invertebrates, both of which remained tied to the sea. Then, amphibians evolved, and they took the water with them. This parallels the emergence of agriculture, away from the sea, and up onto the land.
Next, governmental structures took form. Governmental structures are jerky, reptilian, servo-mechanism type beings. Their behavior is characterized by reaction, rather than planning. Governments, like reptiles, are conscious, but not self conscious. They see what needs to be done to meet their needs, but do not analyze the consequences of their actions.
Reptiles were scaled up, from lizards to dinosaurs, without much change in the controlling aspect, ie, the brain. In the same way, corporations are reptile-like organizations. They are also dinosaur-like organizations. They are not necessarily evil, but they are single-minded, seeking profit at the expense of all else, including their employees, other people, and the environment.
Blood of the Dinosaurs
The epitome of corporation is the oil corporation, which runs on the “blood of the dinosaurs”. The whole current society runs on dinosaur energy. The small brain of the dinosaur prevented it from making the change to survive when the environment changed. It is apparent that we are at a point now where once again, the dinosaurs are about to fall.
From the reptiles grew birds and mammals. Birds are reflected in the ability to rise above the 2-D world, and see things from a new perspective. Avian development was represented in human flight. The peak of the bird culture was the moon shots. The moon shots allowed man to see the earth from a totally different perspective.
To see the earth as a fragile “gem” in the vastness of space elicited the need to care for it, to nurture it. This nurturing attitude is typical of mammals. And now, we are entering the “mammalian phase” of human civilization.
Adapt, or Die Off
There was a time when birds, dinosaurs, and mammals all existed. But the dinosaurs died off, and the mammals ascended. We are at that point now, where the environment is changing, and we need to adapt, or die off.
Cycles of Development
When an organism goes through a complete development cycle, it stops being a set of cells, and becomes a single organism. In the same way, the earth will become again a single organism, but with all humanity as a single organism. The organism then starts a new cycle, relating as an organism to other organisms, ie, to other earths.
The Next Phase
GGT asks the question: What is the nature of the next phase of civilization? How can we foster the transformation and development of the earth, and of humanity, into the next level?
The next level of development in human organizations will no longer be hierarchical, but a network, like cells in a tissue or brain, or like the organisms in an ecological web, with horizontal as well as vertical development of responsibility, organization, and communication. The development of communication networks, as represented by the development of the Internet, will be further expressed in the maturation of local, regional, and global networking. Ideally, this global network will have nodes of 150 persons or less, as this was found to be the limit for successful operations, as described in Malcolm Gladwell’s wonderful book The Tipping Point, and validated by such innovative organizations as WL Gore & Associates.
Just as higher organisms have benefited from the development of a more complex nervous system, so too may the evolving organizations benefit from modern communication methodologies. GGT seeks to foster the development of Open Management by creating a novel collective intelligence decision-making software system, which will weight opinions on a voters personal interest and expertise in field, then seek consensus from the voters.
Being nurturing, like a mammal, successful businesses of the Enlightened Age will find or create new “daughter” businesses, and raising them up to be successful organizations, further benefiting workers, investors, customers, and the environment. New businesses will not only nurture their offspring, but they will nurture their environment, diligently seeking the least damaging means of interacting with the environment, and having a pro-active plan for environmental remuneration, reforestation, water reclamation, and waste management.
In order to achieve this order of “mammalian organization,” a business must utilize a balance of the energies of heart and head. It must not only be intelligent, it must be intuitive. Whereas most corporations today are male-dominated, active, aggressive, rigid, and goal oriented, the successful business of the Enlightened Age must be balanced by feminine principles, yin along with the yang; intuitive, as well as intelligent; feeling, as well as doing; flexible, as well as strong; aware of the process, as well as the goal. Most important, as the mammalian path has culminated in self-awareness in humans, so must the ideal business become self-aware, cognizant and caring about the full consequences of all of its actions.
These are the guidelines for organization and management which GG Trust seeks to implement.