Welcome to the future, it looks a lot like today

Interesting discussion on a internet forum about job redundancies and how heartless large corporations are in dealing with employees. It does make me wonder who is wrong here: the expectation of employees that they will have a ‘job for life’, or that capitalism rides on the tides of the market and a fundamental aspect of that, is that supply answers demand. Redundancies are built into the system.

Of course there are reams of tomes written to describe the good and bad of economics, and I don’t think command-and-control economies are any better, nor those built on class systems or corruption. Drug- or oil-economies aren’t much better (unless you are Norway and put it into a long-term state fund) and I don’t admire those economies which allow some members to have wealth because of their family connections. No, I am not a monarchist.

What I do admire is a level playing field where all are given the same start to life, the same opportunities, and the same incentives to develop their full potential. Offering to let them become part of the ruling elite, for example, is a straw-man argument: privileging the few at the expense of the many simply extends the injustice into the next generation.

Egalitarianism has benefits, both for those at the top of society and for those at the bottom. My belief is that societal expectations have to change into a more fluid model that sees expert plumbers at the same level as philosophers (or bankers, lawyers, doctors) and rewards effort and dedication rather than connection and background. Organisational models need to change as well so that companies no longer have the protection of ‘personhood’ under the law, and plain old hierarchical organisations adopt to a more fluid view of entering and leaving that organisation.

I’m reading “Reinventing Organisations” by Frederic Laloux and taking an interest in the concepts of Holacracy – although I’d have to admit that a lot of things get hyped as the new silver bullet and touted around the management training circles simply as a way of earning money for those management consultants. I’d wait for a couple of centuries of real-world testing before suggesting that any of these are more than just fads.

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