télécharger 0.97 Mb.
Many concrete differences between the industrial society and the knowledge society are obvious, but let’s examine them in greater detail. Specifically, let’s look at the differences with respect to the following subjects.
The role of the CEO
Secrets… and patents
Trade and sharing
Trade and competition
Creation of economic value
Measurement of value
Definition of “economy”
Symbolism of money
Definition of “work”
Role of culture
Sustainability of progress
Sustainability among intangible assets
We are currently looking at a progressive but fundamental toppling of the power. To realise this is not easy, at least as long as we were forever convinced that the power resides in possessing capital and technology. Today, this “evidence” is shaky. More and more, at least in innovative and growing sectors, human creativity in networks is becoming the key to success. Why otherwise talk of “human capital “—recognizing that the human, wrongly labelled as capital, cannot be managed in the same way as the financial capital?
In the knowledge society, the challenge is to produce new knowledge by communicating and filtering, intelligently and creatively, data and information to produce knowledge. It is true that computers can facilitate this process, but the human individual contribution is central and indispensable. As much as man could be replaced by machine in the industrial society, here he becomes again absolutely indispensable. This transformation is so rapid and fundamental that it is difficult to notice.
It is possible, however, to also envision using those new technologies to manipulate and domesticate the human brain—to begin with the feeblest and the poorest. This is the negative scenario that I will examine in Chapter 8.
Our current structures are almost all pyramidal, whether we realise it or not. We do not even pay attention to them anymore, they are so “normal.” We have been in patriarchal structures for thousands of years now and are not even conscious, anymore, that we are in them. And we only become aware of the fact when the need arises to create a new organization. Then we notice how many natural tendencies we still have toward the pyramid—at least men (in their great majority) do. But within the last few years, pyramidal structures have begun to show themselves as problematic—as much in business as in politics, international organizations, religions, trade-unions, NGOs, etc.
The knowledge economy cannot function in pyramids. It requires flat network structures wherein information can move in all directions, because the new mechanisms of value creation require it. To produce new knowledge, one needs creative humans. And for them to remain creative, they need to be in a network where they can exchange knowledge and where interactions can take place from all sides and all directions. Through interaction, knowledge progresses and develops. There is no other way. We are at the heart of the mechanism of creation of value. Knowledge is like love. The more it is exchanged, the more it is received.
The only really prosperous businesses that survived the financial shocks of the last few years are those that were transformed from pyramids to networks. It is for this reason that we are leaving the pyramidal society… silently but very quickly.
Ces messieurs ont appelé dame Bess, dit-il; mais dame Bess n’est pas au cottage