No surprise to me: Alexandra Levit reports on Amex OPEN that big-company CEOs are “abandoning command and control.” IBM studied more than 1,700 chief executive officers from 64 countries and 18 industries.
Of course. Look around. You’ll see complaining sometimes about alleged millennials, but all they’re doing is wanting people to care what they think. That’s true of Gen-T too, and us aging hippy baby boomers as well. Nobody wants to mindlessly obey. Computers and software first, then the Internet, created a meritocracy of sorts. People share jobs and work from anywhere and it’s about results, actual work, not time warming seats.
Just a couple days ago I was sharing with a good friend that I thought I was bad as a manager building my own business because I wasn’t good at structure and command. I didn’t like authority that much. Now it turns out I was just ahead of my times. Hooray.
My favorite part of this report is the conclusion:
The IBM study has revealed a new type of CEO—one that lives on the ground rather than in the ivory tower and one that is able to adapt to a rapidly evolving business world. In many ways, small-business owners and entrepreneurs are accustomed to this form of leadership.
Hmmm … so in the smaller companies, the startups, the grass roots entrepreneurs are leading this change? Are you surprised? Big company leadership is taking longer to figure this out? Still surprised?
What I like is that what we started in the late 1960s is rolling along towards 2012. Power to the people, and all that.
Quick thought for the day: business landscapes change. Giants fall. Startups become giants.
The giant, the big power, that everybody fears, and by whom everybody wants to be acquired … it’s Google these days. It used to be Microsoft. Are you familiar with Lotus 1-2-3? There was a time when Lotus was the giant of software. And Vision? Look it up: it was the world’s largest personal computer software company in 1983.
Giants are hated and feared.
In January 1985 Apple released the now-famous 1984 commercial that pitted the high-tech newbie against the industry giant (here’s a link to it on (ironically) Google video) … and although it’s hard to believe now, back then that was all about IBM and everybody knew that instantly. Today it’s total anachronism. But IBM was the giant of the industry for about 20 years. It was hated and feared. They called it Big Blue.
So now it’s Google. What do you think: For how long? Who’s next?
Field also worries that entrepreneurship might not be right for older Americans because these folks have spent too much time in the corporate world.
Hmmm … a bit of a generalization, no?
In honor of that thought, with a tip of the hat to comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “you might be a redneck” routine, here’s my list of ways (none of them age related) you can tell that you just might be too corporate:
If, when you see $850 or $1,450 in the budget, you assume that means $850,000 and $1.45 million (you ask: the numbers are in thousands, right?), then you might be too corporate for entrepreneurship.
If every time you encounter something that has to be done, you look immediately for staff people to assign it to, then you might be too corporate for entrepreneurship.
If you measure yourself and everybody else by office or cubicle size and layout, then you might be too corporate for entrepreneurship.
If problems are to be ducked, and monkeys to be passed on to somebody else, then you might be too corporate for entrepreneurship.
If having a reason why not is the same as getting something done, then you might be too corporate for entrepreneurship.
But just age? Age might make a person too old, but not too corporate.