In the 20th century, access to capital was the principal source of economic advantage. The business organizations that dominated the developed economies were those that excelled at acquiring large amounts of capital and deploying it productively to produce the steel, concrete, fuel, transportation and other physical materials that drove economic growth in that period.
My how things have changed. It’s now a different age, with different people and different technologies. Today, capital is readily available, and is therefore no longer the key differentiator of economic success. Instead, competitive advantage comes from people. In the post-industrial 21st century, businesses succeed or fail based on their human-driven capacity for innovation, agility, responsiveness, productivity and customer service.
A problem facing many of today’s companies is that they are led by individuals who learned their management methods in the last century, mentored by earlier leaders solidly grounding in the old industrial age. Likewise, these outdated management ideas are still being handed down from professor to professor in too many business schools.
This course is premised on the recognition that the people-management practices of the industrial era are poorly suited to the conditions of today’s innovation economy. In the post-industrial age, there are new and better ways to organize workplaces, inspire people, and effectively coordinate their efforts so that companies – and the people who work for them – thrive, excel, and prosper. This course will focus on these newer and more successful ways of organizing and managing people in the workplace. We will look at companies that are successfully inspiring commitment, passion, and productivity in their people.