When the siren sounds from well-educated, highly paid business managers and entrepreneurs, you know the party is over (R.I.P. Don Meredith).
It has been clear, for anyone who cared enough to notice, that our modern economy generally could be classified into a few self-destructive categories: resource exploitation (mining, agriculture, construction), labor exploitation (service industries), death management (health care), technology (cell phones, PC’s, game consoles) and entertainment.
Luckilly, some awake individuals have sat up and noticed the unsustainable treadmill that society is on and have decided to jump ship (I am enviously watching them swim away).
Source: Management Information Exchange
I’d suggest that today, nothing characterizes industrial age business like the Five P’s. Business is Pedestrian (in its vanishing smallness of ambition), Predictable (in its furious obsession with the trivial), Predatory (in it’s hyperaggressive selfishness), Pompous (in its unvarnished self-importance), and Pointless (in its lack of usefulness to people and society). What it really excels at is pumping out inauthentic, unsustainable, illusory value–instead of the real thing.
Does this sound harsh? Consider some recent, everyday, humdrum headlines.
*GM using bailout money to fight higher fuel standards
*Banks having destroyed the mortgage title process perhaps irrecoverably
*Cigarette makers fighting global regulation
*Marketing by almost literally brainwashing
You might, then, begin see my point. Predictable, pedestrian, predatory, slightly pompous, and, effectively pointless. Argue with me if you like, add a nuance here and there, bring the hoary B-school 101 defensive arsenal to bear if you want, but I’d suggest that the institutions of business as we know them might just have outlived their faded triumphs. In fact, I dare you: pick up the business section–and ask yourself how many articles don’t meet most, if not all, of the five P’s.
Of course, I’m not the only one who finds himself brain-crushingly bored of predictable, pedestrian, predatory, pompous, pointless business as usual. The people formerly known as “consumers,” once easy-to-placate investors, legions of snoring managers, tuned out “human resources,” scores of low-cost global competitors, thousands of fed-up startups–they are too. Apathy is skyrocketing. Activist investors are doing less fist-pumping with boardrooms–and more fist-punching at them. Entire new categories of insurgents (think social entrepreneurs), hell-bent on revolutionizing capitalism as we know it, are starting to succeed.