This is a post I put up on the Harvard Business Review Blog. It’s about an essential hostility between the corporation and the future. They are made of entirely different stuff, I argue.
To the corporation, the future looks a risk that can’t be managed, an idea that can’t be thought.
The corporation puts a particular boundary between now and the future. And it guards this border ferociously. New ideas are scrutinized with tough mindedness and high indignation. If we can’t see the business model, we’re not interested. If we can’t see how to “monitize this sucker,” we’re not interested. When the future manifests itself merely as a murmur of possibility, we are not interested.
Too bad. There is really only one way to live in a world of speed, surprise, noise, and responsiveness, and that’s to visit the future frequently. And, if we have the intellectual capital, maybe get a pied-à-terre there. Well, and if we’re really committed, we need someone to take up residence full time.
Please click here for the whole of the post.
Acknowledgements: The image is from Tumbler and Villacollezione (http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/wooden%20planks). Thank you to Julia Matthews at the Royal Ontario Museum for helping me identify it.