Over the past decade new business models and forms of organizations have emerged that don’t obey the established rules. I am thinking of the likes of Apple, Google, Wikipedia, Nintendo, Lego, Threadless. Threadless? A clothing company – anyone gets to send in designs, customers vote and the items with the most votes get produced. And bought. And the winning designers paid. No decision making, no focus groups. Threadless is showing market-leading margins and growing fast.
Capitalism isn’t what it was – and what it is becoming isn’t clear, but is definitely emerging. Conventional boundaries in organizations such as those listed above are being blurred or broken. New kinds of relationships are being formed internally with staff and externally with customers, clients and suppliers.
These relationships are built on principles of abundance and common interest and are based in trust. That requires different kinds of conversations where self-awareness is key (why do we call that emotional intelligence nowadays?); engagement is the game and where listening to understand (as opposed to gaining a position) is the starting point. Internally that begins to look a bit like coaching. Externally it looks like great customer service