Entrepreneur’s Diary #69 – Projects are Detrimental for the Health of Your Enterprise!

That was the headline of an article by Jens Hofmann. I already got motivated to write the articles  #65 to #68 of my entrepreneur’s diary by it. If you are interested, just click here: “Drehscheibe”.

In his article, Jens asks if enterprises can manage the constant change caused by many individual projects with hierarchical impact. Basically, it does not matter if the projects with their respective goals are more or less agile.
Jens argues in favour of this basic idea in a very subtle way, even representing to some degree a new way of thinking. A way of thinking that gains more and more ground.

I rather like it. And questions come to mind for me: Don’t social systems today function differently from formerly? Just like the times are gone when you had to leave your own watch behind as you entered the factory premises and from there had to go by the central company clock. Does not the future necessitate a totally different kind of collaboration in society and enterprises?

Here are a few associated ideas of mine. In relation with my total portfolio projects&enterprise culture, they are but small change. They are what I saved up for my knowledge ticket into the future:

  • Does not the postulation: “planning & project with definition of goals, milestones, control, etc.“ stand for the paradigm: “The human must submit to the organization in order for the manager to be able to control same enterprise without friction“? Until the 1980ies, this was even taught in economic sciences. But basically, it is no longer true.
  • “Nothing is more solid than change“ is our motto today. Our concept of humanity, our socialization, the way we communicate and live, everything changed drastically. Evolution increases its speed.
  • How much of our “real life“ do we structure like a “project“? Do we think in terms of projects when we think of school, university, professional training or when we are looking for a partner? What exactly do we plan in our lives? When we talk life or family planning, what we mean is “contraception“.  And when we have children, do we or don’t we manage them as active projects?
  • What are the milestones of a human life? Is a biography today written in advance or in retrospective? And is not more and more the journey the reward?
  • After all, private life is not much different from ilfe at the enterprise, is it? Have our lives not turned into a unit? Don’t we now spend our leisure time just like our working hours? The schizophrenic division between wearing a suit and tie at the office and wearning a worn-out pair of jeans at home has disappeared, just like the distinction between work and leisure time.  Is not, in the end, our private life more important to us than our work? Do not more and more people structure their professional life according to their private values in life, being prepared to actually make sacrifices, such as forego consumption habits?
  • So what is the (project) goal of life? Death? Is there a “life-score-card” which will eventually give us a number of life points when the end comes? Well balanced with a final reckoning as our gravestone inscription?
  • Incidentally, communism also failed with planned economy. Just remember five-year-plans, plans where the expectations have been exceeded, mega planning by job-sharing to a huge extent, even between nations of the Comecon and no end to Taylorism?
  • Let us imagine humanity as a swarm of fish. What happens if in a swarm individual fish or groups start making a plan or executing projects? What detrimental effects would that have?

As I said: I have more questions than answers. But the problems get more and more complex. We reply by producing more and more complex solutions. Which again cause even more complex problems. The speed of the process increases all the time. Yesterday’s strategies will not suffice to break this vicious circle.

First and foremost, we must ask questions. And then we can try to find new approaches.We will need them and they might well be quite radical.

(Translated by EG)

For all the articles of my entrepreneur’s diary, click here: Drehscheibe!

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