Democracy in Business

I have always been troubled by the notion that if democracy is such a great institution, why is it not practiced within commercial organizations? The answer I always seem to run into is that the process is too slow to be pragmatic in a fast-paced commercial setting.

Democracy, as it is practiced in a govermental setting, is inherently a slow process because it’s outcome is typically long-standing policy. The typical outcome of commercial enterprise is not long-term policy, but short term-profits (other things too, but for the sake of this discussion…).

When people say that democracy is too unweldy to be used in a commercial space, I would argue that they are looking at the process related to one instance of democracy and not the underlying concept of democracy, which I believe is the integration of opinions of all stakeholders.

I believe that democracy can be leveraged to effect in comercial organizations, we just need to rethink the process. The tools available to us today can be the great facilitators to make this happen. We just have to change our own self-limiting assumptions about how we can use these tools to make better (and fast) decisions.

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We are all turning into DJ’s

Some one said this the other day and it struck me that this statement is a powerful metaphor for today’s environment. Of course the conversation was about iPods and who got or gave one for Christmas (just about everyone). Everyone around the table was a "Baby Boomer" and the whole iPod thing is a little foreign, so I found the observation that we are turning into DJ’s particularly insightful, even though it was meant in a literal sense.

The insight is that the power of information flow in our society is shifting away from those that deliver information to those that receive (or more accurately "seek") information.

More to say here, just no time. So until later…

Back again…

I have been out of the game for a while. Firstly due to the holidays…add a 1-year old, a 2-year old and Christmas together and you don’t have much time left. To complicate things further, my Dad suffered a mild stroke in December and spent the holidays in the hospital. We brought him home to 24/7 nurse care. He passed away on January 15, 2006.

Blogging has not been my first priority, but recently the jucies have started to flow again…back into the fray! Though my Dad would have had no idea what blogging is, he would have understood the passion and energy behind it. So as I return, I do it with my Dad’s encouragement…and his ubiquitious question, "What does digital mean?"