|Dr. Charles M. Savage, Ms. Elisabeth Sundrum|
Adam Smith realized that the factory model would
"stupify" people. The Knowledge Era creates opportunities that "smartify"
people in exciting and unexpected ways.
We are just at the beginning of a fifty-year transition.
The Knowledge Economy can be a multiplative economy where we can multiply the significance and value of one another’s ideas, inspirations and insight.
Dr. Charles Savage is President and Mentor, Knowledge Era Enterprises, Inc., and works with companies to discover the tremendous human potential of knowledge era enterprising. He writes, consults and speaks widely in the United States, Asia and Europe. His book, Fifth Generation Management, Co-creating through Virtual Enterprising, Dynamic Teaming and Knowledge Networking has been translated into Japanese, Korean, German and Portuguese. Tom Peters named it his business book of 1991 and wrote the preface for the 1996 edition.
Charles dislikes the term “knowledge management” even though it is so popular. Knowledge is not just to be managed, but instead it is a “process” of discovery, of discovering oneself, of discovering and building upon the competencies of our colleagues, and of discovering and leveraging the capabilities and aspirations of our suppliers and customers. While the Industrial Era scripted behavior, the emerging Knowledge Era asks for authenticity and co-creativity, and these are the key elements that can again re-ignite our business world.
In addition to having started her own company, eCultureTeam, Eleisa Sundrum has been actively coaching executives, mentoring masters and doctoral students, writing and speaking internationally. Having negotiated international telecommunications contracts and having been the Managing Director (CEO) of an international joint venture gives Eleisa Sundrum has a real world understanding of what is possible and what is needed in our companies. Facing a major challenge of laying off 10% of the company, she was able to reduce operating costs almost 50% while increasing productivity and market outreach. Through active teamwork of the management team and deep involvement of the employees (and their union representatives), no one was laid off and the company emerged in a much healthier position.
What she did intuitively in this and her various leadership positions, has become explicit in her consulting and mentoring work. When first exposed to the deep and significant work of Dr. Brian Hall and Benjamin Tonna, she realized she had found kindred spirits. What is inside ourselves, our values, our attitudes and our mindsets either open “horizons of the possible,” or keep us “uncomfortably confined” in our little boxes on the organizational chart. She has quickly realized that executives really do want to reflect upon those things that give their own lives meaning and purpose. Although they “play the game,” some would much rather be free to be themselves in ways that they can authentically and freely draw on their knowledge and feelings.
The shift to authentic and honest interaction is as critical as our companies begin to move from stiff hierarchies to more open and dynamic organizations, built upon more trust and respect for one another’s competencies. What with the development of knowledge networking, learning organizations, knowledge management, communities of practice, and collaborative technologies, the business landscape is dramatically redefining itself. But these changes will not stick if executives, managers and employees are not able to sort out and live by the values that enable active learning and authentic collaboration.
Both Eleisa and Charles are engaged in a number of project involving executive mentoring and coaching, leadership culture development, knowledge networking and cultural due diligence efforts. All are designed to increase organizational trust, learning, collaboration and authentic interaction.