[Prospective] Thomas Malone on Organizations of the 21st Century

Global Business Network proposes a conversation with Thomas Malone about how he envisions organisations of the 21st Century (in his new book The Future of Work: How the New Order of Business Will Shape Your Organization, Your Management Style, and Your Life).

Malone believes that over the next few decades, organizations will undergo a major—in some cases radical—transformation. The dotcom boom and the e-business craze were but early symptoms of this coming transition. Indeed, Malone thinks that we’re currently experiencing a period akin to the biological concept of punctuated equilibrium, where the more stable hierarchical systems of organization are being disrupted and decentralized models are being invented through trial and error. The trend line is moving inexorably toward decentralization, Malone argues—and the emerging organizational model of open source is an early indicator of other models to come. But because of the lag time between technological change and cultural change, most people are still trapped in centralized mindsets that were formed to effectively align with organizational models of the twentieth century. That’s not only true of current leaders at the top of hierarchies, but emerging leaders throughout the organization.