Will 2012 be a year like any other? But is there any year that looks like any other? 2011 was an exceptional one, 2010 too, 2009 also, 2008 obviously… 2012 will just be a « normal » year of the new « normal » i.e. a period of doubts for our certainties, of challenges for our sociological, economic, cultural, technological fundamentals.
2012 should be a great year for questioning. 2011 TIME ‘s person of the year was the protester. It was a great choice because it embodies the change towards this new normal, a world that cannot be just the continuation of the old one.
But let’s look at the next step. Not only the probable extension of the protest movements, including within corporations where the old behaviors, the old style hierarchy will be less and less tolerated. Not only for trying to forecast what will come out of all these protest movements, one of the most complex tasks ever since for a rare time in history protesters protest first against something instead of protesting for establishing something well defined. It is easier to unite against than to unite for.
The next step that I want today to mention as important is the one for each of us. How are we going to translate our own protestation into our own behaviors? Are we ready to change our daily habits? To take more care of the planet? To make some personal sacrifice in order to help the economy to recover on new bases? To spend more intelligently? To be more respectful of the work of others? At the time of New Year’s resolutions I am sure many will have put some of their resolution into the box of behaving better on all these fronts. But we know how hard it is. We forget them fast.
But is this the real issue? Most of those resolutions engage only us within our private life. What about those behaviors we have as managers, as leaders, as executives in the way we manage people, money, resources? Are we ready to allow more democracy in our way of management? To trust more? To reduce our bonuses whenever they are obviously extravagant (whatever extravagant means)? To allow a real collective intelligence to develop within our organizations? To put in place horizontal collaboration tools? To really invest in more ecological processes? To spend better even if it means some negative changes in the expected ROI short term? Etc.
In essence, this is asking a real fundamental question in this new normal: Why are we working? We know what we do, we probably think we do it well and seriously, but do we really know why we do it, for which purpose? Is our yesterday’s acceptance of undefined purposes (or even of morally doubtful purposes ; money as a goal rather than an outcome) still acceptable for each of us individually? Are we proud of why we do what we do? Can we explain to our kids the meaning of our professional life?
The new normal is here, let’s make 2012 a wonderful normal year where we will be able to ask the right questions and find a few answers.
At the Boostzone Institute we aim at contributing to improve the very art/ science of management by asking a number of questions on upcoming changes and by looking at the implications. As an example on January 10th, we will work on the implications of BigData, on February 2nd on how as citizens we can influence the management of public services, on February 9th on how the European crisis is first of all a competitivity crisis that will require really new management behaviors. In all these debate sessions we look at what those evolutions mean for management.
Thank you to all our members and followers for their trust and their help.
Happy (“normal”) 2012!