Today many entrepreneurs, managers and business leaders think what are the secrets to business success? And where shall we find these secrets? The typical answers are: new technologies, new young smart people, new management techniques, and the active use of social media.
Another way to answer to this question is to ask: What destroys business efficiency, productivity, competitiveness, product quality and profitability?
An obvious answer is average performance which is based on average management techniques and average workers. Going beyond average is not easy because we love to be average persons with a normal and standard behavior. “I am only working here – do not expect too much” is so typical attitude in many workplaces.
We like to meet the expectations of an average behavior. Actually being something beyond the average is often punished by managers. There are also many trendy fashions in the management literature of organizations. That is why some answers about business success are short-lived.
Building up the performance-centered organization has been an obvious answer to business success. The key to avoiding the performance gap and the “average dilemma” is to become a performance-centered organization.
To build a performance-centered company or a team is not easy. Even more difficult it is to create a performance-centetered network. Unfortunatelly we cannot “photoshop” our organizations, teams or networks to be “performance-centred”. We must seek other more realistic management solutions.
Of course, we remember some business gurus told us some years ago that we must learn the habits of ancient Samurai sword fighting and Attila the Hun leadership secrets in an effort to be more competitive. They said we must look at our mirror and make changes.
Some gurus told us to rely on knowledge and knowledge management. They said that knowledge will be the new capital of the twenty-first century. Information technology, then, must be the big answer, right? Yes of course, because the world now is too complex, too competitive for companies and agencies to be successful without powerful and integrated knowledge management systems. However, knowledge is not enough to guarantee business success. We need real social and intellectual capital There are many companies, who certainly have a lot of expertise, information and knowledge, but something is still missing. What is this small something?
One missing element can be the way we work in organizations, how we perform our jobs in workplaces. Are we working like average persons or are we trying to reach something special? Are we dreaming about something out of box?
The natural tendency in many organizations is to seek high-level, single-focus solutions, business process re-engineering, strategic planning, new technology and system architectures and designs.
These tendencies are important – no doubt – but often we must also think our values, attitudes and real actions. We may need more bohemian attitudes and actions in workplaces. We need more bohemian spirit. We may need also more every day’s creativity and more ambient ideas and inventions. Then we may be on a way to a performance-centered workplace.
The real performance of working people will make up the organizations. Moments of value creation are important for the business success.
When someone really presents new ideas, novelties, decides, invents, acts or thinks in a radical way, they are probably moving towards a performance-centered organization.
The Bohemian X Factor is probably a very good answer to a better business success. We must believe in bohemian diversity as a key resource of business success. Too formal and homogenous corporate culture may not be very smart approach to a performance-centered workplace. As the Richard Florida proposed tolerance is a key explanatory variable in the success of cities. Flocks of bohemian types, or bohos, are important to the future of any city. This tolerance argument is also relevant in the context of organizations and companies. Other T:s of Richard Florida were technology and talents.
1. Samurai sword fighting
2. Attila the Hun
3. Richard Florida
Wellman, L. (2002) Freaks, geeks, bohos — hey, it’s the Bay Area. Turday, June 6, 2002. Web: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi- bin/article/comments/view?f=/c/a/2002/06/06/MN161689.DTL