Monday, December 21, 2015

Shifting Organizational Patterns: How To Adapt?

In the broadest sense of the term, organizational patterns don't really shift all that often. Only consider how long societies organized much of their daily work around the seasons. Indeed, the shift away from seasonality was a gradual one, as people came to organize (their most) time consuming activities around common institutional patterns. However, something important about these more recent forms of organization, is beginning to change as well. Perhaps in the new century, remaining seasonal patterns will hold to a greater extent, than the twentieth century routine of arriving to and from work at essentially the same time.

Part of what is driving organizational shifts, are the ways in which product generation are changing. Even before the Great Recession, corporate voices were voicing not so subtle hints, that organizational patterns would need to once again converge with individual resource capacity. Often, it was stressed that people would need to become entrepreneurs of their own abilities. However, one problem regarding this need, was the fact that many forms of arbitrage had already organized for centralized economic activity, which had also generated an incomplete form of marketplace.

Prior to the Great Recession, the idea of entrepreneurial adaptation wasn't quite so unsettling. Indeed, younger individuals were looking forward to the challenge, hence were beginning to orient their education towards this goal. Only as it became apparent that business start ups had been on a gradual decline, did those expectations wane. And where full time employment had otherwise once been the norm, gig economies sprang up in prosperous regions, to fill in some of the missing employment gaps.

Is it possible to generate new forms of relative permanency, out of today's changed economic circumstance? Hopefully, yes. But in some instances, not on terms that are recognizable as present day benefits or entitlements. Entrepreneurial activity is needed at local levels - particularly for knowledge based services - but everyone still needs a recognizable group context in which this could occur.

Further, time value needs recognition as product in its own right - a process which would also require a certain degree of psychological adjustment. For decades, individuals have been given the message that product definition for time value, was something which mostly existed outside of their own personal domain. Not only would knowledge use systems represent exploration in a monetary sense, but also in a social and psychological sense.

Local corporations could generate a different balance between flexibility and permanency, part of which would mean less need for alarm clocks in the morning. In place of 9 to 5 commitments, the services formation of knowledge use systems, would take place in spontaneous organizational patterns. By making working environments multi purpose and - in many instances - suitable for walkability, local living and working densities would not contain the traffic jams, that are associated with transportation in spread out densities.

In all likelihood, a compensated thirty hour work week would be the best strategy for all concerned. Individuals would enter this "full time" work setting, once they become sufficiently comfortable with basic studies and are ready to branch out into more personal forms of educational endeavor. Set aside time for vacation and personal needs would occur at the outset of a given year's work schedule, with a certain degree of time allowed each week for the spontaneous work needs which arise on an ongoing basis.

What happens when individuals are not able to match 30 hours in a given week, and they want to be able to do so, in order to smooth time availability at a later point in their year schedule? These would be the moments when individuals could "donate" time (both would still be compensated) to those who are currently unable - for whatever reason - to provide matched time to the person who initiates the interaction. For the most part these would likely be circumstance of illness and related forms of incapacity. Even those who suffer ongoing conditions, nonetheless have many time frames that they are able to economically participate.

Through knowledge use systems, individuals would be able to keep organizational capacity in balance with the desire to explore their world. This form of desire is of course stronger at various points in one's lifetime, which don't necessarily correspond with twentieth century expected patterns of work and retirement.

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