21st century organization

From where should we lead?

As the “Fasten Seatbelts” sign goes off in the global economy and CEOs step out of their crisis-control command centers, they must now decide: Should we go back to leading from atop the organizational pyramid—or should we stay in the eye of the storm? » Read more

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Leadership as trusteeship

Trust is an essential human attribute and virtue. When we are born, we are completely helpless and at the mercy of others. We instinctively trust that someone will look after us, nurture us, protect us. Being trusting and being trustworthy are central tenets of what it means to be a human being.

Yet, there is a huge trust deficit in our society today. There is a crisis of trust in government, in religious institutions, in our educational system, in the health-care system and in the financial system. There is deep distrust within the public at large towards the corporate world in general and towards most companies and their leaders. Within companies, there is a great deal of mutual distrust among employees, and among employees and customers, suppliers and leaders.

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Creating the high-trust organization

American society appears to be undergoing a crisis in trust. Most of the major organizations that we depend upon, including governments of all types, corporations, our health care system, our financial institutions, and our schools all seem to be failing us. Indeed, I do not believe it is an exaggeration to claim that our society is actually undergoing a disintegration process whereby the fundamental premises and values supporting our institutions are all being called into question. While such disintegration is of course very painful to experience, it is also a tremendous opportunity for genuine transformation. My essay will attempt to outline some of the most important values and strategies necessary for the creation of, and the transformation to, high trust organizations.

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Your ideas are your assets: Jim Whitehurst on 21st century value

20th century companies defined success by their hard assets. In contrast, 21st century businesses are based around information and ideas. In this video, Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO of Red Hat, explores how we add value in today's contemporary business, and, by extension, as a society.

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Social production as a new source of economic value creation

In this short TED video clip, Yochai Benkler provides a useful framing of what he terms “social production.” » Read more

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Jim Whitehurst video: Competing as a 21st century enterprise among 20th century giants

The Duke Fuqua School of Business just posted Jim Whitehurst's presentation from their Coach K Leadership Conference entitled "Competing as a 21st Century Enterprise Among 20th Century Giants." You can watch it here. » Read more

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Jim Whitehurst: 20th century companies are already hiring 21st century employees

Last night, Red Hat President and CEO Jim Whitehurst gave a talk to a group made up of mostly students and faculty at the NC State School of Engineering. 

Jim Whitehurst is in a rather unique position because he has managed both an icon of the 20th century corporation (Delta Airlines) and what we'd like to think is a good example of the 21st century corporation at Red Hat. » Read more

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