Knowledge - the main driving factor of productiveness
In modern economy, an insight, based on explicit and tacit knowledge and the wisdom are the main driving factors for value-added creation and sustainable growth. With appropriate understanding and the allocation of resources Violeta Bulc (innovator, entrepreneur and founder of Vibacom Ltd.) describes how the creation of added value in a company can be defined as a progression of different evolutionary stages in the business environment.
In the book “Rhythms of business evolution, systems, tools and experience for brainstorming” Bulc bases her ideas on four phases. The first one begins with the most fundamental “working environment”. At this stage companies are mostly focused on production and activities. Machines (equipment) are very important; the labor force can be relatively easily replaced, so they should be obedient and diligent in maximizing the output at the lowest costs possible.
The second phase is a “learning environment”. The productivity becomes a factor of input. New resources and knowledge start to play a major role as quality is introduced. Knowledgeable workers become of core importance. Those who have knowledge - employees, leaders, managers - create the conditions for further growth and differentiation on the market.
Lately an “innovative environment” is starting to be used in several mostly Internet-centered organizations, like Google for example. Creativity becomes a key source and innovation is a key driver of value added for a long-term and stable growth. The key responsibilities of the leadership are guidance, coordination, motivation, and communication. A structure of hierarchy is slowly replaced by a formal network structure.
Last phase, not surprising, is an “environmental awareness”. Now the innovation has become an entry factor. Insight, based on explicit and tacit knowledge and wisdom are the main driving factors for value-added creation and sustainable growth.
For each new phase to come into force there needs to be a vital driving force from its predecessors. Each evolutionary phase requires different tools, methodologies, and techniques. What’s more, there should be new models of successful leadership evolved during a transition from one developmental phase to another. To carry out their responsibilities, leaders need to obtain recent relevant information that is hidden in people as tacit knowledge and is widely scattered within and outside the organization. They have to make decisions based on information that is both overwhelming and incomplete, and they sometimes need to get cooperation from people over whom they have no formal authority. The pattern of interactions with subordinates, peer superiors, and outsiders is affected by a leader’s dependency on these people, by the demands they make on a leader, and by the leader’s style.
For the most part, we do not yet bring insight, based on explicit and tacit knowledge, and wisdom, creativity, or a broader usage that would add new value to our processes when we use these tools. The younger generation does almost not know how to live without being connected all the time. And all this has created huge differences that are hard to grasp by either generation.