Bernard Drion

As you already may have noticed, this book is a bit different. It is not, what you would call, a typical management book, with instruction manuals, numerous extensive case studies, and check lists. The reason for this is that it tries to look ahead to the future of our ever faster evolving world. Together with you, the reader, it tries to search for leads and reference points for operating and performing successfully, as a manager, in tomorrow’s business environment

59 Professor Consultant Boat Experienced

Where people gravitate aND MaNagerS Navigate

workin’ wonderland

workin’ wonderland

Geoff Marée
47 Lecturer Designer Books Curious

and beyond. In other words, this book aims at exploring those developments that will drastically change the way a manager will and should fulfil his role in the future, in, let’s say, the next ten to twenty years.

Nicholas Ind, author of “Living the Brand”, on Workin’ Wonderland:
“It gives us an idea of what the future might be like and encourages us to think anew about the challenges we face. So read the book

Frans Melissen
38 Lecturer Scientist Wildlife Impatient

and enjoy its irreverence and insight.”

Rolf Jensen, Dream Company as, Denmark, author of “The Dream
Society”: “All companies in the European Union and the US have got one important challenge for the future: develop imagination, creativity Bernard Drion • Geoff Marée • Frans Melissen and innovation. This book is an important contribution - please buy it, read it!”

Today’s working environment is in a continuous ‘beta’ state. Change is the status quo. Professional and private lives are intertwined. At the office, in the hospital and at school, facilitating the process is the main challenge. The work force in Wonderland, the authors’ metaphor for tomorrow’s ‘business as usual,’ values professional activities in the light of their personal value systems. They gravitate towards clusters of people and processes that help them nurse those values. Their behavior is based on a navigation course, towards professional and personal objectives, using gravitation fields as beacons and resources. The manager of any gravitation point, the organizations of tomorrow, better be a good pilot, navigator and host, with an imaginative mind, to handle those forces. Thankfully, the competences needed for that job are linked to good old people skills. Much more so than what was needed for the self-created complexities of the industrial era!

ISBN 978 90 547 21208

Bernard Drion • Geoff Marée • Frans Melissen

workin’ wonderland

workin’ wonderland

Where people gravitate aND MaNagerS Navigate

Bernard Drion • Geoff Marée • Frans Melissen

Arko Uitgeverij BV


Design Ivo Koschak M.C. Escher’s ‘Waterfall’, © 2009 The M.C. Escher Company B.V. Baarn - the Netherlands. All rights reserved. ISBN 978 90 547 21208 NUR 801 © 2009 Arko Uitgeverij BV, Nieuwegein All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher.


A word of gratitude to our co-imaginators
While this is the first page of this book for you, the reader, it was the final one for us. Writing this book turned out to be quite an adventure. We set out as a threesome, but along the way a number of people joined us. Without them and their support, this page would never have been written. We are proud that Nicholas agreed to write the Preface. Our main co-imaginator is Britt Nordin. Her assistance was crucial in making sure the text is accessible to people beyond the – language – borders of the Netherlands. John Mackillop, Henk Visser and Daphne Heeroma shared with us their insights regarding the contents. Their comments and suggestions helped us to fine tune the manuscript. Many more co-imaginators were involved in creating this book. Our special thanks goes out to: Henny van Egmond, Erik Mol, Marcel Broumels, and the participants of the round table session at Steelcase (July 13th, 2009): Annemieke Garskamp, Patrick Rikken, Gerry Hofkamp, Bert Franse, Bas Sieffers, Kristie van den Broek, Serena Borghero, Saskia Boon, Saskia van Bohemen, Tjeu Verheijen. One of the main messages of this book is that the boundaries between professional and private lives are fading. Ingeborg, Simone and Lotte continuously encouraged us to practice what we preach.

Breda, November 2009



“There’s something there”
“I was patrolling a Pachinko Nude noodle model parlor in the Nefarious zone Hanging out with insects under ducting The C.I.A. was on the phone Well, such is life” Mondo Bongo – Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros My instructions are write a preface, say what you like. Be critical if you want. Let’s start with the negatives. First, Mr and Mrs Smith – which as you will soon see provides something of a framework in the book – in my opinion, is a pretty average film. It’s quite fun and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are an interesting match, but it’s also clichéd and predictable. But on the other hand, the film does contain some great music, especially the laid-back and seductive, Mondo Bongo by Joe Strummer (ex of The Clash) and the Mescaleros. Second, there is mention of the word, ‘happiness’ in the book. I find the idea of happiness annoying. Do we work to be happy? Should organizations be structured to make people happy? Many people think so – indeed there are whole books about the subject. The problem with happiness though is it seems rather light, ephemeral – here today and gone tomorrow. Buying a new watch or handbag, watching your football team win or going on a weekend break are the sort of things that make us happy. Our working lives though – assuming we are not driven just by economic necessity – are concerned more with fulfilment. Whereas happiness is about simply meeting existing needs, fulfilment is about exceeding ourselves; going beyond what we think we are capable of. Happiness equates to satisfactory – which in my school reports always meant that you had done just enough. Fulfilment is where we discover the meaning in our lives. It is where we create ourselves. I’m not sure if Joe Strummer would have thought much about happiness, but the political and environmental causes that he fought for and the music he strove to produce, were clearly about fulfilment.


Having got the negatives out of the way, why should you read this book? Work is such an important component of our lives that it deserves serious treatment. Yet most people, sadly do not enjoy their working environment. Research from different parts of the world consistently shows that most people are either neutral/disengaged about what they spend a significant part of their waking lives doing or are even actively working against their employer. This is a waste for organizations, who lose out in terms of the productivity and creativity of their employees and it is a waste for the individual because it denies an opportunity for fulfilment. Yet, just because this is the way things are, it does not mean it must be so. We ought to encourage managers to re-think how they can help create more opportunities for employees to find meaning in their work; to move away from a control based approach to one based on openness and trust. Easy to say, but as the interesting dilemmas in this book show, the realities of day-to-day operations require careful analysis and constant negotiation. What may seem obvious to the disinterested observer is not so clear when one is actively involved in the maelstrom of internal politics and when one is held accountable for misplaced trust. The transition that is documented in “Workin’ Wonderland” from old norms of behavior and conditions of certainty to a coming world of uncertain rules and blurred boundaries, where work can be play and play can be work, is not an easy one. The virtue here is that the writers do not pretend it is. Rather through their use of narrative and by referencing films (even if they aren’t always my favorites), they bring out the complexities of puzzling out the right path through the organizational labyrinth. Lest we think that attaining the nirvana of a world of trust and mutual interest is solely the responsibility of managers, we should remind ourselves that a wonderland is the responsibility of everyone. When we work for an organization, there is a tendency to bemoan the failings of managers, rather than accept individual responsibility for ourselves to change the places we work. However, as organizations, slowly become more democratized, the opportunity for affecting the direction and operations of an organization become more widespread. From the managerial point of view this adds yet more complexity and a requirement to emphasize communication and encourage



participation. For the individual it represents an increase in freedom – but this is a freedom that must come with an awareness of the needs of others. This ideal of mutual trust might seem far removed from the day to day reality of many people’s jobs, but I think it is an ideal worth fighting for. And if we cannot win, my argument is we should get out – and find somewhere where we can find the opportunity to discover meaning. We only have to think about our limited time in the world to recognize the futility of staying put in a job that does not meet our needs. We should have the courage to be, what we can. Once when I was doing a presentation for a Dutch financial institution I was accused of being idealistic. I am pretty sure, this was meant in a negative sense, but rather than contradict the thought, I said yes, I am. I somehow felt proud of it. To my mind, the virtue of “Workin’ Wonderland” is that it is also idealistic. It gives us an idea of what the future might be like and encourages us to think anew about the challenges we face. So read the book and enjoy its irreverence and insight - and if you find the time, tune in the delights of Mondo Bongo. Nicholas Ind Oslo, October 2009


Dear reader, please do not be alarmed by the above heading. This section actually contains a short overview of the contents of this book, which is, in fact, a management book, not a panacea with possibly dangerous side-effects. However, this book is a bit different. It is not, what you would call, a typical management book, with instruction manuals, numerous extensive case studies, and check lists. The reason for this is that we try to look ahead to the future. Together with you, the reader, we try to search for leads and reference points for operating and performing successfully, as a manager, in tomorrow’s business environment. And when we say tomorrow, we refer to tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, the day after that one, and so on. In other words, this book aims at exploring those developments that will drastically change the way a manager will and should fulfil his role in the future, in, let’s say, the next ten to twenty years. The book is divided into three main parts: Gravitation, Navigation, and Prologue. Each of these three parts is preceded by a short introduction to set the stage. The main text encompasses eight chapters. Chapter 2 addresses current and future developments that will affect your role as a manager, while chapter 3 translates these developments into new organizing principles. Chapter 4, 5, and 6 focus on management principles and tools that you will need to deal with tomorrow’s situation. Chapter 8 ties it all together and provides you with five overall tools, which we refer to as navigation tools, to give a successful interpretation of your role as a manager. You might think the above actually looks like the table of contents of just about any management book. And you would be right, of course. That is exactly why we decided to warn you and to include this preamble. A decision very much applauded by our colleagues that volunteered to provide a critique of the manuscript. Therefore, at this point, we warn you that the following includes: silly jokes, a number of questionable references to movies, a distinct train of thought, and two chapters, chapter 1 and 7, that are very much different from what you would normally find in a management book.



With respect to the latter, you will probably either love or hate them. If, while reading chapter 1, option two applies to you, make sure you stop reading immediately, take a short break, and then open the book again at the start of chapter 2. The same principle applies to chapter 7, but then open the book again at the start of chapter 8. The reason for including the jokes, the references and the distinct train of thought will become clear as you read on. And, obviously, we also included them because we tried to create a book that you would enjoy reading. You can now proceed to the first part…


Part 1: Gravitation Introduction Chapter 1: Chapter 2: Chapter 3: Today Wonderland Gravitate 18 32 60

Part 2: Navigation Introduction Chapter 4: Chapter 5: Chapter 6: Hospitality Imagination Navigate 82 99 114

Part 3: Prologue Introduction Chapter 7: Chapter 8: Tomorrow Join 133 141

Index Sources

153 157






December 2029...
1. We refer to an interview with John Nash by Ionica Smeets in NRC (Dutch News Paper), December 20, 2008. 2. A region within the Netherlands, known for great sailing opportunities and the Elfstedentocht.

3. A direct quote from the one and only Captain Kirk in the science fiction television series Star Trek.

4. Minority Report is a 2002 science fiction movie directed by Steven Spielberg, loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story of the same name. Minority Report is set in Washington, D.C. in 2054, where a special police department named “Precrime” apprehends criminals based on foreknowledge provided to them by three psychics termed “precogs”. Precrime stops violent crimes before they actually happen by using the visions of the three precogs, mutated humans with precognition abilities. The precogs’ visions, caused by echoes of violent events, explicitly give the name of the victim, the perpetrator, and the date and time of the crime, but other details must be studied by analyzing the precogs’ visions.

“Last night I took out your Log of Interesting Thoughts, just in case, because I think I can use it for Chapter 3 of our sequel to Wakin’ Wonderland,” said Marée from his boat as he tried to avoid an overgrown mangrove that stretched out to the middle of the Amazon river. “Remember, in the beginning of our first book, we also referred to an article about John Nash1? That’s why I thought it was quite fun to read your thoughts, decades later, on his suggestion from 2008 to re-introduce a standard unit for money. Just like way back when, when the watt was the unit for power and the second was the unit for time. Maybe it would be an interesting starting point to link our Thought Log about sustainability to his original suggestion. And yes, I know that he didn’t know back then that we wouldn’t be using gold but rather Footprint Equivalents as a unit. Though instinctively he got it right!” “No problem, let’s just see whether we can weave that into a nice introduction”, answered Melissen from Greenland. He’s there on a city trip for a few days. It can’t be beaten as a best place to get inspiration to write a chapter on sustainability - then and now. “I’ll get Drion over here too, as I see he’s available. By the way, funny that he’s also out on a boat; in Friesland2 of course. Some things never change. Could you switch on the brain scanning module?” “Sure”, answered Marée, while, unable to resist the temptation, quickly sending Drion a hologram of a piranha jumping out of the Frisian waters. Always a blast!

“Beam me up, Scotty”3
Please do not be alarmed: you have not inadvertently landed in the middle of a science fiction novel. However, even though the main character is played by Tom Cruise, we cannot promise that we will blow off the movie “Minority Report”4 as utter nonsense. Does that mean that we believe that in the not too distant future the police and the public prosecutor will be replaced by mutated humans with precognition abilities? No. Not really. However, what we absolutely do believe in are several of the technological gadgets and new ways of communication that this


movie has served up by virtue of an amazing array of special effects. Computer interfaces based on holograms and narrow casting as a key concept in the advertising world are definitely not to be characterized as illusions, they actually already exist. With help from a little trip through the amazing world of YouTube, you, as well, can conjure up countless examples on your screen. While you’re at it, you will probably also encounter 3D desktops, perceptive pixels and many more interesting developments. A recent landmark development in this field was the stunt by CNN who, while covering the US presidential election 2009, beamed up one of their reporters to the CNN Election Center as a hologram. As someone stated on the Yahoo! website, it was a scene reminiscent of Carrie Fisher’s “ObiWan, you’re my only hope” hologram from Star Wars5. However, most of all it was an amazing bit of technology that clearly showed us that communication via holograms is no longer an illusion existing solely in Hollywood’s dream factory. In this case, US TODAY tells us, we are talking about a ‘bit of technology’ consisting of 44 cameras and 20 computers at the remote location to capture 360-degree imaging data of the person that is beamed to the studio. It is this type of technological development that will play an important role in this book. But before we go deeper into this matter, it is about time we introduced ourselves.

5. A true Trekkie will probably hate us for saying this, but Star Wars represents a series of highly successful movies in the science fiction genre.

6. E.T. is the 1982 science fiction movie that surpassed Star Wars as the biggest blockbuster to that point and that included one of the most famous movie quotes ever: “E.T. phone home.” Be honest, you cried too, didn’t you? 7. However, his simulated real life radio news cast War of the Worlds that aired in 1938 inspired us to always be open to new forms of media.

8. Clark Gable’s famous last line in Gone with the Wind was elected most famous quote of all time by the American Film Institute in 2005. In a book larded with movie quotes, a variation on this line simply needed to be in there…

The authors
The authors of this book: Who are they and, more importantly, what do they want? Are you being confronted with authors who really believe that before you know it, E.T.6 will be standing before us wanting to borrow our iPhone to phone home? Are we worried sick that HG Wells7 will be right and that an invasion of extraterrestrial beings is just a matter of time? Can’t we resist scoffing at Tom Cruise while merrily continuing to refer to movies featuring our hero? Let us in all honesty say: We cannot answer all of the above questions with a firm ‘no’. Whichever question or questions those are, we will leave up to you, because frankly, my dear, we don’t give a damn…8



9. Even though this quote is from the 1933 (!) movie Dinner at Eight, it is as relevant now as it was then.

This book is written by Bernard Drion, hampered by too much experience, Geoff Marée, struggling with too many ideas, and Frans Melissen, marked by too little patience. All three of us are employed by the NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. In addition, Drion is co-owner of a consultancy firm. He is the one who is continually asking the others: What’s in it for managers in practical situations? Marée, originally a designer, keeps us on our toes; he is the kind of guy who would have a question for every answer. Melissen, with a background in engineering and management sciences, focuses on the link between human behavior and sustainability, and operates as the book’s scientific conscience.

10. The 1998 movie The Truman Show tells a story that we all recognize. What if you are actually the center of the universe and everything around you is there for your benefit, to test your reactions, to see how you deal with it? We have all had similar thoughts, similar dreams.

“I was reading a book the other day.” “Reading a book!” “Yes. It’s all about civilization or something, a nutty kind of a book. Do you know that the guy said that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?” “Oh, my dear, that’s something you need never worry about.”9 Throughout this book, we would like you to join us in our train of thoughts. Just like you, we see a world around us which is rapidly changing, whether it is in society, in school, in science, in healthcare, or in the office environment. Based on our experiences, creative inspiration, stubborn thoughts and imperfections, we are convinced that the images we sketched at the beginning of this introduction are neither far-fetched nor ridiculous. Of course we cannot claim to know that the world in 2029 will look exactly like the one we portrayed in this scene. We are, by no means, the directors of your “Truman Show”10. Nevertheless, we dare claim that our fantasies include several elements that denote developments which we (we, the authors and you, the reader) can actually already discern: New and innovative technical possibilities, a shifting boundary between work and private life and all sorts of behavior of humanity as a collective that will have an enormous influence on our natural environment. These are also developments that will drastically


change the way a manager will and should fulfil his role. To illustrate the above, let us take an example from daily life in another field. Just think of the impact digital photography has had on the work of photographers. Not so long ago, a photographer could only judge the success of a photo shoot upon returning to the seclusion provided by the four walls of his darkroom. The quality of the photographer was predominantly determined by his ability to reach optimal results by pressing the release at exactly the right moment, after precisely adjusting the lighting and the zoom. And these decisions needed to take into account the limitations of a now almost pre-historic product - the film roll. And then no silly mistakes please, like open doors and light switches in the darkroom, because otherwise all will be lost. Nowadays, it’s a different story. Even an amateur photographer will have a digital camera with seemingly endless memory capacity and the speed needed for shooting the next photo within a split second. It is no longer a matter of the art of capturing a moment on camera, but rather making the right choices from the superabundance of captured moments. When do you let the camera do the work and when do you step in? Which pictures do you keep and how can you perfect them using software? More and more, photography is evolving into the art of making choices from and recognizing potential in an enormous amount of raw material. In all of our worlds, standard procedures are changing. Crisis deliberations in the board room are what we see in movies; the real key decisions are discussed on the golf course between holes 11 and 17. Waiting for a crucial phone call is no longer bound to a specific spot. Do we get together in person or do we organize a conference call, with or without a webcam? The determining moment of the day no longer depends on the opening hours of the stock markets, but on the answer to a new question: which market? Job-hopping is in and hierarchies are out. What used to be normal is now strange; what was once unheard of is normal today. You won’t catch us predicting precisely what the role of a manager will be in 20 years and all it will entail. Nevertheless, together, we can map out a number of developments that we are certain to see in one shape or form in the world of tomorrow. Just like you, we are wondering about the effect they will have on our role and yours (as managers) - and that is precisely the scope of this book. Together with you, we would like to search for leads and reference points for operating and performing successfully in this wondrous world.



“I thought I told you not to bother me at the office, honey.”11
11. Given the fact that the title of the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and released in 2005, has been copied from the 1941 movie by Alfred Hitchcock, we feel using this movie as the central theme in this chapter is in line with the central theme of this book.

Chapter 1

We hope that we have convinced you by now that this book really isn’t a science fiction novel. Yes, in this book we will be looking into the future, however, not at just any scenario we can come up with, but rather a scenario that would be a logical continuation of current challenges and developments. In fact, current challenges and developments constitute the theme of this chapter. We will be focusing exclusively on today’s world, our day-to-day reality. More specifically, the central theme of the upcoming pages is our role as managers in today’s working environment. We will do this by means of realistic, albeit fictitious, examples. In chapter 7, we will repeat this exercise, but then for the day-to-day challenges of tomorrow or, more specifically, the year 2029. Our host in this chapter is Mr Smith, a self-proclaimed Brad Pitt look-alike, and manager at an archetypal multinational enterprise within the commercial services sector. Mrs Smith will lead the way in chapter 7. Here, we will explore the issues and challenges with which many of you are confronted on a daily basis. These issues and challenges make up the palette of subjects and points of attention that your average manager, insofar as he exists, is working on in today’s business world. The example that will be described, Mr. Smith’s situation, is about a manager in a Western country at a rather large commercial enterprise with branches in several countries. Mr Smith works at headquarters, where some two thousand people are employed, almost all in office positions. So far, Mr Smith has had a successful career, which has brought him to a position in the upper echelons of the company. Not totally at the top, at least - not yet, but still... Throughout this example, we will explore not only the challenges confronting managers today, but also how and in which directions these challenges will evolve. You will probably not recognize all of the concrete situations reviewed, but you will most likely recognize all of the relevant generic developments that lie at the root of them. So much for the introduction, it’s high time we took a look at Mr Smith’s working environment…



A typical day at the office
“I realise you witnessed the Mrs. and I working through a few domestic issues. That’s regrettable but don’t take that to be a sign of weakness; that would be a mistake on your part.”12 It is not a coincidence that we start Mr Smith’s day with this reference. In fact, the theme that is sketched in this quote is a dilemma that forms an important issue in Mr Smith’s working day, as we will see below. Monday begins with the weekly management meeting. Afterwards, there is time to go through last week’s unopened emails and there are also four appointments scheduled throughout the rest of the day. Firstly, two performance appraisals with employees in Mr Smith’s department, then a meeting with the IT department and lastly, a conference call with the Bangalore office. At the management meeting, all heads of departments are present. Today’s agenda includes a few oft repeating issues, such as budgets and projects in progress. One subject, however, is appearing for the first time: as management, how do we feel about employees working from home? This question is on the agenda because, lately, more and more employees have been requesting laptops instead of desktops. The reason given by those employees is that it makes working from home easier. Let us first relate a bit of the discussion that took place during the meeting: Mr Smith: “I’m actually all for it. If you give your people laptops, they will more likely see them as their own computers. I believe this will make them be more careful than they are with the desktops, most certainly now that we don’t have designated work stations anymore. Just imagine how much we could save on IT costs associated with perpetually reinstalling desktops after people have carelessly
12. Yep, from that movie again, the 2005 one that is.


13. Gloria Swanson, as Norma Desmond, refers to the good ol’ days in Sunset Boulevard (1950).


downloaded yet another program from the Internet. If everyone had their own laptop, they would be dependant on it working properly. On top of that, once it becomes ‘your laptop’, you’ll think twice before readjusting the settings and downloading just anything.” Mrs Jones: “That could be, but what if they are working on something and the laptop starts acting up? Then they can’t just move to another one!” It is clear that our host, Mr Smith, initially suggests that they have a stake in providing employees with laptops. As a first argument, we see him referring to possible savings. We can actually agree with Mr Smith, because there would be less maintenance, as well as other costs to be saved, such as lower electricity bills (a laptop uses less electricity than a desktop with a separate screen) and lower cleaning costs (laptops get taken home, so computers and especially those horrible keyboards do not need to be cleaned and desks would be emptier, thus easier to clean). Moreover, providing laptops would make it both possible and attractive for employees to work at home and, consequently, they would not need to be financially compensated for travelling to and from work. Even though Mr Smith and Mrs Jones have a thing going on, and despite all of Mr Smith’s reasonable arguments, it is apparent that they don’t quite see eye to eye on this one. Mrs Jones turns out to be, on a professional level, not the progressive sort and immediately raises one of the common objections to everyone having their own laptop and, for that matter, even their own computer full stop. Because if it ain’t working, work stops!

“We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces!”13
Mr Smith: “Yeah, well, that’s true. But still, we could have a few reserve computers and if anyone does work at home - most people, of course, have their own computer at home - so they could work on those if their laptop starts acting up, couldn’t they?”



Mrs Jones: “Please, let’s not go there, because then we’ll start getting requests for the IT department to install home computers in order to optimize working from home. No, to me that’s putting the cart before the horse. Let’s concentrate for now on whether or not we should do laptops. And more importantly, do we even want people to work from home? Work is work and play is play, isn’t it?” Unfortunately for Mrs Jones, by making Mr Smith blush at her remark, she not only emphasizes her statement, but simultaneously questions it. Before we allow Smith & Jones to continue this discussion, it would be wise to give pause for the following points. Imagine that you, as an organization, let employees work from home. How far should you go to facilitate this? Of course you could provide laptops ‘from the company’, but what do you do if you are then confronted by a request for the IT department to assist in installing the laptop. Every employee has his own computer and a specific type of wireless network at home, connected to a specific provider. Is it the employer’s responsibility to set up the laptop or is it the responsibility of the employee who chooses to work from home? Do you really want the employee to mess with the settings? Or is a consequence of the choice to work from home that the employee has to provide his own laptop? And may these employees, who use their own laptops for work, use the services provided by the IT department? Or is it that you as an employer, who allows and even encourages working from home, bears the responsibility, both technically and financially, for a properly functioning wireless network in your employees’ homes? And imagine that you do take on that responsibility: Can you then dictate how your employees use this laptop and network in their own time? Would gaming be acceptable in their own homes on company laptops if employees were paying for the network themselves? Maybe we could ask our employees to dress their avatar in a t-shirt with the company logo; free advertising is always welcome and exposure via online games is, nowadays, much bigger than via an ad in the paper. But then only in games that are not too violent. And that particular employee needs to be good at it too! And play by the rules of course… It’s not for nothing that we’ve paid so much attention to corporate governance in recent years. An employee displaying our logo, while playing Kill Zone 2 with cheats, using the company laptop, might not be the kind of publicity we are looking for…



14. A very interesting example of developments in this field is described in the book The 4-hour workweek (2007) by Timothy Ferriss, who refers to the real life example of an employee at HP that decided to regularly travel to China and work from there without informing his supervisor and, more importantly and remarkably, without the supervisor noticing it.

We see a great number of relevant questions arise, some of a technical, but mostly, of a non-technical nature that are connected to a seemingly pretty banal discussion on laptops yes or no, do or don’t. Before we elaborate on this, let’s go back to the management meeting, because the crucial question is still on the table: Do we, as management, really want our employees to work from home? Mr Smith: “Working from home isn’t a problem, is it? What’s wrong with that?” Mrs Jones: “Well, I honestly wonder if everyone can handle the responsibility of working from home. Before you know it, work will be synonymous with ‘picking up the kids’, ‘finding inspiration’ and ‘quality time with the one you love’.” By consciously concentrating on the importance of the discussion, Mr Smith barely manages to prevent himself from turning red again. Mrs Jones: “Just think about it: Is working from home really in the interest of our organization?” At this point, Mr Doe, head of the HRM department, feels obliged to join in the conversation, especially now that we have arrived at a discussion of the relationship between the organization and its employees. Mr Doe: “Good point there, Mrs Jones, because let’s be honest: In general, we have some very good people working for us, no doubt about it. But whether they are all so self-disciplined as to actually sit at their laptops at home for 8 hours a day….” Mr Smith: “Yes, but hold on John, 8 hours at their laptops? Who said that that was the idea? I seriously hope that it’s all about results and not about getting people to be ‘good’ for 8 hours? We aren’t living in the days of time clocks any more, are we?”14 The last question brings us to an issue crucial to every organization: What do we actually expect from our employees? And the answer is, of course, inextricably linked to our previous question: What can employees expect from the organization? This might be the perfect time to address these questions.



What do you expect?
[about the new curtains Jane bought] Jane: “If you don’t like them we can take them back.” John: “All right, I don’t like them.” Jane: “You’ll get used to them.”15 Not so very long ago, it was normal that employees were expected to arrive punctually every day, take their place at their allotted desks, and leave late in the afternoon at a specified time. The mutual expectations were clear; the time clock was still generally accepted. And let’s face it, in many cases there was no other choice. An archive contained mostly paper, video conferencing was barely out of the egg and cell phones were an exception, and then only for show-offs. Your physical presence, as a condition of your being able to do your work, was a generally accepted fact of (working) life. Nowadays, there is email and we can safely access documents on the company server from home. Moreover, these are things that are no longer considered progressive or modern; these are things that any self-respecting organization will have taken care of. We’ve already gone way beyond that. In some companies, holding meetings in which participants who cannot be present can join in the discussion via holograms is already routine. The crucial question is not whether working from home is technically feasible; of course it is. The question which you and Mr Smith need to find an answer to is: Do we want this? It’s not only about working from home but also about all sorts of issues between employer and employee, between superior and subordinate, issues in which they have all kinds of expectations of each other. To illustrate this, here are a few fragments from the performance appraisals that Mr Smith has later in the day with two of his employees: fragment 1 Employee: “I would like to work three days instead of five, because my wife and I think it is important to share the responsibility of raising our children.”
15. By now, you are probably getting the picture that Mr & Mrs Smith have a somewhat complicated relationship, both in the movie and in this book.


16. In the hit series The Stepford Wives, this is how Roger Bannister counters Bobbie Markowitz’ statement that we all need creative chaos. Actually, we think they are both wrong and that they are both right. Chaos and boundaries both contradict each other and need each other in order to exist.


fragment 2 Mr Smith: “Could you tell me if there is anything that you miss in your work to which you would like to pay more attention?” Employee: “Now that you ask: Yes, there is one thing that I would like to pursue, also on behalf of our organization… How green are we here, actually? I know that that is an issue I would very much like to throw myself into!” fragment 3 Employee: “Another thing, just recently I was approached to do a very interesting project having to do with exactly this. I would really like to take this opportunity…” Mr Smith: “That’s great, who asked you? Mrs Jones?” Employee: “Well, frankly, it’s a project launched by The Company Next Door…” Mr Smith: “Our competitor? Were you planning on resigning?” Employee: “No, absolutely not. I really enjoy working here. And I want to stay here for a good while, for sure. But it is also an opportunity that I don’t want to miss out on, because it’s right up my ally. And actually… well, frankly, I was wondering if it would be a huge problem if I did this alongside my work here. We could make sound agreements, couldn’t we? And, of course, I would make sure that it will not interfere with my work here…”

“My shrink says I need boundaries.”16
From these fragments, it seems clear that, for someone like Mr Smith, what employers and employees expect from each other entails much more than the issue of working from home. These days, managers have to deal with changes in domestic roles of both themselves and their employees. More and more of their independent and pro-active employees are involved in important issues in today’s society. The number of part time workers is increasing all the time and, these days, one cannot take for granted that employees are willing to commit to long-term contacts, let alone contracts that stipulate exclusivity. The question of whether to allow working from home is, therefore, unavoidably connected to all sorts of trends and developments in our



society, not only regarding technical matters, but also when it comes to the distinction between professional and private life. At the very least it is not as clear as it was before, but one could even argue that this distinction will disappear altogether. From you as a manager, much more is expected than putting together the vacation planning by means of some Excel sheet magic. And management by walking around will be difficult if this actually means that you have to travel to your employees’ homes for coffee, just because that is where they are working at that particular moment. The challenge that you as a manager will face is that creating a winning team, an organization that works effectively towards a specific goal, is still as relevant as ever. However, the circumstances in which you have to tackle this challenge have changed and will continue to do so, but ever faster and more dramatically. Creating a winning team, while employees are working outside the building and are even working simultaneously for the competitor, is no child’s play, no matter how fantastic the technical assistance you can get is. Hierarchy and top-down, one-way communication are quickly becoming things of the past. Life time employment barely exists today, job hopping is in. New generations of employees join an organization, usually temporarily, because there are, at that moment, fun and interesting things going on that excite them as a professional, and as a person for that matter. As a preview of things that we will discuss later, we, as authors, dare say that Mr Smith need not be shocked by the following fragment which would be a realistic account of a performance appraisal in the not too distant future: Mr Smith: “This is what I suggest you focus on for the next few months…” Employee: “Oh, alright! Alright! But I don’t think much of your hospitality!”17 By this we do not mean to suggest that Mr Smith and you turn into a “Mary Freaking Poppins”18 to accommodate the fickle cries of today’s masses. Nevertheless, you are probably already aware of the importance of self development and self realization in today’s society and your employees are certainly no exception. Today’s successful organizations realize that the extent to which you can captivate your

17. From the hit series Doctor Who (1963) that portrays a world in which teleportation is as easy and normal as stepping into a telephone booth.

18. As expressed so eloquently by Dr Miranda Bailey in Grey’s Anatomy (2005).


19. Actually, those items clearly still cause headaches in many organizations, even today, but the good news is that the solution is out there. It should not be too difficult and it should not take too long to find it. In principle, that is…


employees and gain their commitment plays an important role in creating a winning team. The happiness of your employees is just as much a determining factor for realizing effectiveness as is using the right software. People management is taking on a new meaning, new interpretation, especially now that more and more organizations are realizing that people are the deciding factor of production. Almost any one can do automation and computerization19; what will distinguish your company is the way you manage to use the knowledge and the experience of your employees. Maslow is your friend; let his tenets guide you in your role as a manager. However, later in this book we will see that the needs of generation X, Y and beyond will force you to engage in new, exciting and probably virtual relations with his descendents. Maslow and you will confer regularly and the recurring theme of your get-togethers will be to muse on the days when a bit of self actualization still was tops. And ‘factor of production’ was still a phrase that didn’t make you sound silly. The good ol’ days! As promised, we will now return to today’s situation, to the current challenges: Smart people management is clearly one of the challenges for both you and Mr Smith. It is, however, certainly not the only challenge, as we see in the following fragment from Mr Smith’s discussion with the IT department.

Boundaries are fading
IT guy: “But Mr Smith, we can’t just hand out log-in codes to people that don’t work here!” Mr Smith: “But we are working on the same project, Bob. How can we achieve anything resembling co-production if we can’t actually see what the other is doing?” IT guy: “Yes, of course, I understand that, but … well, what if they also take a look at other stuff on our intranet? Things they are not supposed to see?” Mr Smith: “Can’t you give them limited access then? Just for things relevant to this project?” IT guy: “In theory, yes, we could do that… Technically, it’s definitely feasible. But today it’s you for this specific project, tomorrow it’s



someone else for another project with another company involved and, before you know it, all of us are facilitating exemptions instead of streamlining our own business processes!” Mr Smith: “But projects like this are our business, Bob!” This dialogue probably doesn’t sound so strange to you. The days when it was ‘every man for himself’ out there on the market are behind us. Sony Ericsson is a major player in one of the biggest markets today: design, production and marketing of mobile phones. Two huge companies combine their forces in a joint venture to create a new strong player in an existing market. In this case, we’re talking about two companies that, based on their backgrounds - one a consumer electronics giant, the other a leading telecommunications company came to the conclusion that co-operation was actually a logical, not to say highly profitable, step. A well-known example of co-operation between companies or, better yet, co-creation by two companies, resulted in the Senseo. The Senseo is a coffee system developed by Dutch companies Philips and Douwe Egberts, a subsidiary of the Sara Lee Corporation. A consumer electronics company and a company that processes and trades in coffee, tea and tobacco; unusual bed partners, but it works! No wonder, then, that Philips together with the Belgian brewer InBev have gone in for a second, seemingly incompatible, joint venture. The result is called Perfect Draft, a beer tapping system for home users. By the way, Philips did this only after pulling out of a similar project with Heineken, the Netherlands’ biggest brewery. Subsequently, after Heineken collaborated with Krups to develop and introduce the successful Beertender, it was clear to Philips that they could no longer just stick to coffee. New forms of collaboration are not only to be found among multinationals. Companies, organizations, groups of people and individuals all around us are collaborating and sharing knowledge more than ever before and in various new ways. The self-evident of yesterday – work is what you do for your boss, at home you relax and spend time with family and friends – no longer exists. Obviously, this also applies to the authors of this book. We have already told you about our main jobs. However, as with many of you, our


20. Jeff Bridges as Lightfoot, not only coining the title of the movie Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), but also being the first person we know of to brand a collaboration in this way.


situation is a bit more complicated. Drion works as a consultant, but is also a professor. Marée also works at two other universities, while Melissen is involved in various projects outside the educational institute. The three of them have written this book. Partly during working hours and partly in their spare time, partly at the office and partly at Drion’s place, while googling and emailing via Drion’s wireless network connected to the server of the institute, looking out over the fields of the surrounding Belgian farms. If Mr Smith was our boss, we wouldn’t want to be in his shoes… Mr Smith, by the way, we almost forgot him, has one last appointment in his diary for today: The conference call with the Bangalore office.

“Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. That sounds like something.”20
In preparation for the conference call, Mr Smith has a short meeting with his colleague, Mr Rogers, who is responsible for corporate branding. They have decided to meet in the company restaurant, partly because of the good coffee, but also because of the fact that this, strangely enough, is the quietest spot in the whole building for most parts of the day. Mr Smith plans to make a point of this during the next management meeting; a company restaurant clearly is a facility needed for an organization of this size, but all this space and staff need to be better utilized than is currently the case. While enjoying the quiet and the caffeine, Mr Rogers and Mr Smith once again carefully go through the input for the discussion with their partner in India, World Wide Service Desks: Mr Rogers: “I still think these thoughts are rather progressive, John, a separate combi-brand just for a service desk.” Mr Smith: “Yes, I know, but that’s exactly why we have discussed this so thoroughly, together with our friends in Bangalore. I think it really is a great opportunity; we combine our good name with that of WWSD and the combination represents precisely what it is all about; the perfect



way to contact us for optimal service of our products, handled by the leading company in its field.” Mr Rogers: “Sure, the idea behind it is ingenious, but will it also work in practice and more importantly: Will our Indian friends dare go for it?” Well, it’s obvious what the conversation with WWSD will be about: Do both parties dare take the next step in their, till now, very successful relationship? WWSD has handled the service desk for over a year now for customers of Mr Smith’s organization and with great success. WWSD has been nominated top performer in its market for a few years running and outsourcing the service desk to WWSD has had a very positive impact on Mr Smith’s organization up till now. The amount of complaints is as low as it has ever been and the first surveys show an increase in ratings by the customers of the service provided by Mr Smith’s organization. Meanwhile, this has led to the idea of having the collaboration take expression in how the branch in Bangalore, totally manned and run by WWSD, approach the costumers who contact them. Mr Smith and Mr Rogers discuss this idea in short during the conference call that later takes place with the representatives of WWSD: Mr Smith: “Vijay, to refer back to what we talked about last time, what we are suggesting is, of course, new and needs getting used to, but is actually also incredibly logical. We supply the top products and you the top service. Now, let’s not only channel our energies into implementation, but also into the way and manner in which we communicate about our collaboration to the outside world. Luckily, the time has passed when customers found it strange that the service desk was handled by an external company in a different location, and this past year has proven that we were right. We are very satisfied with the way you operate; you have said that you are satisfied with us and our customers are profiting from it. It’s time to move forward!” Mr Rogers: “Mr Singh, if I may add something… we are convinced that such a collaboration is in both our interests. Our customers are ready for this, but most of all, we will get the customers of our competitors thinking. We are sending a clear and transparent message that we, the management, acknowledge the phrase “stick to your core business” not only in word but also in action. For our customers, only the best service! And as for your organization, you will reap the benefits as well…” Mr Singh: “Mr Rogers and Mr Smith, we thank you for the confidence


21. Actually, John (Mr. Smith in Mr. & Mrs. Smith) is quite right, we will get back to just about all the issues brought up in this chapter later in this book.


you show in our services by making this suggestion. Again, on behalf of WWSD I would like to say that we will very seriously consider your suggestion.” Well, this probably sounds familiar, doesn’t it? If your conversation partner says that he will weigh your suggestion seriously, it sure sounds positive, but actually you know nothing. And the fact that your business partner is from another country, another culture, only adds to the uncertainty. In this case, it probably means that they don’t know yet and that Mr Smith must have patience. It can, however, also mean that they do already know, but feel uncomfortable saying “no”. We won’t burden you here with an elaborate discussion on what certain expressions in certain countries in certain contexts could possibly mean. We all know that doing business across borders can be rather complex. However, this is no longer because of the physical distance. In fact, it is because technology allows us to communicate directly and in real time with people from all over the world, which makes all sorts of new collaborations with all sorts of new partners possible.

“We’ll talk about this later.”21
It is time to bid Mr Smith farewell for the time being. We may see him again in chapter 7, where Mrs Smith will allow us the pleasure of taking a peek at her own management challenges. Mr Smith has his hands full at the moment as a manager in this rather typical modern day organization, without us butting in all the time. And the collaboration with WWSD will not be the only thing giving him headaches. An organization such as his will have to deal with all sorts of new forms of competition and collaboration, as far as these two can be differentiated nowadays. Alliances, co-productions, joint ventures and outsourcing are what it’s all about today. And all of this is taking place in a market that is no longer shaped by national borders and physical distance. A market with all sorts of new and quickly developing challenges related to fields such as technology, sustainability, and many more. And then the economy goes and acts like a roller coaster with heat deformed rails!



As if this wasn’t enough of a challenge, people like Mr Smith also have to contend with the blurring distinction between the professional and private lives of their employees. Employees who are no longer satisfied with security and salary alone; employees who feel Maslow’s theory is ‘so yesterday’ and will not hesitate to add new layers to his pyramid. At the end of this enervating day, Mr Smith is about to call it a day just as he receives two text messages in a row: -Incoming text message from Mrs Jones“How about a drink?” -Incoming text message from Jane Smith“Took the curtains back after all; am curious if you like these better…” We’ll just leave Mr Smith to it…



“Oh, no, it’s only rabbits in there.”22
22. Within the context of the movie, Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005), Wallace is right, but we will probably stumble across a lot more than that in Wonderland. 23. Bill Clinton’s phrase, often used in his presidential campaign in 1992.

Chapter 2

Lewis Carroll wrote about Alice, who followed a white rabbit, who seemed to be in a great hurry. She jumped after the rabbit into a rabbit hole and ended up in an environment that was somewhat strange to her: Wonderland. And we invite you to join us in following Alice, to step into Wonderland as well. Step into Wonderland? In a management book? Yes indeed, because it represents our metaphor for the world in which tomorrow’s professional and private lives will take place. All of us are already running after the white rabbit so to speak; busy, busy, busy, while facing all kinds of new challenges. And now, we are on the verge of diving into the rabbit hole. The above pretty much reflects the authors’ thoughts on how to deal with developments we see today. We are, of course, not claiming to be able to predict the future. We do, however, want to take a closer look at all of those developments to analyze the circumstances in which private and professional lives will find themselves in years to come. That this new world will greatly deviate from what we have seen in the past 50 years is obvious. Let us now connect four spheres of influence to this strange Wonderland: economy, sustainability, technology, and people. Let us follow the rabbit!





“It’s the Economy, stupid”23
Several months after Barack Obama took oath, the American Senate agreed to the most radical economic recovery plan that the American government has ever developed. Still just a few days in office, he shepherded the plan through the Senate according to expectations and actually without very much difficulty. In his first speech to Congress, on 24 February 2009, he referred to the obstacles that the country still has to overcome. We quote him here: “But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before. The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond



our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities, in our fields and our factories, in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.” Did you notice that Barack Obama put the emphasis on imagination? We wholeheartedly agree with this message. At the same time we also see him react to the enormous pressure being put on him worldwide. Obama is aiming for a reconsideration of the many axioms in the areas of micro, meso and macro economy that until now were commonly accepted. It was his predecessor Bill Clinton, with his famous slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid!”, who proclaimed that economic progression would solve the problems left over from the governing period of George Bush Sr.. The challenge for Obama is a little bit more complicated than that. As leader of a country that has appointed itself advocate of the free market, the American Dream and a restrained government, he began with an unprecedented intervention of guaranteeing the capital of various unstable banks for more than 700 billion dollars. The economy is not what it used to be. Financing as a goal in itself is over. Value refers to more than that. Currently, we see a lot of publications coming out that analyze the current situation and put forward solutions for the future. Every day, almost every hour, a new theory or a new model is born. There has never been a time when so many people have so intensively and simultaneously reflected on the basics of our economy. In his book “Common Wealth, Economics for a Crowded Planet”, renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs calls for “a new financial architecture for sustainable development.” He describes the case for setting up global funds that are capable of dealing with global problems. In other words, worldwide financial systems and agreements that can react to the topicality and that encompass control mechanisms. Full credit to Sachs for actually adducing this even before the Financial Crisis and the resulting Economic Crisis hit us full force.



Money talks
Supermarkets are introducing cash registers that will only accept plastic money. The most important reason given in the press is security. The increasing risk of robbery in supermarkets has created a necessity to get rid of ‘real money’. In addition, the need to work with real money is progressively diminishing. Are the initiatives from the supermarkets a portent of the definitive disappearance of real money? Many Dutch people now pay for plane tickets via iDeal. It is the system that links you directly to your online banking application when you buy online. At this moment, it is only operational in the Netherlands, but we see comparable systems everywhere. Would eBay have been so big without PayPal? PayPal has become an indispensible link in interactions on the Internet; the link in the chain of buyers and sellers, a link in the chain of trust. Money is, here, synonymous with trust. But to what extent does that type of trust still apply to the banking business, the business that once had a monopoly on the position of linking pin? It is agreed worldwide that the manner in which financial institutes have speculated – embracing a cavalier attitude towards risk taking (with other peoples’ money) - has swept away ‘confidence’ in financial systems. We also see that TRUST agents stemming from iDeal, PayPal and maybe even Visa and American Express, will eat away at the portfolio of activities carried out by banks. Consequently, banks are facing yet another challenge. If confidence is one side of the coin, reward, we believe, is the other side. For the employee, the commitment to an organization has, to a great extent, always come from payment for delivered work. However, even when it comes to good old axioms like this, times are changing. Since the Dutch government has taken over a part of Fortis Bank due to the crisis, the Secretary of the Treasury, Wouter Bos, has promulgated that there will be a limit put on the salaries and bonuses of managers of banks who make an appeal to the safety fund that has been created by the government in support of new loans. While introducing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Obama has also set limits to the salaries of the managers of the relevant banks and companies. In various other countries, the exorbitant compensation and the lack of accountability from managers when things went bad have also led to heated debates. We see a fast-growing trend towards governmental



control with regard to salaries, and not just in the public sector either. How Keynesian can you get? Even here, it is ultimately about confidence, about trust, because how can the natural connection remain intact, if salaries are no longer proportional to the quality of the decisions that were made, the work that was done, the way responsibilities were fulfilled? But there’s more to it. The salary for many jobs is no longer the determining factor for satisfaction. This leads not only to the question of which other factors are important and how can you influence these, but also to the question of what does a salary mean to people, how has this come to be and how will this develop in the future. When AIG, American International Group, who had been given almost 200 billion dollars from the American government, decided in March 2009 to pay out approximately 218 million dollars in bonuses, it caused an angry Obama to practically froth at the mouth during an interview. Although not exactly unfamiliar with the benefits of a good profit, Donald Trump expressed himself quite unambiguously on the Larry King Show about what he thought of AIG’s policy. “…some of the people got their bonuses and already left. They took millions of dollars. The following day, they left. The reason for the bonus was to keep them in the company, supposedly. So they took the bonus and they left. I don’t think those people are going to be giving the bonuses back, Larry.”24 We believe the time is ripe to conclude that the power of financial compensation - to attract and retain employees - is fading. Of course, the current economic climate fudges this trend today. But later on we will see that, in the long run, money is no longer the deciding factor when it comes to gaining your employees’ commitment. And obviously, this will have far-reaching consequences for what the new role of money will be in our society.

24. We assume that Obama will not have been able to restrain from displaying a cynical grin while hearing this statement by Donald Trump in an interview by Larry King, the Larry King way, on Tuesday, 18 March 2009.



Coining the coin
The Financial Crisis has also brought the discussion about our global monetary system back to life. Nobel Prize winner John Forbes Nash is resuming the search for an alternative to our fiduciary monetary system in which the price of gold hasn’t been the norm for the value of money since the 1970s. With his ‘industrial consumption price index’, he is trying to restore confidence in money to the same level as in times prior to the crisis by linking it to specific goods, like silver and copper. In our eyes, it would be even better to link the system to a virtual, but substantial norm that is ultimately related to what earth can produce. Are we headed towards a ‘footprint-related’ monetary system? We can imagine the advantages of this. Already in 1991, the Dutch economists Roefie Hueting and Jan Tinbergen put forward their calculations of the Environmentally Sustainable National Income (eSNI) as an indicator of the production level that does not threaten living conditions for future generations. Stability, long term scenarios, sustainability, honesty, confidence and trust. Not at all insignificant reasons for re-assessing the value of our means of exchange, are they? And who knows, maybe with hindsight the Financial Crisis will prove to have been the perfect moment to do this thoroughly. Mind you though, countries like China will have something to say about that too. In the beginning of 2009, China owned the largest currency reserves in the world at a value of approximately 2,000 billion dollars, making it the largest owner of US dollars. Despite this, in March the governor of the central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan, launched an appeal to exchange the American dollar for a new reserve currency to be controlled by the International Monetary Fund. Zhou Xiaochuan suggested the dollar be exchanged for Special Drawing Rights (SDR) that the IMF introduced as a unit in 1969. Its value is based on a portfolio of key international currencies, consisting of the euro, Japanese yen, pound sterling, and U.S. dollar. The governor was seeking to secure his reserve, saying that it needed to be “anchored to a stable benchmark and issued according to a clear set of rules.” Since 1971, when the US government one-sidedly abandoned the fixed relationship between international currencies, hence bombarding the dollar as reserve currency unit irrevocably, the value of the SDR slipped



into the background. Reason enough to consider Zhou Xiaochuan’s comments, made just before the G20 top, remarkable. Even more remarkable: Timothy Geithner, the US Secretary of Treasury, was said to be “quite open” to his suggestion. The dollar promptly fell and stocks followed. It bounced back, only when he announced “the dollar remains the world’s dominant reserve currency. I think that’s likely to continue for a long time.” All in all, the developments are putting new responsibility on the IMF. This institute, with the approval of the world leaders, seems to be the perfect candidate to provide for the global funds asked for by Sachs.

New drivers
The grotesque movements on the stock market and in the economy in the last decade have thus given the majority of the parties reason to reconsider the current system. There are too many worries about the future to calmly carry on as before. How can it be that, globally, we still accept that recessions occur every few years? And crazier yet, how is it possible that, for 10 years, renowned institutes have trusted someone like Bernard L. Madoff, recommended by many for the title “biggest conman ever”, with their money, without anyone really paying attention to the signals that were already long known by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC? Approximately 4,800 parties invested 65 billion dollars and trusted the system. There seemed to be no process in place that could prevent Mr Madoff from paying his existing customers with money from new customers, making this method, which was perceived by the world as an official, earmarked, investment method, nothing more than a pyramid game that would only survive in an upward-spiraling bull market. The sharpest bear market since 1930 did not pass Madoff’s investors by. But by then it was too late. Based on the consequences of the financial crisis, we can conclude that the economy is truly global. You probably know the example from chaos theory: The wing beats of the butterfly cause a storm on the other side of the globe. In this same way, every economic activity has



consequences in the global economy. If someone in Chicago opens a bottle of cola, so to speak, a water-well in India will dry up. Hence our great wonder and concern about the insecure mortgage bonds and the exposure of Madoff. As far as we are concerned, everyone should raise their eyebrows at the lack of red flags in a situation where one person seems to have embezzled an amount bigger than the gross domestic product of more than half of the countries worldwide that participate in this global economy. With renewed intensity, governments worldwide are discussing possible regulatory systems that would prevent another financial debacle from occurring. You could compare this to the discussions after the crisis in the 1930s. In 1944, a significant financial agreement was reached in Bretton Woods. Could the outcome of the current situation be that we curb overheating and, hence, avert another crisis in the economy? Not by total government control as practiced by the former Soviet Union, not by the high-risk laissez-faire of recent capitalist vintage. Is the time ripe for smart, regulating discussions among nations worldwide? Is it time for neo-neo-Keynesianism? According to John Gray, emeritus professor of the London School of Economics, this is only possible in a very closed economy such as in China. Therefore, he does not believe that our hope will come true. What he sees is a merging of various economic models, also designed by countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China. In this scenario, the Anglo-Saxon system would not be put aside, but we expect that the developments would provide the system with a new, more realistic drive. A drive that would, at the very least, take stock of the total societal system. Just like Thaler and Sunstein describe in “Nudge” (2008), our human nature, and thus, also the current economy, calls for a form of libertarian paternalism. They point out again that the manner in which we make choices is predominantly dictated by emotions and considerations that cannot be qualified as rational. Good choices in systems, whether they are about making healthy menu choices in school cafeterias or about the constructive way in which the tax system is set up, call for a good Choice Architecture. Take an example from Thaler and Sunstein: If a door has a handle, you automatically pull it, even if you know that the door opens the other way. Even after several times, you will automatically react to the handle the same way, even though by now you know better. Just like



in the case of the door, in everyday life, including economic choices, you will often react automatically to choice signals of systems. With this knowledge, economies could also be designed to improve the quality of the choices people make. Later, we will discuss the so-called Social Dilemma and, also there, Choice Architecture principles should be able to help us.

25. Ito stated this in a speech at the DLD (Digital, Life, Design) Conference in Munich, January 2009. We hope he values us quoting him here.

26. They co-created this phenomenon by means of a series of articles and their book The Future of Competition (2004).

Where’s the value?
The most important question when setting up the economy, in our eyes, is about how to perceive value. We see that interaction itself becomes the focus of economic activities. Already in 1999 in their book “The Experience Economy”, the American authors Pine II and Gilmore established that experience would be the next rung of the ladder in the development of economic value. Not the service itself, but how the service is experienced will be the determining factor for the value that we attach to it. Experience is from within and comes not only via the supplier of the service but just as much via the party that is undergoing the experience. That is why the interaction provides the means for measuring the yield for the various participants and can then be considered added value. Joi Ito, CEO/president of Creative Commons, states that the focus of parties that exploit new media needs to shift from ‘consumption’ to ‘interaction, participation and expression’. He gives the example of the users of weblog software: The one who generates content, the one who keeps the blog up to date, is the one who pays. The opportunities for self expression via the blog seem to be valuable. According to Joi Ito: “..rewarding, because you get a connection.”25 For this reason he talks about the ‘Share Economy’. In emphasizing interaction and participation, the term ‘producer’ blurs. In order to be able to describe the economic activity that develops from this, Prahalad and Ramaswamy26 used the term ‘co-creation’. In so-called value networks that originate from co-creation and sharing, the scales can be balanced from time to time, the difference between input and output can be measured and only as the final compensation does money need to change hands. Value is, thus, dependent on interpretation instead of congruent with scarcity. In co-creating systems



27. Charles Leadbeater claims that We Think (2008) was actually written by him AND 257 other people, thus referring to the power of We Think that helped him write it.

it is possible to measure the value of your company against, say, market shares. As previously described, a new valuation system will be needed. In our opinion, the annual balance sheet of an organization in 2029 will deviate from what we have been used to. In the following chapter we will take a closer look at these systems. Do we think it strange that this form of interaction greatly resembles, well, let’s say: systems of friendship? No, we don’t think it is strange and, moreover, we think that our social history has provided all of us with precisely the right qualities to enable us to apply this archetype from our private lives to the professional world. However, we will have to develop new ways to map out and quantify this relationship in economic terms. And then, it doesn’t seem impossible to us that as a result of this, bartering, which has been common practice in some cultures for centuries, will also be reintroduced. Before, it seemed that the term reciprocity was only used for gratefulness for a favor granted. In the future we might see it return as the natural drive that communities thrive on. The old system of Checks and balances, version 2.0, so to speak. Hence: Visa, PayPal, American Express and iDeal, you have your work cut out for you! Valuation in the economic system must therefore come closer to the things that we as individuals and as a social community find important in our new behavior. Economist and Professor of Economics at Harvard University, Martin L. Weitzman, is known for his bold statements about economic systems. He published his book “The Share Economy” in 1984 and was the first to use the term. He described how a new system of remuneration for employees of an organization would lead to the prevention of unemployment and the combination of inflation and stagnation which he called ‘stagflation’. Make the salary dependent on the performance of the organization, is his plea. What we recognize in this is the strong relationship between reward and the real value of the activity. Nowadays, the term Share Economy or Sharing Economy has become charged, more than ever, in light of the stories by Joi Ito and the statements of Charles Leadbeater in his book “We Think”27. In imitation of Descartes, he postulates the essential identity of these times: you are what you share. Weitzman has now extended his scope from the more stable salary system to the stability of the whole ecosystem in which the economy plays a part. He is striving to calculate the



economic impact of possible climate changes. While he neither has yet designed a model, the mere fact that he is still working on this matter stresses once more the shift in perspectives related to determining economic value.

28. Successful TV program, produced by the Dutch media producing company Endemol, that brings together people who love each other but somehow ended up separated from each other, either referring to distance or the state of the relationship. Its title is based on the hit song by The Beatles, 1967, written by John Lennon.

All you need is love28
We all know Donald Duck’s uncle: Scrooge McDuck. We also all know his favorite hobby: swimming in his great pile of money. He is, after all, the richest duck in the world. In the period in which his character was created in the stories of Carl Barks and Don Rosa, it was the perfect example of the character flaw that you needed to become rich: You had to love money, full stop, not what you could do with it. The developments described in this chapter suggest that, in Wonderland, other qualities are necessary in order to be successful. Whether our starting point is Weitzman’s definition or Ito’s and Leadbeater’s statements; the Share Economy calls for community building qualities. The Beatles already sang about it years ago. Reciprocity goes further than gratitude; it is a method of working together that releases the power of the creative masses. If following these new thoughts about our future economy is a lot for you to swallow, think of what Russel Crowe said in his role as Nash in the movie “A Beautiful Mind”: “I am an acquired taste”.


Sustainability: it’s not just our movie stars’ pet project…
Speaking of movies and our impeccable taste in that area - let’s turn our attention back to Hollywood. Sure, we cannot guarantee that the solution for the current economic crisis is going to come from there, but another main challenge facing us today has certainly filtered down to our heroes’ natural habitat. You don’t belong in Hollywood anymore



29. We have cited this text from Al Gore’s website on the climate crisis, a website dedicated to scientific evidence on which An Inconvenient Truth is based. It says there that the evidence is overwhelming and undeniable.

if you don’t at least drive around in a Prius. Movie stars and artists are falling over each other to get into the limelight and media by showing off their own very unique involvement in various problems of society and, in particular, sustainability. Does this mean that sustainability will be the successor to scientology as the creed for the ones who have honed themselves in creating seductive fiction and melodies? Certainly not. Sustainability is, and no one can refute this any longer, a very relevant topic for today’s society. CO2, climate changes and rising sea levels are terms that have gradually found their way into our vocabulary. Who doesn’t know either literally - or at least get the drift of - the following reasoning from Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”: “Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising.”29 Moreover, nowadays it is no longer controversial to contend that this quote, with maybe the exception of the final locution about rising temperatures, represents The Truth. Does that mean that everything Al says is true? No, that is not a given. Especially, the long term predictions presented in An Inconvenient Truth are controversial. There are many respectable scientists that claim that Al grossly exaggerates in his doomsday scenarios, but there are also respectable scientists who warn us that reality will actually be even more dramatic. Countries like Russia and Canada have, to be on the safe side, already begun to claim parts of the North Pole, since preserving this as an open sea route no longer seems to be a future scenario. Possible oil reserves have probably also contributed to these ambitions. No matter how you look at it, it is clear that we, mankind, have incurred a whole lot of uncertainties and, very possibly, a whole lot of misery. How much misery exactly, remains unanswered to a large extent.



“They never knew what hit them and now they’re on the road to nowhere.”30
What do we know? And more importantly, what does that mean? The answers to these questions are what thousands of scientists and politicians all over the world are racking their brains over. However, it is already apparent that sooner or later, we will all have to deal with that thing we call sustainability. Also in our roles as managers, it’s a hot topic. And considering the predictions, how ever uncertain they may seem, this will remain so in the coming decades. Therefore, it might be useful to mention a few of these predictions. First of all, many would assert that there is an increase in global average temperature. In turn, this will lead to a rise in the sea level and to floods. That is only the beginning, and to illustrate this, we quote below one of the many websites dedicated to the problem of sustainability. The sinister title of this specific article on by Andrea Thompson and Ker Than is “Timeline: The Frightening Future of Earth”: “Scientists have even speculated that a slight increase in Earth’s rotation rate could result, along with other changes. Glaciers, already receding, will disappear. Epic floods will hit some areas while intense drought will strike others. Humans will face widespread water shortages. Famine and disease will increase. Earth’s landscape will transform radically, with a quarter of plants and animals at risk of extinction.” To confirm this message, just like every self respecting website or author would do with regard to this subject, we refer to the results of the IPCC: a scientific intergovernmental body set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). And the average reader of this sort of text would subsequently react, maybe just like you, like Dawn in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”: “It’s scary... but, weirdly, kind of familiar.”31
30. Barry B. Benson in Bee Movie (2007) has a sharp eye for clueless masses. 31. Sometimes, the smartest way to deal with fear is to face it, just like Dawn in the episode “Tabula Rasa”.



From familiar problems to new solutions?
The above gives a rough idea of the challenge of which our society is fully aware. None the less, it is also a challenge towards which many of us still display a bit of a ‘none-of-my-business’ attitude. This group is still in the majority, people who want to contribute but do not know exactly how to yet. Naturally, we are not so lazy that we cannot take the first easy steps, like separating garbage and sending emails with the disclaimer: “Please consider whether it is absolutely necessary to print this email, before you actually do so!” But to actually make a significant contribution in response to this challenge is, well, a whole other matter. Not in the least because every one of us, consciously or unconsciously, will, without a doubt, some time or another, have to deal with an important phenomenon in this context: the so-called Social Dilemma. A social dilemma is defined as the socially irrational outcome of an individual’s rational behavior. Within the context of sustainability, the social dilemma refers to the inclination of most people to go for short term personal gains at the expense of long term societal gains. Not that we are now accusing you of irrational behavior, certainly not. This wouldn’t just be a bit mean; it would also be a bit unfair. In the definition above, the emphasis, you see, is on the irrational outcome and not on irrational behavior. This is exactly the problem that the social dilemma refers to. Individuals, groups and organizations make choices all the time, about all kinds of things and in all kinds of situations. Many of these choices can, in essence, be called rational because they represent a choice that leads, well-reasoned, to the best outcome for that individual, group or organization. Please note; for that individual, for that group or for that organization! Hence, it is not always the best outcome for society as a whole, especially not in the long run and, unfortunately, often not from the perspective of sustainability. From that point of view, the choice probably should have been a different one, but again, at the cost of your personal situation, the maneuver space of your group, or the competitive position of your organization And of course you take that into consideration; that is your role, your responsibility, your job. Furthermore, it is important to determine why the social dilemma is still so prominent, or rather, can still be a stumbling block in the process towards a more sustainable society. No



deeper psychology or sociology needed here! The reason is simply just as obvious as it is worrying: we don’t notice the consequences of our actions so clearly that they take away or neutralize the social dilemma. In so many areas it is still allowed and even socially accepted that we make choices that are not sustainable ones. Nevertheless, the irrational outcome will manifest itself sooner or later, and on a scale that we, as individuals, group or organization, will not easily recognize as related to our choices at that moment. Does this mean that we, humanity, like a male black widow in heat, choose for a certain death to favor short term enjoyment? Or will rapidly developing technologies and the vigorousness of our leaders, both political and others, allow us the opportunity to undergo a libido reduction operation at the very last minute and quietly delight in our wise decision, while enjoying a glass of organic wine and a no-tar-nocarbon-monoxide cigarette? Allow us to use this biology lesson as a stepping stone to explore the answers to these questions.

A glimpse of the road ahead
It would be fair to say that Al Gore played an important role in putting the problem on the map; we are curious to see whether he will also play a part in taking the first steps towards finding a solution. At the time of writing this book, various news bulletins report that Al Gore is going to launch a sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. At the end of 2009, his new book is supposed to appear, called “Our Choice”. You will probably have read our book by the time Al has launched his and we are very curious whether his book will live up to what Gore himself said about it earlier: “Now that the need for urgent action is even clearer with the alarming new findings of the last three years, it is time for a comprehensive global plan that actually solves the climate crisis. Our Choice will answer that call.” Al is, however, not the only one who has thought about possible solutions. World-wide organizations such as the earlier mentioned



IPCC are playing an important role in this, but also private initiatives are abundant and possibly quite interesting. And still others are taking the lead to stimulate these initiatives. Take Richard Branson, to mention but one well-known example. He has launched the so-called Virgin Earth Challenge, which is described on the dedicated website as “a prize of $25m for whoever can demonstrate to the judges’ satisfaction a commercially viable design which results in the removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases so as to contribute materially to the stability of Earth’s climate.” Wow, if the winner can actually realize this objective that would be a big step in the right direction, wouldn’t it? So, we are – luckily - not standing still. There are a lot of people doing a lot of thinking and campaigning for concrete measures and plans to tackle the sustainability challenge. In fact, it is already not particularly difficult to find examples of concrete ideas. A quick search through our collectively created world of Wikipedia offers the following description of one of the ideas developed with a view to taking Mr Branson up on his challenge: “According to the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Global Research Technologies, LLC has demonstrated a prototype device capable of capturing 10 tons of carbon dioxide per square meter per year; a device of 10 meters by 10 meters would be able to capture 1,000 tons per year. It is estimated that 1 million such devices would be needed to capture the 1 billion tons per year stipulated in the conditions of the prize offered by Mr. Branson. The process uses proprietary sorbents to capture carbon dioxide molecules from freeflowing air and release those molecules as a pure stream of carbon dioxide for sequestration. According to GRT, one major advantage of this new technology is that it is not necessary to site the devices in immediate proximity to a major carbon source (such as a power station); for example, the CO2 emitted by traffic in Bangkok could be sequestered in Iceland by CO2 towers running on geothermal energy. Of course, the power source for the towers must not be a net CO2 producer, as this would partially offset the beneficial effects of the device.” Two other examples that we found are related to plastic trees and energy islands. It is claimed, we would ‘only’ need 52,971 of those islands to replace nuclear power entirely, which would occupy a total



area of 111 x 111 kilometers of the surface of Earth’s oceans. This idea is surprisingly similar to Al Gore’s suggestion to place an enormous 100x100 km sun panel in the Sahara desert. Supposedly, this could generate enough energy to supply the whole of the US and, what’s more, below the panel an atmosphere would be created that is perfect to produce food for about the whole of Africa. Once again, the only reaction to proposals like that would be to say “go for it”, wouldn’t it? Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut, is a personal hero of the authors because he has just recently launched the Ockels-Mill. The idea behind this giant mill is pretty straightforward: The mill actually consists of a huge amount of wings that are connected by a strong rope made into a loop. The end of the loop is connected to a dynamo on the ground. The idea is that the rope is so long that the top end of the loop can reach a height of about 10 kilometers, in order to be able to make use of the high winds up there. Lucid idea, although for those who are not in the know, it’s maybe a bit overconfident, a bit Dutch32 so to speak, but Ockels, not just a space traveler, but also a professor in Aerospace Sustainable Engineering and Technology at the Delft University of Technology, insists it is definitely feasible. And again, if it turns out it works, why not just do it? Well, it wouldn’t be at all difficult to use a major part of this chapter to laud comparable ideas and plans that have meanwhile been developed by the most diverse parties and for the most diverse reasons, from idealism to opportunism. And then we would have only mentioned alternative and clean ways of creating energy and/or preventing or absorbing CO2. Comparable accounts can be found on other issues related to the theme sustainability, for example, the contamination of ground and water, and ways of repairing and preventing this. Or of new ways for people and animals to learn to live together in such a manner that maintaining their surrounding ecosystems is no longer a utopia. In other words, all that falls under the term sustainable development, so clearly defined by Brundtland and her colleagues more than 20 years ago: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

32. One could say that linking “Dutch” to overconfident is actually more accurate than the widely accepted link between “Dutch” and being cheap. This is not to say that the latter is definitely not true.







What’s next: ecolomy, technocolomy, or something a bit more complex?
So we are making advancements when it comes to new ideas, new constructions and new technologies to tackle the economic and environmental crises. There are probably methods of operating in a sustainable manner that we just haven’t discovered yet and that would reduce the social dilemma to something we actually worried about in the dark ages; new ways of operating that all of us, in our newly defined economic system 2.0 would see, experience and share as indisputable added value. And yes, now you’re probably thinking: Sounds great, when will it happen, will it happen? Was Bush (George W.) right, after all, in his pronounced unlimited trust in the developments in technology as panacea? The answer is just as clear as it is worrying: “we never know what we’re going to find, do we?”33 What do we know then? As was mentioned earlier, in several areas of technology there are clear and unmistakable trends that we can safely say will not reverse in the foreseeable future. Michael Malone made it perfectly clear, in his book “The Future Arrived Yesterday: The Rise of the Protean Corporation and What It Means for You”, when he declared that in the field of Internet and communication technology the world is at this moment changing faster and will continue to change faster than anyone could have ever imagined. Virtual presence, the web 2.0 and, in time, without a doubt, also versions 3.0 and 4.0, a wireless World Wide Web for that matter, are developments that will not stop short tomorrow and are not isolated. They go hand in hand with a fast paced evolution in hardware and related technology. Obviously, all of this will play a crucial role in the way we operate in the future, in the world that we, here, call Wonderland. Maybe it won’t look exactly like Tom34 shows us in Minority Report. However, if you compare the predictions of prominent thinkers in this field with the outlines that are sketched in the movie, of the ways in which technology could play an increasingly omnipresent role in our lives, they are surprisingly logical and realistic.

33. You can either interpret this as a reference to the whole “weapons of mass destruction debate” preceding the invasion in Iraq or as a quote from the hit series Doctor Who (Episode 1 of The Underwater Menace, 1963). We’ll leave it up to you to decide…

34. But if anyone can make silly things look like science, it’s Tom Cruise, isn’t it?



Moreover, one way or another, all of us have a certain, rather uniform idea of what the future could look like based on the combination of all sorts of forms of information technology, Internet technology and GPS. In his book “Future Files”, Richard Watson tells us, in his discussion about five trends that will determine the future, that it wouldn’t surprise him if our shoes and clothes will be able to “talk” to our shoe polish and our washing machine, just to make sure that they’re not ruined in the process of being cleaned. There will not only be links between products in the future; already now, prototypes of computers that can ‘read’ the emotional state of the user by registering and interpreting facial expressions are available. This will go further than registering movements, which is already possible with the latest (beta) version of Xbox, and is actually not such a big step anymore. Navigation tools in our cars will be able to take this information into account when determining a route so that drivers that are in too aggressive or too emotional a state will not be led past ravines or along sharp curves. After a night of wild partying, the driver’s shaking hands would activate a selfcontained ‘safety net’ before driving off. In fact, Mr Watson takes all this a few steps further and tells us that computers will become more intelligent than people around 2030 and that we shouldn’t be surprised if self-replicating machines exist by then. If you combine this with the fact that User Generated Content on the Web already plays an increasingly prominent role in our collective knowledge bank, it will lead to interesting situations and issues. What, exactly, will the role of knowledge be in the future, if we increasingly make use of a democratic system, such as Wikipedia-like applications, as a way to determine what is true and what is not, while this knowledge is controlled by systems and machines that are smarter than people and that can reproduce themselves. We can only repeat our statement from the beginning of this chapter that the scenarios from movies like Minority Report are far less far-fetched and crazy than they probably seem to be at first glance and in our eyes today.


35. Even though we love Doctor Who, we have to be honest: Given the choice, we would pick a time machine that looks like the one Doc Brown created in Back to the Future (1985) over one that looks like a telephone booth.


Actually, according to many futurologists and authors, a number of features from such movies are hopelessly outdated. They claim that in reality, in 2020, 2030 and beyond, our ways of living and society will deviate even more dramatically than what we see in the movies. Such dramatic changes will certainly not be limited to the world of computers and information technology.

“Are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?”35
What other kinds of developments and new technologies lie ahead? Yeah well, asking the question isn’t so difficult, but answering it decidedly is. Besides, it was never the intention of our book to spoon feed you a list of the ‘top ten trends’ or ‘fifty ways your life will change’ for the umpteenth time. Many others, in various ways, have put time and energy into this and we would very much like to refer you to their work for detailed backgrounds and views. At the same time, besides the developments around economy and sustainability described earlier, technological developments have unmistakably radical consequences for you as a manager. We certainly do not want to avoid the exploration of this playing field because, one way or another, we will have to take these developments into account in our exploration of Wonderland and in your role there. Therefore, listed below is a short miscellany of interesting, exciting, strange and peculiar predictions that we have come across in the work of others from which we will base a few concluding observations. For this miscellany we are grateful to authors such as James Canton (The Extreme Future), Matthias Horx (How We Will Live) en Richard Watson (Future Files). In the world of transportation, a change will occur from personal means of transportation, owned by the driver, to thinking and organizing in networks. The car of the future will be characterized as a temporary accommodation for those who want to travel from point A to point B; the ‘driver’ won’t have to actually steer and this temporary accommodation will be used at his discretion as office, relaxation space or freshening-up area. Accidents in this network will only occur when there is a system



failure and, within the network, there will be meeting places for the travelers where the nodes are defined by that same network. That the physical locations for these nodes (that is, if physical locations aren’t considered totally out-dated by then) correspond with the locations of today’s office buildings would be, to put it mildly, pure coincidence. Where specific travelers of this network are, is of course at all times known, regardless of whether the travelling is done in guided vehicles or by means of teleportation. Teleportation? Yes, teleportation! Meetings where not everyone is physically present exist already; and of course there is still a huge step to go before it will be possible to physically be everywhere without travel time, but who would have thought 20 years ago that having a meeting with holograms on the other side of the table would be a reality? Is it certain that we, or our children, will experience such things as teleportation, time travel and alternate realities, as in mirror worlds or multiple universes? The only honest answer to this is: ‘No’. It is not certain. Is it unlikely or even out of the question? According to many, prominent research institutes among others, the only honest answer to this question is also a firm ‘No’. Before we end up in an impossible discussion about the probability of particular technical devices that are not yet feasible, it would probably be better to concentrate on trends and developments that are actually already perceivable or feasible, for example the latest state of affairs concerning stem cell research, biotechnology and neurotechnology. Combine these with just one of the magic words of today, nanotechnology, and we get a seemingly endless list of interventions and technologies that already exist or will be possible in the near future. The ability to replace or heal practically any affected or damaged, ill-functioning body part is forging ahead. Redefining the impact of diseases and the life expectancy of humans is imminent. The same goes for the manner in which we reproduce. Not that we want to price the ancient, enjoyable way of creating new life out of the market but we will need to depend on it even less than we do today. Just like we will be less dependent on our family tree and good fortune for the traits, both internal and external, that our children have. To conclude this miscellany, we would like to mention two more very relevant things for a discussion on the role of managers. The first one is not only the imbibing of health



36. Please do not pretend you do not know this scene. You know it, we know it, we all know it.

37. David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight in Knight Rider must have been so frustrated about the absence of a radio that he started singing himself. In 2029 KITT would have been the one with a singing career. We, just like you, can’t wait.

enhancements, but also the not-so-hypothetical possibility of performance enhancements. Secondly, the role of our memories will change, as soon as it becomes possible for us to remember events that we ourselves have not actually experienced. Whether this will ultimately be done by means of a liquid substance or by an implanted chip is, indeed, an interesting question, but the answer is not of essential importance to the impact that this development will have on our performance; our performance as an individual and as a link in the network, as a private person and as a professional. “I’ll have what she’s having.” Surely you know the quote. Meg Ryan, in her role as Sally in the movie “When Harry met Sally”, demonstrates to Harry how a woman is capable of faking an orgasm36. She does this with so much fervor that another woman in the restaurant immediately asks the waiter for a piece of the same apple pie, with whip cream “on the side”. In this case we are talking about apple pie, in 30 years it’ll probably be about the memory of it. Or about the memory that Meg is using as inspiration for her demonstration, but then with other main characters within the memory… there are limits after all!

“All these weird gadgets, you’d think they’d give you a radio.”37
Well then, now that we’re on the subject of limits… It is clear from the above-mentioned that the boundary, the difference between technology and (hu)man will become less clear. We will also see that what we call ethically sound, and what not, will irrevocably be under discussion, merely for the simple fact that there will be so many more possibilities. In fact, the only thing we know for sure is that the boundaries for possibilities will shift. How far exactly? What will society look like in 2020 and later? We don’t know; you don’t know. At the same time, underlying principles, tendencies and trends are recognizable. We see a society developing in which everything with everyone is linked, as is everyone with everything, everything with everything and everyone with everyone. Technology is breaking through boundaries that we earlier thought impenetrable. If we are not satisfied, we go for an update, an upgrade or a re-creation.



The knowledge and abilities of individuals increasingly constitute the achievement of us all and the distinguishing power of specific knowledge and abilities is liable to erode. Finding and making contact, realizing a design, easy as pie. Does all this mean that no problem will be unsolvable? Competition will no longer exist because everyone will have access to the same resources and core competences? No, of course not, because there will be new core values for competition, new ways of competing. Selecting and filtering will become more important than collecting and establishing. The art of finding what you are looking for will give way to the art of deciding what you want to find. Creativity and innovation, optimal use of the possibilities of new technologies and networks will become more important than effectiveness and efficiency based on the principles that stem from the industrial era. And this will all take place within the context of the development of a new economic system, or at least the upgrading of our current system, also under pressure to secure the longevity of our planet for future generations. Technocolomy, a sustainable technology enhanced economic system, or whatever you want to call it. A nice challenge for you as a manager, don’t you think? Sure, but we’re not there yet. An essential element of Wonderland is still missing. Before we can start establishing the contours of our future society and how a manager can operate in it, it is advisable to pause at the fourth and last pillar of Wonderland: people, all too easily forgotten…


“Ru brd?”
The above message is from the article “Gen Y in the Workforce” by Tamara J. Erickson in Harvard Business Review (February 2009) and is for some people as cryptic as it is telling for others. It is a typical message for the type of employees that are often denoted as Generation Y - or for short - Gen Y or Millennials. Naturally, they exchange these kinds of messages with each other via their iPhones or Twitter. The article shows that it is actually an expression of impatience and passion, a call for more meaning in their work, more attention. But it is mainly a cry for another kind of attention from the representatives of Generation X, their ‘bosses’, their ‘managers’; managers



that find it a bit difficult to deal with these strange new employees who want it all and want it now. Like Ron Alsop so beautifully put it in his commentary on the above mentioned article: We’re talking about “impatient Generation Y meets ‘pay your dues’ Generation X”. And for those that haven’t figured it out yet, the message is the abbreviated, digital quick version of “Are you bored?” We don’t know how you are faring but simple authors like us are slowly but surely growing giddy from it. What was it again? First we had the Baby Boomers: Classic, authoritarian child-rearing companions, acquainted with Internet at a later stage in life and who see it as a sort of digital phone book or encyclopedia. Then came Generation X: Began young adulthood with computers, raised freely and raised to be free, and more often than not in broken families. Subsequently, there came a Generation Y which, according to many people, doesn’t exist at all anymore and has already evolved into Generation Z. And if that wasn’t enough, in between there is a Generation C. If we can believe the latest stories, all these lettered generations do not exist at all and instead we have Generation Einstein and Generation Blah! Yet, it is thanks to Generation C that we have access to such a collective accumulation of knowledge on the Internet, because this is precisely the generation of the tireless co-creators, who are focused on User Generated Content and have ‘filled’ the Internet. Generation Blah is represented by 20 year olds who do not aspire to making a career, but would rather get married and have kids before 30; perhaps a fabrication of frustrated representatives of Generation X because they are breaking the trend big time compared to the others. Their successors, Generation Einstein, are the impatient teenagers that are keen on saving the world. They are the quickest, smartest and most sociable group of all! Again, our heads are spinning! Will we really have to deal with as many as six or seven different types of employees, each with their own special wishes and demands, their own quirks and who come with their own user-manuals? And all of this within the context of that still to be developed technocolomy that does justice to all developments in the fields of economy, sustainability and technology. If this is the case, U will not be BRD at all.



From generations to generalizations to integration
Okay, just to establish the state of affairs, a quick recap before we take the next step in our exploration of Wonderland and its inhabitants. Apparently, we will have to deal with changing employees, categorized into so-called Generations, which will greatly influence your role as a manager. So much is clear! Yet the situation is probably a bit less confusing, a bit less chaotic than one would suspect from recounting and describing all of these new groups. All of the above mentioned Generations are, of course, just ‘normal’ people. People change, for sure, but they’re still people. Certain starting points still apply. For example, take Ray in the movie Jerry Maquire, who asks Jerry (played by Tom Cruise, who else): “D’you know the human head weighs eight pounds?”38 And he’s right, you know! Even the strange teenager who will be applying for a job as assistant creative virtual knowledge manager in your organization in five years’ time has a head. Maybe a head that will make you happy, or else a head that you’d prefer not to look at for too long. But in any case, a head that weighs just about eight pounds. Not two pounds, and also not thirty two pounds; just roughly eight pounds. Right, having established that, what more do we know? Well, from a distance and despite the sometimes rather confusing collection of names of all the different kinds of groups, groups that one way or another distinguish themselves from the rest, this collection presents a surprisingly clear overall picture. The good thing is that we do seem to be able to get a clear picture and description of these employees of today and of the future. Just like it was with technology, the nuances may not be totally clear, but the tendency, the big picture, is. Let us begin with the so-called succession of all of these generations in the course of time. In reality, this is of course much more subtle. A person’s year of birth is not the deciding factor for how that person is. Drion claims that he is the perfect example of this. He has two daughters, both Generation somewhere-in-the-latter-part-of-thealphabet, and he gives lectures to and supervises students that also belong to these generations. In his work as consultant, he focuses on, among other things, new ways of working. All of this means, according
38. Obviously, we could have used the other famous scene from this movie, the one with “Show me the money”, but that would not be in line with the train of thought presented in this book. Money is just money, Ray talks about real things.



to statistics, that he should have the ‘pay your dues’ mentality, but in reality, both Marée and Melissen often enjoy meaningful conversations with him. It wouldn’t be fair to Drion to attribute this to the adaptability of his co-authors. In fact, even though Drion sees himself as being of a respectable age, as a representative of his own generation, he has also developed characteristics belonging to later generations, because of his intense contact with their representatives. The border between Baby Boomer Drion and the younger generations around him is less sharp than what articles and books about all of these generations describe. At the same time, the various generations are succeeding each other faster and faster. While the time span between the Baby Boomers and Generation X is, according to the ‘guidelines’, a few decades, the latest generations follow each other increasingly rapidly and it seems that, soon, each year of birth will denote a new ‘generation’. You will have to agree with us that this doesn’t really have any added value anymore. Many authors and consultants, possibly driven by the if-I-canconvince-them-it-is-new-they-will-need-my-help principle, seem to have gone overboard and apparently feel a need to give everything going on around them a name, a description and a logo. However, to be a bit more objective, these developments can easily be mapped out without obsessive branding. Moreover, the increasingly rapid rise of socalled new generations is in itself a sign of the tendency that we see in the characteristics of these generations. Borders are fading and, just as we saw in our observations on technology, people are more and more emphatically in contact with their surroundings and with the people in these surroundings. The latter is a tendency that we see in the characteristics of the various generations that we have discussed above; a tendency that is reinforced by the developments in the areas of economy, sustainability and technology. This is exactly why themes such as ‘solidarity’ and ‘joining forces’ form a leitmotiv in the many observations in all of these areas. Whether we are talking about further globalization of our economy and how co-creation will play an increasingly prominent role in this; how we can tackle the climate crisis and neutralize the social dilemma; or the possibilities that technology will offer us in the future to take bigger and more rigorous steps. All of this brings us to the core of the issue: More and more emphatically we see in developing people,



the successive generations, a shifting balance between individualism and solidarity. Obama brought this explicitly to our attention years ago in his book “The Audacity of Hope”. He states that it would be a mistake to proclaim individualism as the only starting point for a society. Naturally, freedom of choice and pursuing one’s own ideals is of great value and, also given the fact that it would be impossible to make it to the presidency in America without doing this, this behavior is applauded by Obama and is seen as the motor of our economy. However, at the same time, he calls for attention to values such as family, community and citizenship: “The glue upon which every healthy society depends.” Of course people are individuals, but not only individuals! Someone like Ervin Laszlo, systems philosopher, inspired author, one of the original members of the Club of Rome, founder of the Club of Budapest and, most of all, one of the biggest and more influential thinkers of our time, takes it one step further. He claims that we are in a very crucial period of transition and that “we have reached the threshold of a new stage of economic, social and cultural revolution.” Until now, supported by technological developments and the exploitation of natural resources that have been accessible to us in abundance, we as humanity are developing in a direction that is not tenable in the long run. Key words in this form of evolution are: conquest, colonization and consumption. These are words that formed the basis for the industrial revolution and our current economic system. It is also the behavior that has given us the climate crisis and all of the other challenges concerning sustainability and that are directly affiliated to the earlier described social dilemma. However, just like Obama, Laszlo sees a ‘way out’, an impending change in this evolution; a change in which things like connection, communication and consciousness are paramount. A change that questions some of the basic principles of the industrial revolution and our current economic system, such as division of labor and economic growth based on productivity figures expressed in physical units. At the same time, what we have here is a new direction that is, just like the old one, supported and enabled by the technology that is accessible to us now or will be in the future. Information technology, nanotechnology and biotechnology will enable us to do more with less, to get more out of life with less impact on our natural resources, to realize new



39. This quote from the episode Babel of the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is just to check whether you are still with us, whether you can still accept our train of thought.

sources of energy and ways of working together and communicating. Transformation, experience and solidarity will replace conquest, consumption and competition as the key words for our society. We will increasingly realize that we are more than individuals and will cast off the straitjacket called social dilemma.

“Odo? Quark to Odo? You’re still with us?”39
Okay, be honest now, you’re probably starting to think that we are a bit nutty, aren’t you? Predicting that our society will all of a sudden change from a competitive, profit and power oriented system, full of hunters and prey, into a touchy feely, everyone-helps-everyone-and-together-wewill-all-live-happily-ever-after commune full of individuals consistently communicating eloquently, who are permanently aware of their mutual bonds, and see and experience the social dilemma as an out-dated idea from the past. The easy answer would be: We are not the ones predicting this; people like Obama and Laszlo are, and we would not dare disagree. However, the honest answer is that this is what we actually do believe will happen. Maybe not exactly the way it is presented here and also not as a prediction for the world on January 1, 2011, or the day after that, just to leave a little margin of error. But this is indeed the tendency we assume to be true, the theme in all of the generations that populate our organizations in increasingly greater numbers. It is also the tendency that is in line with and is strengthened by the developments that we see in the three other areas that will shape the future: economy, sustainability and technology. This is exactly why the word integration can be found in the penultimate heading. If you quickly look from a distance at the successive generations and then compare with the developments in these three areas, you will see a coherent picture, a theme. The current economic and ecological circumstances show us that continuing on the path of maximizing the individual profit has led to big problems and will continue to do so. At the same time, we see that



the new generations no longer see this as their ideal and technology allows them to give their lives and their work meaning in other ways. Obama speaks of a new balance, Laszlo of change. No matter what, we see several things coming together; we see borders fading in many areas and in many ways. New values are forming, new starting points are coming into view, and new systems are developing. Wonderland is taking shape.

Four Spheres of Influence in Wonderland

People new motives

Sustainability new challenges


Technology new opportunities

new values



Deoxyribonucleic Acid, in short: DNA
40. The word you can always use if there is nothing else you can say or think of, according to Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins in the movie of the same name (1964). Is it a coincidence that the term comes in especially handy for the banker in distress in that movie?

Chapter 3

Ever try to say it quickly? Marée thinks he makes quite an impression if he uses the unabbreviated version during birthday-party-conversations, mostly in combination with supercalifragilisticexpialidocious40. But you have to admit that using the abbreviation DNA is a lot easier than saying the full name. So hats off to Marée, even though most people wouldn’t exactly call it a criminal offence if you couldn’t pronounce it right. However, make no mistake: Except for the pronunciation, in management consultancy the concept DNA does in fact play a crucial role. Or rather, from a management consultancy perspective, as well as in this book, this acronym denotes an important focal point for managers of today and of tomorrow. But what are we actually looking for when we say that we want to find out what the DNA of an organization is? And why do we want to find this out so badly? How do you go about finding it? Can it actually be found? In this chapter, we will elaborate on these and related questions and as a springboard we would like to refer to what Nicholas Ind (2001) pointed out to us: If your organization doesn’t live the brand, your lack of credibility handicaps you. Where a sound pension plan was a good way to retain employees 20 years ago, other rules apply today. In his book “Living the Brand”, where he describes strong regional, and even global brands, Nicholas Ind offers an interesting thought. It is a dangerous thing when the people working for an organization do not share the same brand feeling as the customers of that organization, because if they don’t, in our day and age of fast communication, word would be out in no time. Even to those who were not necessarily looking for it. Just how fast? Do you remember the emergency landing of the US Airbus A 320, flight 1549 in the Hudson between Manhattan and New Jersey on January 15, 2009? You could practically follow the incident live via Twitter. All official news stations, even CNN – who gained recognition for ‘Bombs over Baghdad’, their immediate reporting of the bombarding during Desert Storm in 1991 – used the information gathered by the general public for their own reporting. News travels fast: The transparency of our society has increased enormously thanks to the Internet.



It is a stiff challenge for a company to keep it a secret if your shoes are being manufactured by minors under poor conditions in some Asian country. Even in companies that focus on manufacturing goods, and not just on intangibles, what applies today is: You are who you work for. As an up-to-snuff company, Nike has learned from this form of communication particularly quickly and as far as we know (tomorrow can, of course, be a different story), they have conformed to the rules of the new game. The other side of the coin is that if consistently pursued, company values - correction - brand values within the company can greatly enhance the corporate culture. Ind speaks with affection of his first meeting with Chip, the guy at the welcome desk of the company called Patagonia, a strong brand in sportswear and utilities, focusing on sustainability to their fullest. Not only does Chip make Ind feel at ease, he also shares a good deal of the DNA of the company with Ind in a chat during the time he has to wait for his appointment. And, simultaneously, he keeps track of the weather in order to announce great surfing possibilities to his colleagues. He states that he is “genuinely feeling groovy”. The company is actually known for that feeling. There are numerous examples. And actually, all of them refer to the manner in which we look at DNA from the perspective of the organization. Originally, DNA is the basic material, the ‘stuff’ that makes a living organism what it is. Biology has taught us that DNA stands for the building blocks of an organism that, to a great extent, explain the manifestation and the behavior of that particular being. Nowadays, we draw these same parallels in organizations. DNA refers, then, to the core values of the company. On top of that, the roots, the history, the core competencies and the type of business also play important roles. It applies to organizations, as well, that DNA, manifestation and behavior are inseparably intertwined with each other. At least that is how it should be! As Ind has already taught us, only if the activities of an organization are aligned with its DNA will the organization have an optimal chance of survival; that is already the case in today’s society, let alone in that of tomorrow’s.



41. Bernd Schmitt made up his own version of the lead song from Hair in the preface of the book Managing the Customer Experience by Shaun Smith & Joe Wheeler, 2002.

Ok, check! “γνvθι σεαυτoν” or “know yourself” as the ancient Greek said. It helps being effective. This all sounds pretty logical, doesn’t it? However, as many have experienced before you, this is actually easier said than done. Why? Well, to put it simply, because an organization is not static. An organization is not a stable entity that can be isolated from its environment. And even less so in an environment that is perpetually in motion.


This is the dawning of the age of experience41
In 1999, author Rolf Jensen predicted the rise of the Dream Society. In his book with the same name, he proclaims that imagination, creativity and the art of collaboration are the essential qualities of the people working in what we have called Wonderland. Jensen was also curious to know whether we would be spending more hours on work in the future, or fewer. Or rather, where will our priorities lie, at home or at work? His answer is that organizations are developing towards the old tribe-structures and that the members will show a kind of behavior comparable to that of the tribes - going out to hunt together and dividing the catch equally. In that sense, work and private lives are merging. To illustrate this, let us have a look at the employees of a typical, state-of-the-art organization like Google. A company full of young, smart makers of… well, of what exactly? Never mind, it doesn’t matter, because whatever they make, if you look at the results, it must be good. What characterizes such a successful, modern company? Its employees act as though they were going out on a hunt and when the mission is successful, they demand their due reward. In this way, the people, the human capital within an organization, become the most important asset, while things like the building, the physical assets, including computers – even at Google, or actually especially at Google –, come in second place. Another consequence, according to Jensen, is that these employees are no longer a part of the organization, they are the organization. And the environment where the work is done has the pure and simple task of supporting them. And you, then, the manager? You are an important part of this environment. You are, so



to speak, the comfortable furniture, the comfy, worn-leather easy chair, where these hunters can sit back to discuss their hunting tactics and to boast about their take. Are you still following? Mmm, before we lose you completely in more of this kind of peculiar comparisons, let’s take a breather. It might be a good idea to focus for a minute on something concrete, something tangible. Let’s see… something concrete… and tangible... the building! Eureka! In all the tumult that has been described here, the building is a nice stable factor to hold on to, isn’t it? Great! Let’s look, then, at the influence of the built environment, a very tangible element in tribal society. Buildings can do a lot for organizations, often more than we think. This is exactly why Rolf Jensen explicitly explores the influence of a building. He cites the occurrence of Hurricane Andrew that raged over America in 1992. Many buildings were destroyed in the hurricane, including the headquarters of Burger King in Miami. From the chaos, a new view of this office building emerged. The consequence of this new vision was a new corporate culture. The hierarchical structure that existed before the collapse blew over with the storm. In the new building there are no more doors. The offices of top management were not rebuilt. The communication in the company changed and it greatly improved. The new Burger King culture became a culture of “creative thinking, aggressive decision making, and fresh ideas.” It just goes to show that the interaction between physical environment and corporate culture goes further than the logo on the building. So, we cannot overlook the fact that these examples, particularly the one about the building, clearly demonstrate that new forms of collaboration have developed. And strangely enough, we discover that these forms lie closer to the conceptions of work in olden times, when we as tribe members dressed in bearskins42, than to the way things got done throughout the industrial era. Could it be that in years from now we will look back on the period of the industrial revolution as a peculiar period in time when we lost our way? A period in which we tried to apply principles specifically designed for a manufacturing environment to a (commercial) services environment and knowledge workers? Are we going back to our roots, to our DNA? But in that case, what is it that

42. You should see Drion in one of those; scary!



43. SciFi movie (1990) by the Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, starring the current Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as a tormented special agent on Mars.

we are we working on? What are we hunting? What are the new basic principles now that we won’t fool ourselves anymore by forcing Taylor and his descendents to join us to our offices? Almost simultaneous to Jensen, we have the theories of Pine II and Gilmore. Their search to improve mass-customization-processes has led to the insight that ‘experience’ is becoming an increasingly important means of doing business in the economy. If you want to fulfil the needs of the customer to the best of your ability, you have to provide an appropriate experience. But besides that, even if you don’t focus on experience, at the end of the day it will still be the experience of what ever you are offering that will count. It is up to every organization to anticipate this. In contradiction to the perspective of the ‘Service Economy’, providing a service will no longer be seen as the economic activity. Instead, you will need to provide a service, instrumentally, in order to achieve a specific experience. This event will give rise to a memorable experience. The service of providing a cup of coffee will be subservient to the experience of ‘drinking coffee’, while other factors, such as the view or the people you’re with, are equally important influences. Good service will still be very important, but no longer the goal in itself. People are prepared to pay for experience, if the experience leaves a positive memory behind. Therefore, this experience needs to be considered meaningful. Let us reflect on this for a moment. Every experience passes. What makes one experience more meaningful than another? It has to do with the quality of the experience. In other words, the quality of the experience normally determines the value of the memory. However, having said this, you could of course ask yourself what the normal meaning of the word ‘memory’ is, which is nicely visualized in the movie “Total Recall”43 by Paul Verhoeven. The core business of the company Rekall Inc. is implanting chips in the brains of its customers, so that these customers remember a vacation without actually having been on one. Here, experience has been boiled down to its most extreme consequence, memory. The customers are willing to pay for this, as if the vacation had actually taken place. In the movie though, by the way, this solution goes wrong at times.



Ok, back to reality. Pine II and Gilmore thought up the rule of thumb that an economic activity is focused on experience as soon as the customer, in essence, pays for the time he spends. A clear example of this can be found in the restaurant business. It is no longer unusual that the customer pays for the time he spends in the restaurant rather than for a particular dish. The turnaround from menu pricing to time pricing demonstrates that what we remember after the restaurant visit is not only the quality of the food. The atmosphere, the contact with the waiters and each other, in short, the quality of the experience becomes the criterion for a precious memory. The kind of memory for which we are willing to pay44. It is obvious that all of this has consequences for our economic dealings. However, before we address this any further, when we speak of paying behavior in the world of hospitality, we cannot avoid first discussing a specific tradition, well-known in almost every country: tipping. Handbooks have been written on how to procure the highest tips when waiting tables. A gratifying victim of this type of handbook is Melissen. When greeted by an, at first, somewhat grumpy waiter who later thaws during the dinner, he invariably forks out just a little bit too much of a tip. That kind of manipulation is not well spent on Drion. If a handbook were to exist called “Never tip; tips and tricks to stand your ground”, your best bet would be that Drion had written it. Meanwhile, Marée wonders time and again during the whole experience, if he is being manipulated into giving a bigger tip or if this time maybe it actually is authentic. And what exactly is authentic? Regardless, in a time when a whole new way of pricing needs to be explored, one can rest assured that tipping will one day end up in a museum of medieval customs. If a dinner is experienced one evening as better than another, it should be obvious in the price. But then the deal needs to be clear, if the experience is less than expected, the price should be adjusted downward. Could this possibly already be the case? Certainly, this system has, even if reluctantly, already made its way into the hospitality industry. In 2005, NH Hotels offered a weekend in December where guests could decide themselves how much they wanted to pay for a room in one of its thirty seven hotels (20,000 rooms) in the Netherlands and in Belgium. The average amount paid for that stay was forty five Euros. That this

44. Many restaurants experiment with pricing nowadays. Among others: Etenstijd, Tilburg, the Netherlands; Der Wiener Deewan, Vienna, Austria and One World Café, Salt Lake City, USA.


45. Better to have an image, however embarrassing it might be, than no image at all, is what we comfort ourselves with.


was more or less half of the normal price can, in our opinion, be seen as still more proof of the image of the cheapskate Dutchman45. And yet, one of the guests paid no less than two hundred and forty Euros. An important result of this unique offer, besides an abundance of free publicity, was that NH Hotels got a lot of direct feedback on how the guests had experienced their stay. Pricing used as a tool to intensify the interaction. Actually, not a bad idea, which could also be applied in other sectors. And certainly not if you consider these thoughts in light of the upcoming changes in our economy, as discussed in the previous chapter, though it might be premature to predict the exact form for all sorts of different situations. No wonder Drion and Marée got into a discussion about garages while writing this chapter. Drion can not imagine that the experience in a garage will ever make a difference to the price, while Marée claims that this is, implicitly, already the case. No matter. We will tackle these thoughts in the forthcoming chapters in order to be as explicit as possible about how we presume bills will be settled in Wonderland.

Imagination Inside©, the secret of co-creation
Okay, experience. Or time. Or better still, a pleasant or valuable memory. That is what we are searching for in a society where the basic principles from days of yore are changing in a tearing rush. How is it that we are willing to pay good money for something as vulnerable and intangible as a memory? True, for a precious memory of a meaningful experience, but still? The answer to this is that we personally, but also as organizations, strive to optimally utilize what we potentially have in us. Ultimately, this is where our interpretation of what constitutes a meaningful existence lies. Jim Collins and Jerry Porras conclude in “Built to Last” that a company with endurance is based on Purpose. Nice word, purpose; familiar to us all. And we also all know that fulfilling this purpose is not always a piece of cake. We keep promising ourselves to lose weight, to stop smoking, to remember to send out that memo in time, or to spend time on a



talent as yet undeveloped. These promises are about long-term goals and priorities. At the same time, Maslow, with his ‘hierarchy of needs’46, points out our natural priorities when fulfilling our primary needs. Eating something after days of deprivation can be wonderful. Logically, fulfilling this need goes before reading an inspiring poem. But in an economy that amply provides for primary needs, the focus is extended to activities that are directly linked to meaningfulness. Throughout this book, we will see that it will no longer suffice to refer to Maslow and that we, as managers, will have to get chummy with his highly intelligent cousins. For now we would like to refer to Pine II and Gilmore and how they see it: “The consumer is the product”. The change to which the consumer is subjected has become the final goal. Transformation seems to be the final rung on the ladder to economic added value.

46. Yes, an old theory (1943), according to many not really proven and surpassed by the whims of his nieces and nephews, and yet we will, as many others, use his insights whenever convenient.

The Experience - Transformation Cycle






We see the relationship between experience and transformation as a cyclical process. If the experience, which can, in principle, always be linked to a particular place and a particular time (period), is at the top of the cycle, opposite that, at the bottom, will be transformation. On the ‘horizon’, the central axis in this model, separating the visible and the invisible part of the process, you will find two opposites: to the left, ‘expectations’ and to the right, ‘memories’. The transformation influences the expectation; the expectation initiates and influences the experience; the experience creates memories; and the memories trigger inner transformation. We’ve come full circle. Because we are all seeking to develop, and for interpretation of our talents, you could say that the experience is a means to the end, the transformation. Should this model remind you of the Deming cycle with its well-known Plan-Do-Check-Act steps, it is naturally not a coincidence. Both cycles interpret an iterative learning process. Because of what you go through, you step into a new circle of experience and transformation. This leads to an interesting thought: If indeed the consumer is an evolving product, who is the producer? Just like it turned out in the movie Total Recall, implanting memories via mechanical devices or chemicals is not devoid of risks. The co-operation of the consumer is essential. Alvin Toffler, who seems to have foreseen the era we are now entering, claimed in his book “The Third Wave” (1981) that we could rather speak of a “prosumer” than a consumer, combining the terms producer and consumer. Meaningful experiences cannot be created by “zapping”. Lying on the couch waiting for the transformation to take place rarely helps. Various psychologists have carried out research on the essence of the experience of bliss. The Dutch journalist and consultant Susanne Piët has articulated it well in her book “De Emotiemarkt” (2003): In order to have a meaningful experience that contributes to a feeling of happiness of longer duration, a substantial contribution to the experience needs to be provided by the person looking for this happiness. Freely paraphrased from Marshall McLuhan in “Understanding Media” (1964), who put forward the statement “The Medium is the Message”, we dare claim that: ‘the interaction is the transformation’. In short, this rather abstract description says something about how you as the producer are at the mercy of the consumer. Now, more than



ever. Meaningful experiences cannot exist without clever interaction. Take this simple example. As a token of appreciation of your best customers, you could serve them the perfect cup of coffee in the best surroundings, with your friendliest smile, but… if that particular customer would have preferred a cup of tea, it cannot be considered the perfectly produced experience. Asking in advance would have probably helped. But is that always possible? We see comparable situations in all sorts of areas, everywhere employees and customers, society and management, economy and Maslow and his cousins come together. Lego, the legendary manufacturer of plastic building blocks, has inspired children to be creative for decades. For Marée, Lego was the reason for choosing a career in industrial design. The simple blocks have been complemented throughout the years with innumerable other elements and at the beginning of this century, even a digital Lego with its own software was put on the market. Prior to this, Lego carried out a long and thorough development phase and they could have been ‘not amused’ when, seemingly within no time, the software was hacked and could be downloaded on the Internet. Not only that, but the software was altered in essential areas and even improved. However, Lego reacted differently, smarter! The creative hackers were invited in to share their findings with the organization and in that way Lego embraced the principle of the co-developing customer. Now, if you invent something for Lego, you can present it on their site via the Lego-Digital Designer. If more Lego-insiders like the idea, Lego will adopt it and produce it for you. Others will also be able to purchase the product and use it. This goes for the software (although this is not as explicitly communicated by Lego) as well as for new products. As an organization, Lego is transforming from Lego-manufacturer to Lego-community. This has its advantages. Recently, a European judge decided that the expired patent from 1958 on Lego’s well-known clickmethod would no longer be protected under Trade Mark. This means, that similar blocks can be manufactured, enabling the Canadian Mega Bloks to become a fearsome competitor. Had Lego seen themselves as producers of blocks, a price war would have broken out. But now that Lego is operating as the gathering point for parties that want to be creatively involved with Lego, we believe that, for the time being, they



do not need to worry. The Lego community is strong thanks to the active involvement of all of its parties. Thus, Lego supports the idea formulated by Prahalad and Ramaswamy, that value in our current and fast changing economy is created through co-creation.

Who is the consumer?
Experience, interaction and transformation, a changing relationship between supplier and customer, new forms of organizing and new reference points. As if your job as a manager isn’t challenging enough! The vision of Kim and Mauborgne might help you keep your footing. They describe how companies of the future will have to operate in what they call a ‘Blue Ocean’ in their book “Blue Ocean Strategy”. They warn of further competition in a segmented market, as though you were in a ‘Red Ocean’, red of the blood from the battle for the customer (cut-throat competition). Kim and Mauborgne claim that the current circumstances and developments call for companies to fundamentally reconsider their primary activities. What are the core values that their customers experience and how can they create a market that does not yet exist by redefining the way in which they work? You can only define the blue ocean once you have defined what experience you aim for. But by looking at how you run your company from that point of view, you will be automatically confronted with the extent to which the customer experiences what you are providing. You, as an organization (if that is still the correct word), cannot do this alone. Collaboration will be needed to redefine the added value. This area of collaboration is not yet unraveled in Kim and Mauborgne’s book. In order to really understand this collaboration, we need to bring up one more aspect. Your changing employees and customers are asking for, no, they are really screaming for, one thing to be brought into question, or turned upside down, if you will. Do you remember Mr Smith and the performance appraisal with his employee who wanted to go and work for the competitor? When is someone actually an employee of your company or not? At what point does he see himself as an



active member of your community and when is he only a buyer or a consumer? Interaction works two ways. Roles can vary and change in time. Rolf Jensen’s tribe metaphor pinpoints the transience of collaboration. Once on a hunt, we’re allies. Thin bear hides and poor collaboration are unadvisable when hunting mammoths. The hunt, however, is only temporary. Once the mammoth has been slaughtered and divided up, down to the tusks, the roles of the members change and from one minute to the next, we can feel that we are members of another project with other team members and other goals. Beasts of prey that surprise us and dead end tracks call for each and every individual to be flexible and to remain alert. The hunt can end abruptly; circumstances can change. Sometimes so abruptly that the competitor is indeed no longer the competitor, the hunter no longer the hunter, the prey no longer the prey; new and sometimes unexpected communities are formed. Sid, Manny and Diego are living proof! A sloth, a mammoth and a sabre-toothed tiger. Not exactly an obvious combination. Or as Sid put it: “I don’t know about you guys but we are the weirdest herd I’ve ever seen.”47

47. Sid, Manny and Diego, the interesting threesome from the movie Ice Age (2002), together constitute a prime example of an unexpected, but very effective, community.

Back to the core
Sorry for this last example – maybe we got a bit carried away. It is also definitely not our intention to compare anyone, let alone you and your employees, with a silly sloth, a woolly mammoth and a moody sabre-toothed tiger. Moreover, the message behind the example is not meant to be funny. It is, namely, a message that takes us back to our initial question at the beginning of this chapter. All of the developments described here are related to the search for the DNA of an organization. If we can gain insight into the DNA, it is easier to focus on the activities that will help the company flourish. But we have also seen that this cannot stand apart from the DNA of each individual that is involved in the organization. And logically, it is our first task to establish which individuals are actually working in our organization, temporarily or not. At this point we run into the following question: Which criteria apply when determining who belongs to the organization? You want to reply - and rightly so -: “Everyone who is on the pay-roll”. As soon as the



organization is prepared to pay you for your work, you belong to the club. Most organizations still see this today as the primary organizational principle. However, it does not take into account the above mentioned consequences of the increasing focus on experience, interaction and transformation and all of the things that were reviewed in chapter 2. What does this mean? Among other things, it means that you need to do more than just keep an eye on the experience of the consumer and you need to renew this experience in active collaboration with your customers. It also means that – think of Ind – you need to do the exact same thing with everyone who is active within the organization, hereby blurring the border that differentiates within-the-organization from outside-the-organization. Of course, on the other hand, it offers practical opportunities. Lego has a legion of fans that, together with the ‘real company’ are busy finding improvements for the future. These fans are not on the pay-roll, they pay for the chance to play with Lego of their own designs. The next step will, of course, be that they share in the profit. On the one hand, Lego uses the innovative energy outside of the organization and, on the other hand, allows innovations within their own research department to be accessible to third parties. “Open innovation” (2003), as Henry Chesbrough puts it, is slowly but surely being implemented by Nedap, a technology company in the Netherlands whose business is: demanding, high value research processes and products that vary from iris scans to auto parts. If they get stuck, they put the problem out on the Internet to share with specialists all over the world. Their experience is that, within a week someone has, out of pure interest, come up with a new solution and, with no claim to compensation, sends it to the company. Before long, this leads to systems that go further than a random query. Sharing Intellectual Property becomes daily business and truly makes the most of Collective Intellectual Property. Surf to the site of Creative Commons and see what kinds of agreements can be made. It is just the tip of the iceberg. Books are also now being written via Internet; remember “We-Think” (2008) by Charles Leadbeater and many, many others!



Transaction, no. Interaction and Transformation, yes.
DNA, where and how do we find it? In light of all of the aforementioned, we need, in any case, to quash the so-called ‘Transaction-mentality’. This is no easy task because ever since the Industrial Revolution we have done our utmost to organize ourselves according to this principle. Simply stated: Party #1 puts out a product on the market and in compensation for this delivered added value, he receives payment from Party #2. In a nutshell, this is also how Porter’s Value Chain Analysis is set up in his book “Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance” (1985) and where there is a clear distinction between the producer and the customer and the success can be measured by the sales margin. The train of thought that we present here blurs this distinction. Well, no, that is not true, the contours actually become clearer. As we concluded earlier, the one-way design does not cover the overtone of staging an experience. The process of adding value by all parties that contribute to the experience calls for another structure of value. This is why we more and more often speak of value networks, as described by Christensen in “The Innovator’s Dilemma” (2003), or value-constellations instead of organizations like the ones originating from the Mintzberg school of thought. These structures cannot be built up by just sticking blocks on to each other within the model of Value Chain Analysis, thus giving rise to a Value System. But what then, is the definition of ‘Primary Activities’? These activities are no longer served standard ‘in-line’. In fact, it is the ‘Support Activities’ that need the attention of the party that is at the center of the activities of the value network, because by orchestrating those, he gives the participants a chance to collaborate to the fullest. We could say that the old Support Activities have become the Primary Activities in the new model. This gives us the opportunity to re-introduce Prahalad’s co-creation, and its role in adding value. All parties that are involved in meaningful interaction add value, because without this meaningful contribution, there is no transformation. And this transformation is also, in itself, added value, because as we mentioned earlier: the interaction is the


48. Admittedly, it’s a nasty trick, luring you into this new responsibility, but then again, it worked for Honey in the movie Notting Hill (1999), sneakily announcing her marriage to Spike.


transformation. We replace the old magic word ‘transaction’ with the two new ones ‘interaction’ and ‘transformation’. It is, of course, essential in all of this to know in which way your input in every interaction is of value. Companies that have explicitly chosen to put value creation at the top of their strategy list, such as Coca Cola and Lloyds TSB, have decidedly experienced no disadvantages by doing so. Where does all that leave your organization? Participating in a value network means that the old views on strategy, USPs and brand policies do not apply any more. On the other hand, old problems solve themselves. Once you belong to such a network, the ties between parties become automatic and you no longer need to focus separately on customer retention. The activities in the network are triggered because the participating parties relate to the core values of the network. All this can no longer be covered by the classical term ‘organization’. A better term to use would be a point of gravitation. A point of gravitation for all activities centered around a set of core values. This also means that it is much more difficult to determine where the new form of organization ends. And where it begins. Think along with us: If we set a brand policy in the future, where should we stick the label? What activities, products, people and parties does the brand include? Oh, and before we forget, guess who’s the conductor referred to above? “It’s you. What do you think?”48

49. Han Solo wishes Luke Skywalker good luck before attacking the Death Star battle station in the movie Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977). As Luke found out: Using the Force has got nothing to do with luck, it’s about skills.

May the Force be with you49
Gravitation: It ensures that we don’t fall off the face of the earth. Yet, it took a lazy afternoon in the sun, in an orchard, in combination with the sharp mind of Sir Isaac Newton, to recognize the force and to see how this force had a profound influence on the things around us. In 1666, he saw an apple fall out of a tree and asked himself why the same thing didn’t happen to the sun. He concluded that the force that draws objects towards each other is dependent on the mass of the object. Since gaining this insight, we have more understanding of the movement of small things like apples and of the immense



movement of the stars and the planets in the cosmos. Before Newton, everything moved exactly the same way but we did not recognize the force field. Does this ring a bell? In any case, we make grateful use of Newton’s perspective on gravitation for our view on the way people and organizations relate to each other. To describe the force that goes along with interaction, co-creation and value networks, we use the metaphor of gravitation. This allows us to let go of the problem of having to define the contours of an organization. What about the consumer, the one who actively contributed to the development of Lego, but who was not on the pay-roll? We simply avoid having to choose whether or not this party belongs to the organization. The approach needs to be the other way around; this prosumer has felt attracted to the DNA that was in the center of this point of gravitation. Like a small spaceship, he circles it. The closer he comes to the center, the more he is a part of the dynamics of that center; the more he contributes to the total mass. Hence, a new type of organizational dynamics is defined. We think that this view on organizations in Wonderland can help managers tackle a few of the challenges they are facing. In the following chapters we describe these activities under the heading Navigation. As soon as you don’t need to keep an eye on the welldefined contours of the organization anymore, you become ‘air-traffic controller’ of a point of gravitation, and the job of managing changes into navigating. And, indeed, it is not a permanent job. Well, we can imagine that the vision we chose still needs to sink in and we would therefore, as an illustration, like to provide a recent example of an organization that can no longer be described in the old way. If we were to ask you where the biggest telescope in the world is set up, we would be surprised if you could answer us. We assume that you have not yet heard of Dwingeloo, a small village in the Netherlands with a population of four thousand inhabitants, known for its ‘brink’ and midsummer festivals. You probably imagine a gigantic dish, and because of the fact that there are so few countries as flat as the Netherlands, you see it as a construction the size of the Eiffel tower. But, you’ve guessed it: “you could NOT be more wrong.”50 The biggest telescope in the world looks just like most computers do: a casing for the software and screens to read from. The name is JIVE (Joint Institute

50. Elliot and Gordon argue in an episode of Three Sisters (2001) about the fighting qualities of Darth Vader in comparison to those of Moses. Indeed, their argument was also based on a trick question.



for VLBI in Europe) and we’re talking about a virtual intercontinental telescope that uses Electronic - Very Long Baseline Interferometry, e-VLBI. With this, data from a large cluster of connected telescopes from all over the globe, is linked to one virtual screen, making it many times sharper than the picture from just one of the participating telescopes. Is this still a telescope we’re talking about? We think so, at least as long as we keep in mind the definition of a telescope: an instrument that searches through space for detailed pictures. That is exactly what JIVE does. In using this example, we want to illustrate that our feelings about what an organization is, need to be adjusted. The word organization, if we still want to use it, will more and more refer to entities based on collaboration that consist of many separate parts that become connected by a joining force. And not as a static given, but rather as a very dynamic whole. Just a test. If we let this way of thinking apply to our familiar surroundings, how does that change our observations? Take the stakeholders of an average company on the stock market. In the 1980s, a well-known figure made this interesting comment: “America, America has become a second-rate power. Its trade deficit and its fiscal deficit are at nightmare proportions. Now, in the days of the free market when our country was a top industrial power, there was accountability to the stockholder. The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company! All together, these men sitting up here own less than three percent of the company. […] The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated.” It’s Gordon Gekko speaking, addressing the stockholders of the Teldar Paper Company, a role by Michael Douglas in the movie “Wall Street” (1987). As much as Oliver Stone meant Mr Gekko’s grotesque way of operating and his unflagging belief in the healing power of greed to be a caricature, it still gives us food for thought. What becomes of an organization that is run by managers that have hardly any interest in the long-term well-being of the organization? The events around Lehman Brothers and various other banks have shown that there lies an enormous danger in that kind of attitude from



management. If the activities of a manager within an organizational force field are determined by his involvement in the specific gravitation of the organization, then this can only contribute to the power of the organization. And if his activities are not in line with that, that kind of manager is automatically navigating away from the point of gravitation; so far away that his orbit is no longer affected by this point of gravitation that he spins out of orbit and ends up in a new one, around a new point of gravitation. As soon as this applies to managers, employees and other organizations in the force field, the force of attraction between two parties is also the controlling force that ensures meaningfulness. Wasn’t it a very clear move of Obama’s when he introduced the following slogan in his campaign: “We cannot only have a plan for Wall Street. We must also help Main Street.”51 By this, he indicated that Wall Street had become disconnected from reality, this isolated group of hunters in a world of their own had become disconnected from Main Street. His slogan fit in perfectly in the movement that was set up by a hundred scientists and opinion leaders in USA in 2000: “Better Together”. One of them was, indeed, Barack Obama. The goal of the movement is to preserve the social capital of the country. It is based on the principle that a country without social cohesion, the natural value networks in society, is in great danger of getting stuck. Gravitation based on the most natural motives. No wonder one of the conclusions drawn from the research was: “Watching commercial entertainment TV is the only leisure activity where doing more of it is associated with lower social capital.” By now you will have understood that we have had reason to choose for an imperative title for this chapter. Gravitation applies to everyone: consumers, employees, suppliers and managers. Increasingly so, your role will be to deal with this phenomenon in a clever way in order to take advantage of it at just the right moment. To gravitate or not, that’s the question, so to speak. And to be able to gravitate efficiently and effectively, you will be needing new tools. Navigation tools. More on this in the next chapters.

51. A slogan that in our view boosted Obama’s campaign. He used it in his speech on September 19, 2008 at Coral Gables, Florida. Who, Democrats and Replublicans alike, could disagree with this one?






“Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.”52
52. The Duchess in Alice in Wonderland clings to moral in everything she perceives, but the catch is, of course, in finding it. A quality we have referred to before.

53. Easy for the cat to say… it can just appear and disappear wherever it likes, while Alice still has to navigate!

Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” The Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice: “I don’t much care where.” The Cat: “Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.” Alice: “…so long as I get somewhere.” The Cat: “Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”53 Welcome to the second part of our book, called Navigation. At the end of the first part, we concluded that not only is the ever-changing world around us, Wonderland, presenting you with new and interesting challenges, but also that you will be needing new tools to tackle these challenges. In this second part we will try to provide you with several important tools. What kind of tools will you need? Well, in any case, tools that will enable you to operate successfully in Wonderland. Tools that will help you to manage all of the changes concerning economy, climate and other related issues that we refer to as sustainability, the technology that is available to us, and the people with whom we work. A world in which all sorts of new forces determine the playing field. For these new forces we introduced the term ‘gravitation’. As a manager, you are in an environment full of points of gravitation and you are probably, at one moment or another, in the center of such a point.

54. Alfred Pennyworth lives up to expectations in Batman Nothing to Fear (1992) by stimulating Bruce Wayne to use his imagination. Good, valuable advice indeed, sir!

“Imagine that, sir.”54
Imagine this… You are the manager of an organization that develops x-ray machines. Your employees are typical knowledge workers; highly educated, two left hands, but incredibly smart, creative and driven. Your organization has an excellent reputation as a reliable and progressive player in the market for medical apparatus. During the course of years - oh yes, we forgot to tell you that we are now


going “Back to the Future”55 and find ourselves in the year 2029 – a few things have changed. Your employees no longer work solely for you and not on fixed days any more; they are just as driven and smart, but they also direct their ambitions and talents to several private projects as well as to a fantastic new project at your biggest competitor of yesteryear. You can always reach them if you need to, and if necessary, calling a meeting, anywhere, any time, is a piece of cake. Not because you pay them or because you demand this from your hierarchical position, but because each and every one of them is concerned with what your organization stands for… Obviously, the economy in which your organization operates no longer resembles that of today. We no longer refer to the system that connects the ecological impact with added value, and that regulates the actions and reactions of organizations and individuals, as ‘the economy’. You handle this new environment very well. Not because your organization has managed to protect itself from external influences, or because you have found a loophole, but on the basis of what your organization stands for… Oh yes, we also almost forgot to mention – our apologies – x-ray machines naturally no longer exist. Long ago, drastic (for those times) developments in nanotechnology and biotechnology made these machines redundant in one fell swoop. Luckily, you knew precisely in which direction to adjust the course of your point of gravitation. Not because you could predict the future, not because you knew exactly where you would end up, but because you understood what your organization stands for… Ok, you get the picture, don’t you? The world is changing, people around you are changing, the rules, the conditions, the opportunities and the threats are changing and… your role is changing. Your task is to wisely guide your organization, your point of gravitation, with employees, customers, suppliers, competitors and co-creators that are sometimes only temporarily connected to this point of gravitation, through the force field. The force field where people gravitate and managers navigate. In the following chapters we will try to provide you with important starting points and tools for your journey through Wonderland.

55. We used this movie as inspiration earlier, when we told you we prefer the DeLorean over the simple telephone booth. We have not changed our minds yet…



The old rule of supply and demand no longer applies
56. Hallam, in Funeral in Berlin (1966), mocks the quality of documents on the wrong type of paper. As shown in this movie, the effect of what you initiate is indeed dependent upon how you present it. 57. Since we really are not evil, you are of course free within the context of these pillars to exchange the coffee for whatever refreshment suits you and your surroundings best.

Chapter 4

What are managers supposed to do with the independent, pro-active, modern employee? How do you create a winning team with people that are not willing to commit to long-term contracts and are no longer satisfied with security and salary alone? How do you “make” people do what is needed for the company who would laugh in your face56 if you referred to them as a factor of production? What is clear is that the time clock and the guarantee of a monthly pay check will no longer form the foundation for the relationship with employees. But what will? And more importantly, how will this develop over time? What exactly will the new layers of Maslow’s pyramid be? How should I, as a manager, anticipate these new layers, these new developments, now and in the future? As we saw earlier, Mr Smith is already struggling with this issue. Dealing cleverly with employees of today and tomorrow is, not without reason, the central theme of so many management books. A typical and striking example of this is the contribution from Mathieu Weggeman (2007), “Leiding geven aan professionals: niet doen!” (Supervise professionals: Don’t!), which was nominated best Dutch management book of the year in 2008. In his book he gives a resolute and clear answer to how to manage the modern, well educated, independent employee of today: don’t! He claims that these employees should not be controlled, but rather stimulated. The art of managing is not in formulating prerequisites and rules, but in creating a collective ambition. Within this context, “management by wandering around” is a must, not an option only if there is time left over after plodding through yet another Gantt chart. We totally agree with Weggeman’s conviction that the modern manager is a serving manager, one whose challenge is to facilitate his motivated and professional employees. And as you know us a bit by now, it won’t surprise you that we dare take it one step further. Managers of today and of tomorrow must have two core qualities, the two new pillars in the relationship with employees: (1) they have wild fantasies and dare go for them, and (2) they serve up a strong cup of coffee!57



Management Styles


Servant Leader


Hospitality Leader by example



Low Imagination


The Martini principle and more…
Now, you probably wouldn’t have immediately thought of brewing a pot of coffee as the latest management perspective. In all honesty, you don’t have to take the above mentioned pillars literally in every instance. We do, however, dare claim that the two concepts behind these pillars, which, from now on, we will refer to as imagination and hospitality, constitute two very important points of attention. Not only for Mr Smith, but also for you! We’ll come back to imagination in the following chapter and in this one, we will take a closer look at hospitality. Our claim is that hospitality is already an important point of attention for managers, and will almost certainly remain so in the future. Although most of you probably do not work in hospitality, you will be dealing


58. With this recurring saying, we want to keep you on your toes, when dealing with motivational aspects and expectations related to the future employee.


with various issues having to do with the application of the principles of hospitality. Principles that you will need in order to deal with the changes around you. We have already established that the working environment will drastically change and, in any case, will consist of more virtual elements. It then follows naturally that distance will play a smaller role and all kinds of new forms of collaboration will no longer be restricted by national borders. All of this means that one of the most important responsibilities of employers will be facilitating various and new forms of meetings as well as facilitating other ways in which their employees and those of their counterparts can stay attuned to each other. At the same time, it is about creating an environment in which the modern professional - Maslow’s cousin58 -, who feels committed to the ambitions and goals of the organization, can be allowed to perform to the best of his abilities. As an employer, you will be doing this while, in the back of your mind, realizing that you have no guarantees that this same professional sees your organization as the ideal working environment, one where he can envisage spending a considerable portion of the rest of his career; one that fits into his own plans. As Weggeman claims, you will have to deal with the “cosmo-pro”: knowledge workers who identify with their profession, not automatically with their organization, and who are prepared to trade in their current circle of associates for a group with more freedom and possibilities to develop themselves. One thing is for sure: Life time employment is to a great extent a thing of the past and job hopping is common practice. This, of course, does not apply equally to every sector or even to all of your employees. But, generally speaking, in order to have committed professionals of tomorrow contribute to your organization, you will need to create, monitor and cultivate shared values and ambitions. Oh yes, and it will become more and more difficult to succeed in this by means of money, structure and hierarchy. In the good ol’ days of the industrial era, commitment to an organization came from payment for delivered work. But we have already seen that times are changing. Whether you want to refer to the new situation as systems of friendship, the principle of reciprocity, or gravitation fields, one thing is for sure; it is in your interest and in that of your organization that you no longer are ‘the boss’. If you want to make the best use of your professionals and their talents, if you want to profit to



the fullest from their performance, your role will, from now on, be that of the coffee la… errr, host! These sorts of changes are not just limited to office environments, as far as they will still exist, nor just to the relationship between employer and employee. We see in the world of hospitals new complexes springing up that are not just hospitals but that also house, for example, shops and theaters. This means that the hospital complex is developing into a meeting place for patients, family and friends, shoppers and theater goers. The development of these complexes is largely due to the fact that there is an increasingly, widely accepted assumption that a hospital is no longer an environment where health is attained exclusively through medical care. Anticipating and connecting with the experience of the patient is now often described as an instrument in a toolbox that medical personnel should implement. And then, in connection with this, there is of course the world of education. For quite some time now, it has not been considered strange that a university goes by the ‘Martini principle’: Any Time, Any Place, Anywhere! A university will have to because students live according to that principle. Modern students will no longer burn the midnight oil in their rooms to get through three hundred pages of syllabus in preparation of an exam the following day. Students build their knowledge while multi-tasking their way through a world of part-time jobs, communities, split screens, new languages and new subcultures.

59. If you would like to be introduced to an almost complete overview of what can go wrong in organizing hospitality and meanwhile have a great time, we urge you to watch the complete series of the 1970’s hit series Fawlty Towers.

Host and guest; what’s in a name…
Basil Fawlty: “Good night!” [Mr Leeman doesn’t answer] Basil Fawlty: “I said, “Good night!”” Mr Leeman: “Oh, good night!” Basil Fawlty: “That didn’t hurt, did it?”59 We have established that your organization is changing. And the conclusion is that your role will also change. As a manager, you will face new challenges and dilemmas. Many of these challenges and dilemmas will be related to changing relationships between employer



60. Since the cinematic world had yet to be developed in the times of King Arthur, we allow ourselves to quote from a written source: “The Knight of the Cart (Lancelot)” in The Arthurian romances by Chrétien de Troyes (Translation Harmondsworth, 1991).

and employee, between care giver and patient, between educational institute and student. Whether referring to superior and subordinate, giver and receiver, or supplier and consumer, it is clear that these roles are evolving. These roles will, now and in the future, be greatly redefined and as a manager, you would be smart to anticipate that. As previously mentioned, you will sooner or later be forced to implement the tools and principles related to hospitality. In fact, many of the changes you will be dealing with can be boiled down to an alteration, or rather an evolution, in the relationship between the two roles that are central to hospitality: the host and the guest. Today, more and more companies and organizations are becoming increasingly aware of their (new) role as host. We are also seeing that, at a strategic level, organizations are developing an explicit vision on hospitality, which is directly connected to the overall vision and mission of their organization. How will hospitality radiate from the organization? How can hospitality play a role in the quality of service? How can it be an important instrument in enhancing the healing process of the patient? How will the organization get commitment from - gravitate the knowledge workers that are needed to realize the organization’s objectives? In other words, as a consequence of these kind of changes, questions regarding how to give content to hospitality are becoming more prominent at all levels and in various ways.

“… better than you have ever been lodged before!”60
Hospitality is typically a word that everyone knows and everyone can define for themselves; it has to do with the way you treat guests. The way in which hospitality is interpreted by individuals and organizations, however, has changed drastically over the years. In order to better understand the reasons for this and the concept itself, it would be wise to not just ‘fantasize’ about the future, but to first take a brief look back at the history of the concept of hospitality and, subsequently, zoom in on



the world where hospitality naturally plays a central role: the hospitality industry and, more specifically, the world of hotels. Hospitality is a subject that has exercised many a mind for centuries. Various sources refer to different origins, but all of them consider the relationship between host and guest as the basis. From a cultural perspective, as well as from a religious one, hospitality refers to the concern of the host for the well-being of the guest. From time immemorial, this concern has been an unselfish commitment, in other words, a concern for the guest with nothing in return. Moreover, the central theme of many religious parables is of how one, disguised as a poor traveler, can test this unselfish commitment. Actually, not so very different from the mystery guest who, in the name of Michelin, tests the hospitality of a restaurant. Well, except for at least one very important point. The old cultural and religious norms connect hospitality specifically to altruism. It is about the noble gesture of offering a stranger in need a roof over his head and something to eat. The host must do this without ulterior motive and certainly without striving to personally gain from it. Hospitality is in this context specifically connected to things such as honor and morality. Within the scope of today’s hospitality industry, hospitality is now quite a different story. Not that being hospitable today wouldn’t be considered an honorable act. And many of those who work in the industry provide hospitality without hesitation, based on a drive to give meaning to the word on a higher level. However, nowadays a major motivating factor of both the owner and the manager - typically not the same person(s) within this particular industry - is to benefit financially. Within this environment, as a manager, you specifically carry the responsibility to realize this goal. Hospitality is in this context no longer a characteristic or a noble objective, but rather a tool to realize commercial goals. The shift from altruistic to (partially) commercial motives is only one example of how the meaning and the content of the expression hospitality has changed in the past years. Originally, the term hospitality referred to providing room and board to a stranger, thus to physical aspects. Very soon however, this term has come to mean more than that; now also referring to intangible aspects. Even back in the days of the knights, there was an intangible aspect to hospitality, a way in which a host could differentiate himself, which is so wonderfully illustrated in the following lines from “The Knight of the Cart (Lancelot)”:



“Sir,” he said, “it will soon be night and is already past the hour when it is reasonable to think of lodging. I have a manor house nearby where I will take you. I will do my best to lodge you better than you have ever been lodged before. I’ll be happy if you accept.” An utterance such as this from the host expresses that hospitality can be interpreted in many ways. As early as in the Middle Ages, there were certain levels (of quality) at which one could provide hospitality to guests. One could even say that we see, here, the first steps towards a value system; the level at which you provide hospitality results in a specific valuation of your hospitality by the guest. In our current economic system we are used to translating this into a price level for the hospitality provided. That the hospitality concept has broadened, or rather, deepened is, thus, not a recent development. It certainly does not mean, however, that the discussion about the content of the concept is thereby closed. Moreover, in the world of hotels and tour operators, the firms who consider their core business to be hospitality, many have held on to an interpretation of this concept based mainly on tangible aspects for a relatively long time. Until just recently, many tour operators saw it as their duty to provide the physical aspects of hospitality, such as transportation and accommodation. In the hotel world it has been a bit more subtle, as ‘service with a smile’ has been an expression for years now. But if you specifically look at the criteria by which individual hotels and hotel chains are compared with each other, these are, nevertheless, still mostly physical. The amount of square meters, the bed lamp, the automatic shoe shine and the iron are still determining factors for the number of stars or diamonds you can earn. For this reason, until recently, many hotels emphasized the excellent quality of their food, beverages, facilities and bed, and much less the intangible aspects of the relationship with the guests. However, as of late, this situation has been changing at the speed of lightning. Also in the world of hotels, the conviction has settled that meeting standards (for physical aspects) is necessary to prevent dissatisfied guests, but that in itself is not enough to guarantee satisfaction. Moreover, even if you consistently exceed the standards, this will not automatically guarantee satisfied guests. Physical aspects, in these contexts, will thus change



into dissatisfiers. Hence, if you don’t have it together, you can count on dissatisfied guests. To create satisfaction among the guests, much more is needed!

A bank, a car, a hospital, a phone; it’s all the same difference
We are seeing these kinds of developments in various sectors, probably due to the fact that consumers are becoming more critical. To illustrate this, it might be an idea to refer to one of the most commonly mentioned examples in management books: Ford and the conveyor belt. The success of Henry Ford relates heavily to having the luxury of saying to his customers that they could order any car they wanted, as long as it was black. Obviously, with regard to today’s consumers, we can no longer permit ourselves such a statement. Consumers today not only demand more, their demands are different. Modern day consumers want more than a range of colors, power and upholstery to choose from; they expect the products and services to correspond precisely to their specific wishes. This explains why corporate science and so many management books are about flexibility, customization and building a relationship with the customer. However, it does not mean that a new ‘one best way’, a new black Ford, has been created. In the reality of today’s society, and certainly in that of tomorrow and of the day after, it is much more subtle. Fine tuning the characteristics of a product according to the specific wishes and demands of an individual consumer is often the ‘road to success’, of which there are many examples. While on the other hand, companies like Apple, with the introduction of the iPhone for example, have shown that there are also alternative roads to success. No matter how lyrical many followers are about the iPhone, it’s actually just a black Ford… Sure, the design is definitely modern, the features are ‘state-ofthe-art’ and the first thing you, the user, do, is install pictures of friends and loved ones. So Melissen has programmed a specific ringtone for Marée for months now, a happy tune by Joe Nichols, “Cool to be a



fool”, regularly alternating with Supertramp’s “Dreamer”. How advanced and personal can you get?! Or are we missing something? Strictly speaking, the iPhone is really not so different from a Nokia, a Siemens or a Sony Ericsson; certainly not in technical terms. What is, however, much more remarkable is that Nokia and the likes offer a wide range of types, colors, sizes and features. You want a small, pink, simple telephone because that suits you? Sure! For your partner, you buy one with the works in black with green stripes, nice and special. It weighs a little bit more, but it’s worth it! For everyone a telephone that suits them. If we compare this abundance of options with those offered by Apple, one thing is remarkable: The iPhone actually only comes in two models that only differ in the amount of Giga Bytes they have. Your iPhone and those of your friends look the same, they can do the same things, they feel the same… What, then, explains the success of the iPhone? Can we, modern, demanding consumers still be seduced by a black Ford? Is Apple proving to us that a push strategy in today’s economy can still lead to great success? Or does it maybe have to do with the fact that, for certain consumers, for certain markets, the physical aspects are indeed only dissatisfiers - what Herzberg refers to as hygiene factors - and what it is really all about is non-physical aspects of the product and the company that offers this product?

Don’t serve me; talk to me!
To answer this question, we take you back to the hotel world. As was already established, in the old days you could differentiate yourself by offering a sauna, wireless internet and an especially comfortable bed. Such ‘goodies’ are nowadays seen as minimum requirements, while differentiating qualities from the guests’ perspective are mainly based on non-physical aspects. The way you treat the guests, the quality and flexibility of the staff and how you stage an experience are the magic words today that, together, lead to loyalty. It is no longer just a matter of the host offering tangible things to the guest; it is more and more a matter of how he does this and the influence this has on the emotions of the guest. A new dimension has emerged in the relationship between host and guest, between supplier and customer, one which revolves around



emotions, feelings and experiences. This dimension does not limit itself to the hospitality industry, although in this sector it is especially rapidly becoming a requirement for success. The ways in which this requirement is interpreted differ greatly. For example there is the simple, practical willingness to help, but there is also the realization of the advanced level, the so-called “meaningful dialogue”, introduced by Melissen and Hermans in their 2008 paper on the CRM-7-18 model. A concept like ‘willingness to help’ can be best illustrated by means of the well-known example of the ‘single bagger’ versus the ‘double bagger’. A single bagger is the term coined for a clerk in a grocery store who bags the customer’s groceries in a single paper bag, with the eggs at the bottom and the bottles on top. As soon as the customer leaves the store, without a doubt, the eggs will crack. And if it’s really bad, the whole contents of the bag will come crashing to the ground as the paper bag tears before the customer manages to reach his car. The so-called double bagger is made in a different mold. This is the clerk who, without the customer having to ask, bags the groceries in double bags with the breakables on top. This clerk enjoys his job and wants to do it well. As so often is the case, pleasure and better performance go hand in hand. The customer reaches his car safely, his groceries still intact, without incident and without having to perform a balancing act. It’s obvious that the differentiating quality in the example of the grocery store is not determined by the physical aspect, the paper bag. The customer will not look back on his visit to the store in terms of “oh, isn’t it just marvelous, this high quality customized bag”. Rather, they will connect the differentiating quality of the grocery store to the friendly and attentive clerk, who knew how best to pack the groceries and did so without the customer having ask. Staff who present themselves and perform like double baggers – that is a differentiating quality. This is exactly why the hotel sector is placing increasing emphasis on the role of operational staff in securing guest satisfaction. Do they engage in a meaningful dialogue with the guests? That is the deciding factor when sparking loyalty in a guest. Hotels which know how to differentiate themselves successfully are organizations that are capable of “rich communication and facilitating appropriate responses that emerge from that communication”, as explained by Mitussis and his colleagues in 2006.



61. We already told you that this lovely couple would manage to give you just about any example of how to violate whatever hospitality rule you can think of. They are actually pretty good at it in a personal, husband and wife kind of relationship as well.

Moreover, offering the right services and experiences without that type of communication is virtually impossible. We are reminded of that perfect cup of coffee you served to a customer who actually wanted tea. In their influential study on this subject, Zablah and his co-authors (2004) express it clearly: “to build long-term, profitable relationships, it is critical that firms’ day-to-day activities be driven by an understanding of customers’ evolving needs”.

Don’t serve me; cherish me!
Sybil Fawlty: [on the phone] “I know... I know... I know... Oh, I know!” Basil Fawlty: “Then why is she telling you?”61 The appropriate interpretation of hospitality places high demands on the organization and especially on the employees who have to make it happen. This applies to the receptionists, the waiters, the porters and all other employees who are in direct contact with the guests. They are the ones who have to give content to the relationship with the guests, especially if it is about the guests’ experience and feelings. However, it is also important to realize that not every employee has stopped to think before applying for the job, whether he is the right person to carry out a meaningful dialogue with guests and, on top of that, in line with the specific strategy of the employer. No, not every employee has entered the profession based on a passion to enter into relationships with guests by means of a well-thought-out manner in which to create meaningful experiences for the guest which in turn will lead to loyalty. And yet, increasingly so, this is what it’s all about. At a managerial level, recruiting and educating suitable personnel and developing and implementing successful Customer Relationship Programs are hot topics. Little wonder, as suitable personnel are not exactly standing in line at the door, and interpreting hospitality on an emotional level is an enormous challenge. The Internet connection works or it doesn’t. You can buy a good mattress. A sauna is expensive but in the end the decision to install it comes down to a simple cost/benefit equation. Handling the feelings and experiences of your guests the right way, well, that is a totally different ball game.



This is not to say that employees aren’t capable of performing these functions. Certainly, in the hotel industry, where this approach has taken such a central position, in the course of time it has actually become an automatic selection criterion: If such an effort doesn’t suit you, then the world of hospitality is not for you. And the opposite also applies; a lot of people who choose a career in hotels do it for the very reason that they enjoy contact with the guests. A good hotel will often have a distinct character because the porter interprets this approach by treating the guests like a real ‘double bagger’ would. In many hotels it is precisely the porter who is the main representative and the main ambassador of the organization’s culture. In turn, this culture plays an important role when guests and employees choose a hotel. At the same time, the hotel is also making choices, by directing sales and marketing activities to specific segments of potential guests and when selecting new employees. Slowly we see the situation develop where we can no longer speak of one-way relationships, but rather a situation where guests, employees and managers choose each other. We could actually say that engaging in this kind of mutual relationship is ‘community-forming’. More on this later. The new ‘ins and outs’ of hospitality - in all its new forms and appearances - are not as obvious and easy to realize in every sector. Nevertheless, we dare claim that this ‘ball game’ is important in many industries, not just hospitality. And that presents you, as a manager, with significant challenges, indeed maybe even bigger ones than in the hospitality sector where those challenges have been an integral part of the core business for a long time now. Before we examine this challenge further, let’s go back to the hotel sector one last time. So far, it has become clear that the term hospitality has evolved over time and contains more and more intangible elements. It is also clear that a sensible interpretation of hospitality has become an increasingly bigger challenge. In the end it’s all about hospitality, entering into a relationship with a guest by creating a feeling of home, giving the guests the feeling that they are welcome, showing you care. But is that really so? Is it really about ensuring a warm homey feeling for the guest?



Who needs cozy…
Chip Conley is a big name in the hotel industry. He is the founder and president of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, a chain of boutique hotels in California. To answer the question what precisely is the strategy of a boutique hotel, he states on Joie de Vivre’s website: “People actually have emotional experiences when they stay in our hotels. Sometimes I’ve used the term ‘identity refreshment’ to describe this dynamic. People who stay in a hotel that feels worldly, artistic, literate, creative and sophisticated, feel just a little closer to that themselves when they leave – that’s an ‘identity refreshment.’ And this is where the whole idea of appealing to a certain psychographic vs. a demographic, or building hotels that are more lifestyle driven than theme driven, really starts to make sense. People feel connected, and when they feel connected they begin to establish loyalty to a product. And that’s a good business strategy.” From this it’s clear that the developments in the field of hospitality have gone incredibly fast, and creating a warm, homey feeling is far from always being the appropriate interpretation of hospitality. Just like in other areas, there is not just ‘one best way.’ There is no simple stepby-step plan for organizations by which hospitality can be interpreted. Nor is it an ISO standard that you either fulfil or don’t. No, the vision and interpretation of hospitality that works for a specific organization, is connected to its guests, its customers and its employees. As Chip Conley points out, loyalty often depends on recognition, on creating an atmosphere that gives the guests or customers a feeling that they can appreciate. A feeling that suits them, or is a welcomed addition to their own identity; a feeling that either complements or refreshes their identity. And frankly, not everyone identifies or wants to identify themselves with cozy, homey and warm. Naturally, almost everyone, even in the world of tomorrow and thereafter, needs a home. That, however, does not mean that for everyone alike home is associated with the same feeling. And more importantly, not everyone is looking for this feeling, especially not in situations outside of their actual homes. As an organization, you will have to anticipate this, even if providing a home away from home has been your core business for some time.



An interesting and striking example of this is the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In their marketing message and their hospitality concept, this hotel makes use of the not-homey, not-comfortable, not-luxurious feeling that one often associates with a budget hotel. In advertising clips on the Internet they even talk of “a hotel whose lack of services and features makes it the most accidently eco-friendly hotel on the planet.” An unsuspecting visitor will scratch his head in perplexity at the Internet site where it coolly states that the kitchen is “undefined”. After a while it becomes clear that this site has been consciously made user-unfriendly and time and again error messages (innocent ones, mind you) pop up on the screen. Broad smiles break out as the visitor soon realizes that this is the strength of the concept, not a weakness. You could say that this hotel, with their brilliant feeling for humor, knows how to connect with the norms and values of the concerned no-nonsense crowd of today. At the same time, we are dealing with an organization (in a sector that until recently focused on creating optimal service and facilities) that dares draw attention to itself with a campaign that precisely points out the lack of services and features. Just imagine for a minute that an employer is bold enough to proudly advertise in the want-ads that future employees shouldn’t count on any facilities and that all computers at the office are provided with sophisticated spyware. Oh, yes, and the salary is ok, but not guaranteed… If you check out the websites of hotel chains like Citizen M, Yotel and Qbic hotels, it soon becomes clear that, for these, one by one, new and successful hotels, it is definitely not a matter of creating cozy feelings. They’re talking hip, high-tech, travelling, discovering and renewing. All but the gently crackling fire and comfortable reading chairs. However, that is exactly what we can find in, for instance, hotels affiliated with Historic Hotels of America, but then in an atmosphere and physical environment from 50 years ago. As a last example, let’s make a short visit to the world of restaurants. A phenomenon that we see there is ‘dining in the dark’. An experience in itself, with the underlying motive that taste buds are a better stimulant for the brain if that same brain does not need to deal with visual stimuli.


62. Indeed the song by the Beatles, but we prefer to dedicate this phrase here to the eponymous episode of the topnotch series Frasier that kind of proves the opposite. In that episode that is…


Original, fascinating, charming and focusing on creating a specific experience, but for the most of us, something that we would never do at home. And the list goes on of often fascinating examples to be found in the hospitality industry. Examples that show that, even in an industry where hospitality is central, it is no longer exclusively about hospitality as we know it, a feeling of home and being welcome.

Can’t buy me love…62
Slowly but surely, it is becoming clear that loyalty from guests in the hotel world can no longer be guaranteed (read: bought) by physical things alone. The way in which this sector is interpreting hospitality, the interpretation of the relationship between host and guest, has changed significantly over time. Meaningful dialogues, really listening, taking feelings into account and anticipating them, those are the key issues. This brings us to the point where it is high time we concentrate on the world outside of the hotel sector. It is also high time that we try to define the concept of hospitality, certainly now that we are treading on unfamiliar ground. A definition could possibly offer us a handle on the lessons from the hotel world while translating them into smart moves in the world outside; a world that we typify, and not without cause, as Wonderland. Earlier we saw the contours of Wonderland evolving and a few things are clear already. Wonderland is a quickly changing, complex world with many challenges, new perspectives, altered and altering relationships. A world in which thinking of smart interpretations of hospitality will be one of the basic requirements for you as a manager. So here goes. In this book, based on all of the aforementioned, hospitality means: The way in which the host and the guest interpret both physical and non-physical aspects of the relationship between them. Thus, hospitality is that which makes you realize that in a relationship it is often a matter of one person filling the role of host and another person filling the role of guest. These roles, however, are not limited or permanent, as, during their relationship and with the relationship in mind, the host and guest can exchange roles if required. The one who, at that moment, is in the role of host, grants the other, the



guest, access to his house. Moreover, the development over time of the concept hospitality has taught us that the expression ‘house’, in this context, needs to be interpreted figuratively. In this way, the one who is host becomes a good host, determined not by the physical house, like the room, the building or his apartment, but mainly by the way in which the host interprets the non-physical aspects of access by the guest to the host’s house. Thus, a good host is one who manages to differentiate himself and appropriately interpret the emotional dimension of this relationship.

63. Newton kind of makes this sound like an everyday saying in Men in Black II (2002) and that is exactly how we need to approach those fastidious ‘new’ hotel guests.

“Gentlemen! Seen any… aliens lately?”63
Now there are probably a few things that you could denote as ‘typical’ in our attempt to formulate a definition. First of all, there is the implication that the modern guest will not allow himself to be induced to be loyal simply and only by physical aspects. Hospitality is about much more than that. A second point that draws attention, or something that is actually explicitly absent in the definition above, is the link to the hospitality sector. Not one word is wasted on hotels, tour operators, or the hospitality industry in general. That’s right! The reason for this is the answer to the following relevant, as well as interesting, question. A question for which the answer, for you as a manager, can have sweeping consequences. And this question is: Where, oh where does the modern guest go when he has left the hotel of his choice? Obviously, this modern guest can not permit himself, with the exception of a fortunate few, to spend his life as a fulltime hotel guest. Many guests will also spend a part of their lives in the role of student, of patient, of employee. In fact, it is certainly not impossible that this strange creature has already penetrated into your organization! Now it seems that this observation, at first glance, is maybe not so shocking or enervating. Naturally, it is the same people; hotel guests are not a different kind of people, no new subspecies of homo sapiens. They are the very same people who also work in your organization, who study at your university, and who are treated in your hospital. This means however, that they are also the same people who, within the context of the hotel sector, are apparently not satisfied with a luxurious



sauna and champagne breakfast without a meaningful dialogue. They are the same people who are only loyal to a host who can give a customized interpretation - on an emotional level - of their relationship. And, of course, they are also the same people who no longer care for life long employment, but prefer job hopping. You know them, you’ve seen them, and you’ve talked to them. The same people we referred to earlier as being impatient and passionate, that call for more meaning in their work, more attention. Those somewhere-in-the-latter-part-of-thealphabet generations, those that refuse being served by hierarchy and a boss… Therefore, at this stage, it is not particularly bold to conclude that the changed behavior of guests in the hotel sector has something to do with the changes in behavior of people in general, their wishes and demands, their preferences and needs in general. We have already seen that not only does the average hotel guest from decades ago clearly differ from the average hotel guest of today, so does the student, the patient and the employee. And it is probably not so strange, then, to imagine that a successful interpretation of the way in which you treat people in the hotel world, coincides with the characteristics of the sensible manner in which you would treat these same people in another environment, such as your organization, your point of gravitation. And therefore, meeting the needs of the new generations of employees and customers of your organization requires you, as a manager, to learn from the field of hospitality, to apply some of the principles described above.



“Imagine, all the people”64
Are you reading this book in your vacation? Great that you are taking the time. But at the same time, it’s a pity. We were just about to ask you to imagine your upcoming vacation. Imagine yourself at an out-door café where you are waiting for that first drink. Or you’re on a boat on a calm lake, just about to throw out your fishing line. Whatever your destination is, you can probably see it clearly in front of you. That is why we often enjoy the expectations of the experience longer than the experience of the vacation itself. Imagination is a powerful instrument that enables us to picture things that are yet to come, to experience a scenario as if it is already happening. In most cases, we add details we are familiar with in our daily lives. Less often, we manage to conjure up elements that have no reference at all to the reality of our everyday lives. But in any case, the power lies in that we can imagine that the invoked image could be a real-life scenario. This construction in our thinking enables us to evaluate the consequences of not yet existing situations, before we decide to let them occur. Here we discuss why imagination is an especially important tool, a starting point for someone who gives direction within the context of gravitation fields that are in a continuous ‘beta status’. At the moment someone describes an image he has of a possible future scenario for us all, we can also imagine it. We co-imagine with the visionary and can either be enthusiastic or dismissive about it. Throughout the centuries, a quality that has turned ordinary leaders into truly great ones is the ability to inspire large groups of people. This inspiration was always related to the ability to describe a future scenario that touched a chord with the masses. In 1961, John F. Kennedy invoked an image for the people of the United States of America in which, within 10 years, man would walk on the moon and return safely to earth. This vision was so strong that the development of space travel gained supporters and investments in space technology increased enormously. And in 1969 it all came true. Simply because enough people had coimagined a specific image together with Kennedy. Hence, for the person who makes use of this tool and for the one who is listening, imagination has enormous power to inspire. On the other hand, there is the negative variation of imagination in which scary scenarios
64. These are the first lines of John Lennon’s famous song (1971) in which he suggested that imagining a better world would be the starting point for creating one. Spot on!

Chapter 5



65. Here we most definitely do not refer to Dr. Who. 66. Solution: You have, of course, discovered on your own that if you turn the book 180 degrees, the result then reads ten equals one plus nine. Challenge: There is one more solution.

are sketched, that are just as powerful. After 9/11, with his statement on the War on Terror, George W. Bush created a global image of terrorism as war. No wonder that, soon after, wars in several places became reality. Remember the statement from chapter 2: “We never know what we’re going to find, do we?”65 The fear of terror, made ‘real’ by Bush, has changed the world. Only since July 4, 2009 have tourists in New York again been able to enjoy the view from the crown of the Statue of Liberty after a period of being closed for the public for security reasons.

The rope to the future
Have you ever been challenged to solve a riddle like the one below? This calculation in Roman numerals tells us that eleven plus one equals ten. We know that this is not correct, but the challenge lies in trying to make it correct without changing it.

XI + I = X

How can you tackle this? We hope that you accept the challenge and do not immediately go to the footnote66 where we offer the solution. While you’re busy trying to solve the riddle, all sorts of thoughts that might have something to do with the solution come to mind. If the real solution hasn’t popped up right away, you have probably considered and evaluated various alternatives. Maybe among these are ideas that are not at all useful for this problem, but would be for another problem that has been at the back of your mind for some time. Our brains work in mysterious ways. In any case, it is useful to realize that it is human nature which prompts our imagination, and that it is possible to imagine and evaluate solutions or new future scenarios. If you do this often enough and you have enough information, then a picture of the future could appear that feels worthy to strive for. At that moment, you as a manager have something valuable on your hands. Even though it is still only an image, it can help you to set course. It is, if you will, like tying a rope onto the image of the



future that you pull on in order to reach it. There is a big difference with setting course based on experience from the past. If you determine your course as a reaction to yesterday and to the day before that, the course will be less fixed if more and more changes come our way. In this way, one cannot set course based on the past (Past Push), if there is no longer reason to believe that yesterday’s trends can predict today’s events with any amount of reliability. But if you are holding on to the rope to your future goal, you can get thrown off course plenty of times by present events, but the direction will still be clear tomorrow. This way of setting course is called management by Future Pull. Thus, it seems to be of great importance to have a deliberate vision of where you want to go in the future. And yes, this too is easier said than done. Although the power of imagination is a basic skill for all of us, not everyone can sketch an inspiring, promising picture of the future that is attractive enough for others. For this you need qualities that can be developed. To start off, we strongly advise you to always look in new directions.

67. When first confronted with this simple but powerful new term, coined by Tom Kelley, it immediately triggered one for Marée. A Vujà Dé that is…

Vujà Dé67
You have probably just turned this book upside down. Simply to actually see what you also can deduce in your mind, without having to move the book. Now, you’re probably also starting on the challenge in the footnote: What is the second way? In any case, you have altered your view for a moment because of this riddle; you’ve looked with different eyes. And you’ve guessed it: You’ll have to do this more often. It has two advantages. One is that you practice your imaginative ability. Two is that you create perspectives that could lead to future visions that deviate from the well-trodden paths in such a way that they could be inspiring and promising. By doing this, you have not yet altered reality, but you do have the chance of dealing with it differently. May we ask you to now study the illustration of the waterfall by Escher. Although the principle that is displayed is impossible, we still see water flowing upwards. Seemingly, we imagine this reality because the picture invites us to. Or look at the famous painting “La Trahison des Images” from 1929 by the Belgian artist René Magritte. To the people who



thought that it was simply just a pipe he answered: “Try to smoke it then.” By making it clear that it was no longer necessary to portray reality in a painting, because then you could just as well take a picture with a camera, he gave the art lover the chance to appreciate paintings differently. It is not exactly a bold statement to say that a ‘dripping’ by Jackson Pollack would not have brought in millions in the days of Rembrandt. So, looking at reality with different eyes can actually be enough to instigate change. Tom Kelley, the boss of Ideo, one of the front-rank design offices in the world, describes the moment you see something with new eyes using a poignant comparison. He calls to mind a feeling that everyone has experienced at one time or another; that feeling of ‘hey, this has happened before’, although it hasn’t. It is such a wellknown phenomenon that we have given it a name: ‘déjà vu’. Tom



Kelley compares this with the opposite: Sometimes you see something for the umpteenth time but it seems as though you are seeing it for the very first time. You are experiencing reality in a fresh and different way. For this experience, he has coined a new phrase: ‘vujà dé’. According to him, these moments represent those special moments in time when you actually have an opportunity to alter reality.

68. No, we don’t want to refer to the movie with the same name, it’s just not us.

Once upon a time, there were two princes, brothers, who went on a journey. One day, it was very, very warm. The sun was burning down. Then they came upon a man on the side of the road. This man asked them for help. He had fallen asleep and when he woke up, his camel was gone. The princes asked him if the camel was blind on one eye. Enthusiastically, the man jumped up and asked them where they had seen his camel. But then they asked him another question: “Is it so that the camel also limped a little bit with his left leg?” Reassured by this knowledge, he asked once again where they had seen his camel. The answer came: “We haven’t seen your camel, but what we do know is that he has walked down this road.” The man now felt that they were making a fool of him and demanded an explanation. The brothers told the man that they had seen along one side of the road the grass had been eaten. Hence, their conclusion was that the camel had a blind eye. Further, they had seen in some places deviating tracks on the left side. Sufficiently convinced, the man went off in the direction the princes had shown him. This story has been told in a number of variations for centuries and is part of the fairy tale about the princes of Serendip. Serendip is the old name for Sri Lanka. Essential in this fairy tale is the ability of the princes to draw interesting conclusions from seemingly uninteresting information. In 1754, this inspired Horace Walpole to create a new word: ‘serendipity’. Nowadays we mainly use the word for situations in which someone is looking for something, but by coincidence discovers something else. A nice example of this from science is the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Flemming. He had the presence of mind to regard a set-back in his research on bacteria in a different way. In several Petri dishes the



bacteria culture had died. Instead of throwing these dishes away in disappointment, he grew curious. He discovered the culprit, penicillin, and learned that this fungus was a powerful antibacterial remedy. Serendipity led Columbus to discover America, and it also stood by the cradle of the Post-Its by 3M. And naturally, we include Isaac Newton’s apple in this category as well. Coincidence is relative here. It requires the sharp eyes of the princes to actually see their discoveries. And that’s what it’s all about. This is where the gift of curiosity enables you, during a set-back or strange twist in our daily routines, to say ‘gosh’ and not ‘damn’; a gift closely linked to the ability to imagine something new. Afterwards, such a step often seems logical and you may even ask yourself what is so new about it. Take another example: Almost everyone in the 1970s would have answered the question whether they wanted to archive their work: Where should I archive it? But only a few would have thought of the virtual space that we use today. So, looking with different eyes. But even if this is the starting point for finding a solution that organizations of today need in order to react to specific developments, a new view, the vujà dé, the ‘paradigm shift’ won’t just fall into their laps. People have the tendency to do things the way they are used to, to accept things as they are. The advantages that this offers are obvious. Without routines, it wouldn’t be possible to live our lives. Only a relatively short while ago, the main concerns of our forefathers were to gather enough food and to find shelter and protection. Given the fact that – genetically - we have not really changed that much, it is amazing that the flexible human brain actually allows us to multi-task with modern technology. We act as though it is the most natural thing in the world, but the e-mail that makes all new mails shift down on our screens as in the game Tetris, requires the utmost of our hunting instinct. Every unanswered mail clogs your system of communication and before you know it, it’s ‘game over’ and first you have to get all of your unanswered mail out of the way before you can get your own mails in the Tetrissystem to shift down on the screens of others. And no matter how well we have adapted to make this new reality our own, the speed of



technological renewal remains a challenge that continually puts our human nature to the test.

Cherish diversity
In his vision on the changing society (2002), Richard Florida, professor at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, tells us that there are three factors within a society that predict how well that society is able to react to the rapid changes of today: technology, talent and tolerance. The two first factors seem quite logical; if you fall behind in technical issues, it will have repercussions in economic areas, and if you do not nourish talent, this is obviously not good for developments. Especially remarkable is the third factor that he mentions, i.e. tolerance. Florida is crystal clear that economic developments are, for reasons we have already touched on, strongly and increasingly more related to the amount of visionary energy and creativity in a society. The growth of cities, for example, is directly related to the ability to attract creative people. The more open and the more tolerant such a city is, the better such a community can accommodate high-quality creative industries. Indicators that Florida has found are the Gay Index and the Bohemian Index. The latter represents the number of writers, designers, musicians, actors, directors, painters, sculptors, photographers and dancers that a city has within its limits. Important to know is that the index says something about the tolerance in such a city, not that the creativity explicitly lies within the Gay Group or the Bohemian Group. And why, then, is this tolerance so important? The answer, in short, is to secure and protect much-needed creativity. And although creativity is naturally closely interwoven with imagination, it is not the same. Creativity is mostly defined as the ability to generate something new that can be seen as useful to society. The downside of this is that you yourself may know that you have thought up something ingenious, but that the world is just not ready for it (yet). Just like Vincent van Gogh who, during his life time, only sold two paintings, one of which to his brother Theo. The phenomenon that one’s creativity is neither seen nor acknowledged is therefore called the Van Gogh Syndrome. Indeed, we



too want to make use of this safety valve that we’ll open if you think that the ideas we present here are totally crazy, if society just doesn’t get it. We will seek refuge next to Van Gogh... Funnily enough, most people are protected from the Van Gogh Syndrome, both by society and by themselves. A well-known American designer of French descent, Raymond Loewy, has thought up an important rule for developers: the MAYA principle, in which MAYA stands for Most Advanced Yet Acceptable. If you want your design to be accepted by society and, moreover, to be successful on the market, you need to have deviated far enough from the trodden path, but still make sure you take a path that people are willing to follow. Most of the time, we can sense, ourselves, whether the time is ripe for the next step or not and in this way we protect ourselves from Vincent Van Gogh’s disappointment. And still, we mustn’t lose sight of the ‘MA part’, because that would be a mistake. A huge enemy of MA is the set of everyday standard rules that applies in many an organization. Regardless of whether or not they are necessary, existing rules can become enormous obstacles for creative solutions. An illustrative example of this refers to an alderman in a Dutch city that established a new principle to avoid these obstacles. He called it the ‘oops principle’. Every public servant who violated a regulation with good reason, for the sake of a smooth transaction as part of providing appropriate service to an inhabitant, or in the best interest of the development of the city, had the right to appeal to the ‘oops principle’. His superior could, then, not punish him for this violation. When someone points out the offence to the officer, his answer is: oops. And obviously, this response is the prompt to take a closer look at the reason for the violation. Who knows, maybe the regulation in question can be improved or, in favorable circumstances, even thrown out. The consequences of the introduction of this principle were that all employees of the city became aware that they were expected to take a stance and that not only was the opportunity given to them to find new solutions, rather it was part of their job. There you have it: Tolerance, not only towards different people with different lifestyles, but also towards ideas. And towards the fact that things do go wrong at times. Is that so bad?



Alessi is an interesting family firm in Italy which started as specialists in advanced metal manufacturing and now mainly designs household appliances. In recent years, they have become known for their successful collaboration with renowned designers. The current president, Matteo Alessi, a third generation member of the Alessi family, has his own special opinion about making mistakes. In an interview in 2006, he said in regard to this: “Basically what we do is we want to work on the borderline of what is understood and appreciated by the market and therefore has a commercial positive impact and result, and what is beyond this borderline; very simply, what is not understood and appreciated by the market. This borderline is not a clearly marked line on a chart done by an agency, so it is a risky approach. It is difficult to realize where this line is. As I was saying at the forum, it is important for us sometimes to go beyond this borderline for two main reasons. The first one is that when you go beyond it for a brief moment you see where it was, and you can use that reference for other projects. Second, when we go beyond the borderline, the product might not sell very well but it shows the public what can be done. It may be early but it shows what we are capable of, so I think we are moving the borderline every time. So products that are beyond the borderline may be on the safe side of the borderline in the future. Also if we didn’t have a fiasco for two years in a row, it would show that we weren’t innovating any more. If you don’t risk and give freedom to designers you are not really innovating. Having this approach is like dropping a feather on the edge of a table. You don’t know if it is going to stop on the table or if it is going to fall onto the floor.” Were you also surprised? Here, in black and white, is the vision of a firm stating that they strive for fiascos as part of that vision! Alessi accepts failures as part of his innovation strategy and understands that experimentations and risk taking represent the conditions required for progress. Tolerance for failure. To be able to accept failure, you need a clear vision of the future. Matteo Alessi also realizes that a strategy like this puts the organization to the test and mentions an important condition:



“It is interesting and important to point out that Alessi is still owned and managed by the family, because you need to have commitment from all management and all ownership to this strategy. I imagine that an investment bank wouldn’t appreciate a strategy where you need to have fiascos and lose money on certain projects to achieve your target.” In a previous chapter we quoted Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street and, although we naturally don’t agree with him, there was logic in his plea for real commitment to the organization from the management. Only then can you, as a manager, really stimulate the MA while keeping an eye on the YA.

Imagination, future pull, vujà dé, serendipity, diversity and tolerance. Various essential points of view for navigating within the fields of gravitation. Without these qualities, no balanced DNA. It is imagination that creates the vision that is needed for applying future pull. Imagination is nourished by vujà dé and serendipity. We need diversity and tolerance to be able to continually look and interpret anew. And this future pull leads to followers, to people who also see the image, to people who feel the urge to get involved with this image, to enrich it, to co-imagine. The above refers to ‘followers’. In his explanation of an effective way of developing in his book “Concepting” (1999), Rijkenberg introduces this term which puts the use of the old term ‘target group’ on the sidelines. Development is impossible for a target group. The description of the characteristics of a target group isn’t helpful to a developer. What he can use is a scenario in which values and needs are taken into account. A vacuum found in that scenario can be filled with a solution by the designer, the developer. Standing at the dawn of this solution is a group of followers who feel involved in the chosen position. An extra advantage is that a target group contains a fixed amount of people, while a follow group can grow. Do you see the similarity with the organizational principles that are linked to managing and



organizing in Wonderland? We hope you do. However, we also hope that you feel that the term ‘follower’ is in fact, ultimately, too passive for a co-imaginator. Especially now that we have already established that innovation will change into co-creation processes in the future. What happens if you use your imagination? You visualize another reality. It can be to find a solution for a situation with which you are not happy. Or simply because you like the activity itself; you enjoy visualizing another reality. It could also be that you need your power of imagination in order to be able to interpret a situation that proves difficult to understand. In any case, you conjure up a picture, a scenario on your retina that means something to you. This meaning is what it’s all about. The difference between creativity and imagination is the meaning it has for you. If you enjoyed the riddle with the Roman numerals, then that feeling of enjoyment, the pleasure it gives you, is most likely connected with the fact that it tested your problem solving abilities. If you succeed, your ability is confirmed, which makes you feel good. The moment of “YES! I’ve found the solution” marks the moment of pleasure. In this case, also the pleasure of being able to suddenly see something you didn’t see before that moment. And there we have the third form of déjà vu, that we refer to as ‘eureka vu’, adapted from the cry “Eureka!” that the old Greek Archimedes shouted out from his bath long ago. If we want to, we can see the image of the nevertheless respectable gentleman rushing down the road without a towel on while repeatedly shouting out that he “found it”. To prevent any possible misunderstandings, the reason that he was so elated was because the overflow of his bath had inspired him to find the solution for a very complicated issue: How much gold is in the king’s crown? For him, at that moment, it was definitely reason enough to forget about everyday rules of etiquette. Why? Because he was too busy enjoying the satisfying feeling of finding a solution. The kind of solution where you know immediately: This is it! Imagine sharing this feeling with a group of followers, who via co-imagination have the exact same eureka vu. Now that’s inspiration. We assume that, generally speaking, solving a riddle has no great impact on your life. However, realizing that the solution can sometimes be found by looking at reality from another point of view, well, that could be of great value for you as a manager. Imagination has proven


69. Okay, we admit, including this quote from Alice in Wonderland probably doesn’t take away all doubts with respect to the term creativity. But if you read it, you can probably understand that we couldn’t resist.


itself to be a quality and an activity that in itself could bring pleasure, but could also add new meaning, new value to reality. And that’s key. Innovation, change, adjusting the course, all of these things have to have meaning. This is exactly why in every handbook about change management it states that in the community that needs to change, there first needs to be a sense of urgency. The power of imagination is linked to its ability to create meaning.

Creativity is a state of mind
Creativity; as much as possible, we’ve been trying to avoid the word for some time now. Because it has so many connotations and has been used in so many different situations, it has lost some of its meaning, some of its effect. Rather like terms such as design, quality, change and flexibility. This does not mean that it has, therefore, become less important. However, it complicates things if you want to explain something related to this concept. Yet, at this point, it is important to note that in Wonderland, the ways in which we will work, be useful, and create value, will also be increasingly dependent on well-managed creativity. “There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”69 If you ask any random group of people to raise their hand if they feel that they are creative, you’d be lucky if around 20 percent of hands went up. In general, people do not think of themselves as creative, because, for instance, ‘creative’ is seen by many of us as meaning ‘artistic’, which is expressed by making music, painting, writing poetry or sculpting. Only a few realize that creativity is needed for almost every decision made. Sure, as various researchers have indicated, one could distinguish between various degrees of creativity. In her book “Creativity in Context” (1996), Teresa Amabile discusses degrees of talent for creativity. And Csíkszentmihályi, well-known



researcher on creativity, differentiates between creativity with a small c and Creativity with a capital C. But both agree, along with many other specialists for that matter, that creativity is part of human nature. Dan Pink, ex-advisor of former president Bill Clinton, writes about the necessity of “A whole New Mind” in his book with the same title. We can agree with that, but only when we interpret it as a call to, admit to the importance of creativity. And thus, not as a necessary change in our brain. If you take a good look at children, you’ll see that creativity does not need to be learned. We have, however, lost a lot of our creativity in the process of growing up by having to meet the demands of the educational systems that prepare us for a world built up around rules and regulations. Rules and regulations that remind us of a typical industrial era organization, where routine, knowledge and obedience are more important than invention, independence and empathy. Somehow, it almost seems logical that the creative state of mind is more easily forgotten the older we get. The world around is full of dangers that we must try to avert. If you’ve ever eaten anything that you are allergic to, you’ll remember that well. If you burn your hand on the stove, you’ll know not to do that again. We remember our negative experiences far better than we do our positive ones. They are essential lessons in life that help to prevent us from making the same mistake twice. Our judgement system, trained through experience, but also by nature, reacts quicker than we are aware of and filters out the negative aspects of reality that we recognize. It is a sophisticated teamwork of automatisms that protects us from fatal mistakes. And that is also why it is easier to react to a crazy idea with “that would exceed our budget” than with “that could bring in quite a profit”. The ‘damn’ is rolled into our judgement system, the ‘gosh’ emerges only if we dare to surrender to the attitude we had when ‘play’ was our priority, not ‘work’ and sticking to the rules. Within the context of the new organizing principles we discussed in previous chapters, within Wonderland, it could very well be that ‘play’ is often the right choice, the right attitude. In any case, we applaud the fact that at Red Bull headquarters, you have the choice to either take the stairs down, or for the fun of it, go down the slide. No, we are not going to launch into a long story about how exactly creativity works. There are enough studies on that topic out there



already and we would like to refer to the work of Edward de Bono, among others. However, after the discussions above, we can’t resist giving you one specific tip. As much as we see your ability to be critical as an achievement, and useful in daily life, we ask you, nevertheless, to now and again turn it off. It creates space in that part of your brain which likes to think outside the box, to daydream, to concoct weird and wonderful plans. If you do this consciously and look for a different approach to solving a problem, you’ll be taking the first step towards – consciously - managing your creative talents. And that is what we mean by ‘state of mind’. It is the realization that imagination can be turned ON. And it is making sure that every now and again you actually do this, in an inspiring place, with a challenging goal in mind, for a designated period of time. And you do this - and this is very important - without establishing in advance what the outcome will be. As humor-hero, not to mention very creative person and visionary, John Cleese has said: “It’s like creativity. You have to follow it without knowing where you’re going.”

Imagination in action
John’s statement sets the stage for an example with which we will end this chapter on the second main point of attention with respect to navigating in Wonderland - imagination. An example that shows the inspirational power of imagination; that shows how the power of imagination can create meaning; that shows how imagination, future pull, vujà dé, serendipity, diversity, creativity and tolerance can be combined to constitute an organizing principle; and, most of all, an example that shows all this in today’s world! The example to which we refer is the “Burning Man” project. Describing all ins and outs would require a separate chapter. However, the following quote, from the website dedicated to this project, will give you a first impression, a rough first picture: “Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind. […] to truly understand this event, one must



participate. This [web]site serves to try to paint a picture of the Burning Man experience to those who are new to the project, as well as to give those participants looking to keep the fire burning in their daily lives an environment in which to connect to their fellow community members.” The project started out as a small group of people gathering spontaneously in 1986 and has, since, grown to a community of over 48,000 people who gather, for one week, each year. As stated on the website, “there are no rules about how one must behave or express oneself at this event […]; rather, it is up to each participant to decide how they will contribute and what they will give to this community.” However, every year, Larry Harvey, founder of the project, suggests a specific theme and “participants are encouraged to find a way to help make the theme come alive.” This project was an inspiration to the authors in writing this chapter. We encourage you to visit its website to learn more about it.



“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”70
70. Stephen’s words in the movie The Edge (1997), good words, smart words, even if he was eaten by a nasty Kojak bear the very next day…

Chapter 6

Charles Morse: “You saved me.” Robert Green: “Get over it, Charles - I just need you to navigate.”71 Are you familiar with these quotes from the movie “The Edge”? This movie, starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, tells the story of two rivals who make their way through the wilderness of Alaska, trying to survive after their plane crashes. There are actually lots of movies about plane crashes and the sometimes ingenious, sometimes shocking ways in which people survive them. You probably know a few yourselves; some of them are based on true stories; some are grossly exaggerated. They often entail great dilemmas, for instance about whether to leave someone behind. Where are the borders when it comes to survival? One specific story72, we would like to share with you here. It’s about a relatively small aircraft, with around ten or so passengers, that crashes in the middle of the wilderness. A few of the passengers survive, but none of the crew. The survivors soon realize that the plane’s communication equipment isn’t working so there are no means for them to make contact with civilization. There is also no food on board nor anything else of use to help them survive the wilderness. What now? One of the survivors, we’ll call him John, says that he’s read that, in such a situation, the wisest thing to do is to stay close to the plane wreck. This would be near the area where air traffic control last had contact with the plane and near to the spot indicated by coordinates that they could determine thanks to their radar system. Normally, this imaginary spot wouldn’t be too far away from the actual place where the plane crashed, so a search starting at this point should have a good chance of finding the site of the accident. It is also, of course, much easier to site an airplane wreck in the middle of the wilderness than it is to find a random spot where survivors are standing and waving to a distant helicopter flying overhead. John is adamant and tries to convince his companions that staying near the wreck will offer them the greatest chance of survival.

71. We are convinced that if he hadn’t felt the need to navigate, he too would have been eaten. 72. You wouldn’t believe it, but we have racked our brains, thoroughly gone through all of our DVD collections, taken the opportunity to re-watch a couple of movies featuring our hero, and ransacked the Internet, but unfortunately we are unable to inform you of the origin of this story. It’s probably because this story only exists in our befuddled minds. We prefer, however, to assume that it must be due to a temporary short-circuit in our collective memories and we would appreciate it if you would forever eliminate the possibility that it could be the first, much less attractive, explanation. Should you know the details and origin of this story, please do contact us via our website: By the way, via a special ‘virtual’ button, you can also let us know whether you think this is a shameless way of plugging our website.



John’s remarks seem to make sense and a few of the passengers agree that they should stay near the wreck. Not all agree though. One man, who we will call Jack, thinks it would be wiser to go looking for help themselves; to try to find a village or settlement and not to stay by the wreck. He states that the last contact with air traffic control could have been more than an hour before the crash and that the distance between their position last established by means of the radar system and the actual crash site may be way too large. He also points out that traffic control might not even have the suitable radar equipment to localize an airplane lost in the middle of the wilderness. He further states that it is not even certain that the pilot stayed on course due to the bad weather conditions. Jack concludes that the chances of finding the plane anytime soon are very small and that they (and especially the injured ones) have a much better chance of surviving, if they don’t wait there but rather set out. Not only John and Jack, but also the other survivors try to use logic, intuition and persuasion to win their companions over on to their side. Ultimately, however, it is something completely different that does the trick… In the air plane, Jack finds two maps that, according to him, also show the area where they must have crashed. He is able to pin point where they are with the help of the maps, the position of the sun, and a couple of hills that can be seen in the distance. And more importantly, he notes that there is a village some sixty kilometers further away. Sixty kilometers, under these conditions and with several injured among them, means three to four days of walking. In the end, finding the maps is the deciding factor and everyone agrees that the journey to the village is not only realistic; it is also their best chance of survival. And so it was… To make a long story short, after a perilous journey full of adventure, the group reaches the village. The villagers take care of the injured and help the group to contact the nearest airport and a helicopter comes to pick them up. Some time later, Jack and John meet again. Several issues concerning the crash and the days subsequent to the accident had, in the meantime,



been cleared up. Before the flight, the pilot had not informed the air traffic control of the route he intended to take and, due to severe storms, he was also forced to deviate from the usual route flown in that area. The rescue team they had spoken to during the past couple of days was convinced: It was a good thing the survivors had set out on their own because a search party looking for the wreck would have surely taken more than a few days to find them, if ever. All’s well that ends well. Jack was right! However, with hindsight, there was one thing that he had gotten wrong. The maps that Jack, John and the rest had used to find the village, the maps that were the deciding factor between staying with the wreck or making the journey, these maps turned out to be not at all of that area but of an area some four hundred kilometers further south…

Hospitality + Imagination = Navigation?
We’ll let the story of Jack and John go at that, but we ask you to keep this example in mind as you read on. In the meantime, we’ll go back to Wonderland. In the previous two chapters we presented two important starting points, two concepts that you will need on your journey through Wonderland. A journey past, via and with the help of points of gravitation, and the resulting forces of push and pull that affect you and your employees. The trick is to deal with these forces wisely, use them at just the right moment and at other moments to cunningly steer clear of less opportune points of gravitation. As a manager, you are the helmsman, the navigator that guides your organization, your employees through this force field on the way to the ultimate goal. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? We have a goal, a track, a steering wheel and two newly defined speeds: go ahead and race – to the finish line! A piece of cake! Management by go-karting. No, you don’t fall for it, do you? You know by now that we’re going to tell you once again that, in reality, it’s more nuanced than that; just a little more complicated and subtle. Well, what should we say? You are totally right! We won’t try to get around it; it’s not simple. Navigating in Wonderland, the new way of managing, just like the old way of managing, is better described as an art than as a science. There are no simple rules, there is no fixed course. However, there are starting points which you can hold on to and



concepts and tools that show you the way. To illustrate this, this chapter will review a number of these starting points, concepts and tools in context and go into specific critical moments of decision making that will arise in Wonderland. Moments that will determine whether you and your employees will be successful or not, whether your point of gravitation will survive and flourish, or not. Moments that will say something about you, about you as a manager, or rather, about you as a navigator.

73. Dr. Emmett Brown in Back to the Future is right, things will change. Maybe not so much the earth’s gravitational pull, but definitely the force fields around and within organizations.

Past Push versus Future Pull
Let’s just have a closer look at your role as navigator. In Wonderland, new demands will be put on you as a manager and it won’t do to pick from Management by Walking Around, Management by Wandering About and Management by Going Fishing. Admittedly, these principles are already trend breakers for some managers and, for them, feel quite progressive. In any case, these are examples of management styles that deviate considerably from the good ol’ industrial era in which “me is boss and I’ll tell you what to do” would do the trick. However, hierarchical relationships in a world full of professionals just don’t work. We have already established that supervising the modern, well educated, independent employee is not an option. The challenge for the manager of tomorrow is to create a collective ambition, create an environment in which these employees (as far as we can still call them employees) are given due justice and can perform to the best of their abilities. Management by – fill in any of the well-known activities linked to contemporary management styles – is certainly useful within this context, a must, but in the long run not more than a minimum requirement, the first step on the way to success. Wonderland is another story; a new force field full of new challenges, new starting points, new do’s and don’ts. A world with some serious issues to contemplate or think about, some heavy thinking. “There’s that word again; “heavy”. Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the earth’s gravitational pull?”73 In the previous chapter we referred to management based on Future Pull. In line with expressions commonly used in management literature,



we could indicate this, then, as Management by Future Pull. This term refers to the ability as a manager to make optimal use of the power of vision and purpose. In circumstances in which setting course based on the past, the Past Push, no longer suffices, it’s all about who understands the art of painting a picture of the future that professionals can put themselves in. A vision that inspires and attracts professionals. A course that enables employees to excel as a group and in itself, without an ultimate goal in sight, is attractive to these employees. A course that is not set out in detail from the beginning but unfolds along the way, just like the final destination. As previously outlined, Wonderland is a world with new starting points and possibilities for organizations to go about their business; all under the influence of developments in sustainability and technology and the way in which new generations of professionals deal with each other and with the fading borders between private and professional lives. For an organization - correction - a point of gravitation, to be successful, it is essential that there is a clear and powerful vision and course. Organizations are no longer separated from each other by clear or even physical borders. One way or another, everything and everyone is connected with each other. In this situation, it is no longer possible to screen yourself off from the outside world, to create a stable entity by guarding the borders, as you would protect a house from the weather conditions using insulation material. Operating wisely, as an organization in these circumstances, calls for someone who sets out the lines, someone who monitors the course and who adjusts the course when necessary. Who is this someone? The answer to this question can be formulated no better than by Zek in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: “… that’s you my boy. It’s a great responsibility to stand at the bow of the Ferengi Ship of State. A Nagus has to navigate the waters of the great material continuum, avoid the shoals of bankruptcy and seek the strong winds of prosperity!”



“Picture this: bumpety, bumpety, bumpety, bumpety, SPLAT!”74
“Picture this”75; surely you know the expression. These are words used by someone who asks you to use to your imagination. It is also the typical beginning of an argument made by someone who is painting a picture of the future, holding up a scenario. They are words a navigator can use to draw the attention of his companions to the course ahead, to the goal they are striving for. Combine these words with the qualities we discussed in the previous chapter, imagination and creativity, and we land at an important point of anchor, a management principle that is center stage in Wonderland. It is your task to promote the course and the goal in such a way that a force of attraction, gravity, is generated. Gravity has, thus, become the organizing principle. Not hierarchy, not contractually fixed job descriptions, but rather the allure of the point of gravitation that you represent. Gravity stems from the values that its course stands for, from what is promoted as valuable and worth striving for. Gravity is the DNA of your point of gravitation, the building blocks of your organization, the core of your strategy and your policies as a manager. We hope that the aforementioned description represents a picture, a construct that you can imagine. However, that alone will not do it. This construct is the framework of a new type of organizational principle, of a new way in which you can give content to your role as a manager. At the same time, it is only a framework, the skeleton so to speak. It is not alive yet, it has no movement. A skeleton without muscles, veins, nerves and lungs is a static entity. And a static entity will not survive in an environment in which everything is in motion and everything is connected with everything and everyone is connected with everyone. As an organizational, or better yet, organizing principle, gravitation is, then, also inextricably connected to the second principle that is central in this book: navigation. Without gravity, you cannot navigate, but without navigation, gravity would be lost. The way in which you maneuver your point of gravitation between, past, to, away from and
74. Just imagine that this statement, by Night crawler in X-Men: Evolution, actually refers to the organization you are part of. It would bring the message across, wouldn’t it? 75. Naturally, you also understand by now that this principle is one of the reasons our arguments are larded with quotes from movies and TV series. In this book we are trying to take you along on a journey through a world that does not yet exist, a world that we call Wonderland. This is a world that we cannot show you. There is no blueprint. We can, however, sketch the contours and try to call up pictures in your mind that reflect the starting points and logic that lie behind these contours. It is our way of trying to give content to “Picture this”, to the challenge we have given ourselves of making you a partner in creating our vision of the future. And admittedly, it is a handy way of avoiding or disguising nasty obstacles regarding language usage. As said, the “Picture this” principle is one of the reasons to bother you with our dubious taste in visual tidbits. Humor us…



76. Our variation of one of the most used expressions in Hollywood scenarios.

together with other points of gravitation, the actual course that you are following in the force field of all points of gravitation put together, determines the ultimate force of attraction on others, now and in the long term. Looking at the metaphor of the skeleton, we recognize the DNA of the organization not only by the structure of the bone cells that, together, make up the skeleton, but in all cells that together make up the organization. Moreover, we recognize the DNA in all of the movements of the organization, in all decisions of the organization, in the air that the organization breaths. Yes, we are stretching the metaphor here, but if you’re talking about the DNA of organizations, in a book that is about managing these organizations, you just can’t be clear enough. Picture our lips and read them76: Every breath, every movement, every decision is full of meaning, it either radiates the power of vision and purpose or it does not. The DNA of an organization is more than a collection of values, regardless of whether this collection has been put down on paper in well-turned expressions. The DNA of an organization connects those values to the people who make up the organization, to the choices that are made, to the atmosphere that the organization exudes, to the course on which the organization is moving. Indeed, as a manager you have a huge influence on the style, the choices and the course of your organization, your point of gravitation. You are close to the core, you determine, to a great extent, the attracting force, the allurement, the gravity that this core will have for others. You represent the DNA of your point of gravitation. A responsible and, at the same time, challenging role. You invite others to take a seat closer to the core. Others you make see that they perhaps might consider whether another point of gravitation would suit them better. Your colleagues, the navigators of other points of gravitation, fulfil the same role. Your employees, the professionals that, together with you, give meaning to the course, do this mostly from a position that is somewhat further from the core. Thus, also automatically closer to the core of one or more other points of gravitation. In this way, a picture develops of a dynamic force field in which you interpret your role as navigator of one, or possibly more, permanent or possibly temporary points of gravitation, together with that ever-changing-in-compilation collection of professionals, who are sometimes close to the core,



sometimes situated a bit further away, and do not differentiate between private and professional values.

77. Robin, in the episode Christmas with the Joker of the hit series Batman, is probably expressing exactly what you are thinking right now.

“I don’t know, Batman. It seems too easy.”77
We can imagine that the above ‘lecture’ took you by surprise. And you are right. This discussion on your role looks a lot like we are lecturing you, or possibly even like we are delivering a fiery sermon. Not that we doubt the message, but the style by which we conveyed it, was of course a typical example of “just act like it was the most normal thing in the world”. So, high time we relaxed, became a little less serious. And we couldn’t think of a more suitable character than Eddie in “Absolutely Fabulous”78 to bring this off. Hence, the following winged expression from the episode Fat from 1992: “Oh, darling, she was once cool, but Mr. Gravity’s been very unkind to that woman!” So, the tone is set again and the picture is complete. Now the only thing left to do is for you to learn how to navigate, how to prevent disasters like the one Eddie just described. Yes, navigate, how does one do that, what is it exactly? Navigating has to do with putting in and using, just at the right moment, the right type of instruments that we spoke about in the previous chapters: hospitality, imagination, future pull, vujà dé, serendipity, tolerance and creativity. As earlier stated, a point of gravitation is not a stationary, static given. You, your employees and the environment are all in motion. You are in the middle of a dynamic force field where staying on course and hauling in the line towards an alluring picture of the future goes hand in hand with many foreseen and, even more so, unforeseen events. The art of navigating has to do with the ability, the talent and the qualities it takes in critical moments, like in setbacks or strange twists, to say ‘gosh’ instead of ‘damn’.

78. Do you know the hit series Absolutely Fabulous? We hope so, but if not, we urgently advise you to go out and pick up a dvd of the series. In moments like this, when you need to relax, to take things a little less serious, Eddie is the one to turn to.



Black holes or motion
79. Holly in Red Dwarf actually expresses, in her own special way, one of the dangers to be found in Wonderland.

“Well, the thing about a black hole – it’s main distinguishing feature – is it’s black. And the thing about space, the color of space, your basic space color – is it’s black. So how are you supposed to see them?”79 It sounds simple enough, ‘gosh’ instead of ‘damn’, but the principle behind these expressions clearly stands for breaking trends in our present day practices of management. Do you remember the explanation of the ‘oops principle’? A principle like that is only necessary because of the way in which many of us and most of our organizations operate today. Our organizations are bulging with rules, regulations and standard operating procedures, SOPs for short. The instinctive – is it? - reaction to an unexpected event, a setback or a challenge is to re-write our procedure manuals to fit the new situation, to develop new SOPs. Like good children of the industrial revolution, we have taught ourselves to fight exemptions with total dedication until peace and quiet is restored. That is why almost every organization nowadays has a process manager, who has – what else – a little brother, the quality manager80. Everything at work is set up to guarantee stability, clarity and zero defects. Fiascos must, at all costs, be prevented! After reading this far, it shouldn’t surprise you that we deem this management style to be totally unsuitable for Wonderland. ‘Damn’ is old-style-management, so yesterday, a counter-productive reaction to the dynamics in Wonderland. Tolerance for fiascos is a must; stability is false security that leads to stagnation and to the deterioration of your organization. Gravity is only valuable by the grace of motion; staying motionless until a black hole swallows up you and your employees is definitely not the way to go! ‘Gosh’ is the alternative, the way out, the way forward. And the manager leads the way. The challenge is to seize the opportunities, to utilize the forces that are working on you and your employees, to alter the course when necessary, to keep your point of gravitation on course, to guard and to perfect your DNA and to guarantee your gravity as long as it is opportune for you and your co-imaginators. Success in Wonderland is all about linking up at the right moments, in the right way with other points of gravitation and making sure that we skirt around

80. We thank Henny van Egmond for this winged expression.



and leave behind the black holes and the not opportune points of gravitation. You use your creativity to turn threats into opportunities, your imagination to keep you and your employees on course. Your qualities as leader, as navigator, and a bit of serendipity at the right moment will determine what you’ll find.

A ‘trip’ to reality
We can imagine that slowly but surely you are getting the feeling that you have landed in a 3D movie theatre where a Spaceship Galactica clone, filmed from the perspective of the pilot, is being shown. So, just for the sake of clarity: Yes, we have used these kinds of examples on purpose in order to give you as clear as possible a feeling of the content and the relationship between our two core concepts: gravitation and navigation. We have chosen expressions and metaphors that allow us together to co-imagine a certain picture, a certain construct. But at the same time - a firm ‘no’ - it is decidedly not our intention to insinuate that Wonderland is a sort of amusement park in space. Wonderland does not exist in space; we do not ask you to transform yourself into Buck Rogers or Captain Kirk! Speaking of captains, let us take a look at the Dutch maritime industry or, more specifically, the shipbuilding industry. Not out of chauvinism, but as an example from the real world of today that shows the importance – the magnitude – of appropriate navigating, of good navigators. In this case, we are not referring to Piet Heyn, Michiel de Ruyter and Abel Tasman, but to managers of shipyards over the last few decades. In the 1970s and 1980s the Dutch shipbuilding industry went through a period of decline, resulting in a number of shipyards going bankrupt and a decline in employment. Somehow though, some specific companies have survived, especially those that presently focus on building high quality superyachts. In fact, today, in this particular section of the industry, the Dutch yards show high competitive ability. When we say ‘yards’, we need to be more specific though. The companies excelling today are not the same type of companies that dominated the industry back in the 1970s.



Until the ‘crisis’, most yards were organized as integrated companies, doing all the work needed to design, build and sell ships. These days, the success of many Dutch companies in this industry is based on a completely different organizing principle, best described by the term ‘cluster approach’. Acting as a hub, these companies coordinate and support the efforts of a wide range of independent companies and partners, often beyond the Dutch borders, that combine forces for a specific project, the creation of a specific fully custom-built superyacht. These clusters represent flexible infrastructures of subcontractors, colleague yards, manpower pools, representatives of many, many more - often highly specialized – firms, and the customer. The success of these clusters is as logical as it is painful for those that did not react rapidly enough, flexibly enough, radically enough to the new situation and developments within the shipbuilding industry. They represent companies that knew where to go, what to do, at what moment, before it was too late. The people that steered these companies in the right direction showed the required abilities as helmsmen, as navigators. In fact, we dare say that it was those abilities, and a bit of serendipity at the right moment, that distinguished the companies that survived from the ones that disappeared.

Social capital; use it, keep it, cherish it!
The above recognizes the importance of helmsman abilities as part of the navigational skills required for Wonderland. However, there is more to it than that. Wonderland stands for managers and professionals in flesh and blood who try to make the best of new possibilities and prerequisites; who try to operate successfully within the setting that is created by developments in economics, sustainability and technology. A setting which is also about the people and what they can do, what they want to do, and what they feel. Despite technical gadgets, virtual realities, self generating machines and all that kind of stuff, ultimately, it’s about you and the people around you. Moreover, the fact that technologies, knowledge and networking will be available and accessible to more and more of us ensures that the ability to distinguish oneself will more emphatically be linked to the way in which we deal



with them. The success of your point of gravitation, of your organization, will not depend on technological aids, knowledge or networks that are available to you, but on the way in which you and your employees make use of them. That is also why we continue to speak of you e your employees, because you can’t do it alone. Your success, or rather your usefulness, will not only be determined by your ability as helmsman. Navigating especially entails how well you manage to make use of and retain your employees, or rather your followers, or even better, your co-imaginators. Well, actually, if you really think about it, ultimately, those two terms, use and retain, are also incorrect; they’re too passive, too hierarchical, too Taylorian. The art of managing is increasingly becoming the art of creating a pull directed towards the right people, the professionals who can contribute to your point of gravitation in a positive, creative and stimulating way. This process is indeed a two-way street - gravity works, by definition, in two directions. The DNA of your point of gravitation is something that you share with your co-imaginators, that you give shape and content to together, that you further develop together. You want to work together with people who feel attracted to the DNA of your point of gravitation. The other way around applies as well! These employees also want to work with people who feel attracted to the DNA of the point of navigation that they co-steer, that they are co-navigator of. Once again, we would like to bring to mind Weggeman’s statement, which we first used in the chapter on hospitality: “Supervise professionals? Don’t!” Professionals are not passive players in Wonderland; they won’t allow themselves to be attracted if there is no deciding, no active role for them to fulfil. Followers and leaders, make use of and retain, bit by bit these words just don’t do it. Make use of and retain have become reciprocal. You make use of your employees and they make use of you. You retain your employees, and they retain you. This is, by the way, a development that exists already today. We would like to quote a young employee of Amsterdam’s municipality, a typical representative of Generation-somewhere-at-the-end-of-the-alphabet, most likely a second cousin of Maslow. When she was asked why she had put a power point presentation meant for the city council on an Internet based social network, without an ounce of shame or hesitation, she replied: “I don’t work for the city, I work for the Netherlands!” Just so


81. For Spike’s complete remark, we invite you to watch the movie Notting Hill (1999). The fact that this book is, after all, meant for people of all ages, keeps us from repeating the rest of his argument here…


you know! This young woman knows what she wants. She knows what she’s doing. She is the navigator of her point of gravitation. Does this mean that we are all navigators and, thus, all managers? To put it in the illustrative words of Spike in the movie Notting Hill81: “Yeah. Yeah... tricky... tricky...” That is, yes and no. Professionals will not be supervised, they supervise themselves. They will not be managed, they manage themselves. In this way, we, as professionals, are all managers. At the same time, we will see a clear division of tasks. Terribly oldfashioned word, of course, but never mind. Around specific points of gravitation, we will see people who are close to the core and others that are somewhat further away. By definition, you, as a manager, are close to the core. You represent a particular point of gravitation. You fulfil an important role in the course set out, in the DNA that attracts people. Because of this, navigating tasks will sooner be done by you than by a professional who is, for a shorter period of time, linked to your point of gravitation. You have a crucial role in creating an environment in which that professional can excel. You are the propelling force, the facilitator, the host. In other words, it is very much on you to serve that strong cup of coffee that we introduced in chapter 4…

Coffee, tea, BMW, doctor’s appointment, identity refreshment?
So, you are not just steering, you are also pouring the coffee. As a manager, it is on you to please the co-imaginators, to give them the feeling that they are welcome. Doesn’t sound very spectacular, nor very difficult, does it? Yet, in the context of Wonderland, this means more than just being a nice boss. In fact, you are no longer the boss, remember? What’s more, pouring the coffee is a metaphor for the range of decisions, choices and activities undertaken by you as a manager that create a feeling in your professionals that suits them, or is a welcome addition to their own identity. A feeling that complements or refreshes their identity, that is in line with their course, their purpose as an



individual, as a professional and as a human being. Oh yes, as host, you play a crucial role in securing your professionals’ identity refreshment, just like Chip Conley introduced it in the hotel world. We replace hotel with point of gravitation, hotel manager with navigator and guest or employee with co-imaginator; the principle remains the same! Let us look at the following example. At a well-known consultancy firm, brainstorming is deemed an extremely important activity. Sometimes it is simply necessary to let your thoughts run free, to have a change of environment and context in order to get new ideas. The employees of this firm feel that this way of working is an important part of the DNA that makes the firm what it is. Totally in line with this starting point, management decided to buy a BMW cabriolet and have it built into the floor of a nice room with a view on the third floor. If you’re in need of a little brainstorming, of new ideas, of inspiration, walk right in, take a seat in the luxurious four-wheeler and no one will disturb you. That is, unless you prefer to have a sparring partner with you, of course. A firm honk on the horn and it’s done… At this point, we could, of course, continue with addressing a concept such as meaningful dialogue, another core term from chapter 4, using a comparable translation to Wonderland, to points of gravitation, to reciprocal ‘making use of’ and ‘retaining’, to an example like the above. However, with your consent, we won’t repeat the whole chapter. But we hope it is obvious that there is good reason for putting the chapter about hospitality in this part of the book, in our arguments on navigation.

From SOPs to navigation…
Okay, our arguments on navigation… what do you think of them? We can imagine that, so far, you find it all sort of vague, sort of woolly. A story about gravitation and navigation, with force fields, points of gravitation, co-imaginators and identity refreshment. We’re the first to admit, it’s something you have to get used to, sure, but well, Wonderland is something you have to get used to. To conclude this chapter, maybe it would be a good idea to recall some of the things



from previous chapters and to link them to what we concede here, to what we have discovered here. We agree that the world around us is changing and it’s changing fast. We are confronted with an economic crisis that could very well be a symptom of system failure with respect to how we have organized our economic dealings. We are also confronted with an ecological crisis, without a doubt a symptom of a system failure in our actions as a species on a planet with limited resources. And we see many and dramatic technological developments; a typical example of how we as humans continually try to make our lives easier, more pleasant, but also of how we, at the same time, cannot resist complicating matters and create new challenges and dilemmas. Dilemmas that can be intensified but possibly also solved by the fading borders between professional and private lives, by what someone like Laszlo refers to as connection, communication and consciousness and by Obama as “the glue upon which every healthy society depends.” Without a doubt, all of this means that organizations are going to change. We’ll have new force fields to deal with. We see it happening all around us, as new alliances form, unexpected co-productions emerge, and new forms of competition and collaboration develop. Just like the distinction between professional and private lives is fading, so is - and partially because of this - the distinction between competition and collaboration. It’s becoming increasingly difficult and less and less wise to hold on to ancient forms of Taylor-style organizations. This is why we have introduced points of gravitation as an alternative, a successor, as the organizing principle in this new world. Points of gravitation still stand for specific core values, a DNA that is typical for that specific organization, an atmosphere that is attractive to a specific group of professionals and that is considered by them to be a pleasant working environment. Core values and DNA that say something about what that organization, that point of gravitation, stands for, is good at. However, at the same time, borders disappear and, as a logical consequence of all of the above, the system of organizations becomes more and more fluid. It becomes increasingly difficult to determine where one organization ends and where another begins. Organizing is no longer the right word; gravitating covers it better.



Within this context, your role as a manager will also change. In Wonderland you have a crucial role in several areas. One of your most important challenges within this context will be to deal wisely with gravitation, because gravitation applies to everyone: consumers, employees, suppliers and you, the manager. You will have to offer your companions, the professionals that are linked to your point of gravitation, an environment in which they can excel. An environment in which they can use their professionalism in the best interest of the organization, as well as in the best interest of themselves. You will be dealing with professionals like the public servant at the municipality in Amsterdam, about whom we spoke earlier. The kind of professionals that need a perspective, a purpose that attracts them, that lets them gravitate to your organization. By saying ‘gosh’ instead of ‘damn’ in critical moments, by using hospitality and imagination to set the course and to captivate them, to energize them, to host them, you will create a successful point of gravitation. Not with the help of rules, procedures and processes set down in manuals, but with motivating, challenging perspectives, with your help, your expertise and guidance in this part of the fluid, with your strength as navigator. Managing is no longer the right word; navigating covers it better.






“And now, the end is near…”82
82. What better words to reassure you that you’re almost there than those of good ol’ Frank Sinatra. Even though the melody of My Way was in fact not really his way at all, because it is actually that of the French song “Comme D’habitude”, composed by Claude François and Jacques Revaux. Oh well…

Yes!!! You’ve made it! You’ve seen it through and have jumped with us into the rabbit hole. You haven’t given up on the journey through our train of thoughts, the journey through Wonderland. We hope we have provided you with a fresh view, a new perspective on the future of organizations, food for thought with regard to your role as a manager. In any case, in return for your perseverance, we will keep this prologue short. However, there are still two points that we would like to tackle in the remainder of our argument. Firstly, in Today, we promised to grant you a peek at the management challenges of Mrs Smith. Promises are promises and so we depict a (working) day in the life of Mrs Smith in the chapter Tomorrow. Lastly, we would like to round off with a helping hand, a short enumeration of concrete navigation tools that you can use in Wonderland. Well, concrete… don’t expect a handbook, or any SOPs, or recipes for magic potions. That would be far from logical in an environment where it’s all about hospitality and identities, about tolerance for fiascos and diversity, about creativity and imagination. And yet, we do want to accommodate you. We realize that we have given few specific examples from real life. Examples from real life in Wonderland, the future, are hard to find without ending up on beaten paths, without generating a high degree of ‘duh’. Instead, we have chosen to include just a few relatively brief references to present-day reality, to our current industrial era that is on its last legs. In fact, we are happy to admit to being guilty of cherry picking. This means we owe you a cake, a party. Hence, our last chapter: Join.



“Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”83
In this chapter we’re going to try picturing Wonderland, what it will be like in 2029. Once again – please do join us! In the following, we will take a look at Mrs Smith’s life as a manager, you remember, the I-know-exactly-what-I-want-and-also-what-you-want-forthat-matter woman with the curtains in Today. It is now, by the way, 2029. In the meantime, Mrs Smith is, how do we put this without offending a lady, somewhere in her late fifties. In fact, so late that she’s practically 60, but you haven’t heard that from us. But, actually, what’s the problem? Nowadays age doesn’t mean a thing. The developments in the nanotechnology and biotechnology have made it possible for Mrs Smith to plan to have her second baby on a beautiful summer day in 2031. Oh, and Mr Smith, you know, our host in Today. The self-proclaimed Brad Pitt look-a-like who has, in the meantime and by means of the same technological developments, managed to make sure that other people now see what he always saw in his mirror. Mr Smith is no longer in the picture. Remember the text message from Mrs Jones? That was the last drop… Right, a normal day at work for Mrs Smith, a working day of a manager in 2029. For the following description, we have allowed ourselves to be inspired by the movie Groundhog Day and Erykha Badu, a famous singer from the first decade of this millennium. At a recent concert, she had the guts to stop suddenly in the middle of a song and, without hesitation, start over again from another angle, in another composition, in another rhythm, but just as musical and infectious. Like Groundhog Day tells the story of a man who experiences the same day over and over again. By the way, do you know the song Hammer Time by MC Hammer? We’re getting into it, just getting down and then…“stop”! And so will we give shape to this chapter. We will begin Mrs Smith’s day with a description of what a day in the life of a manager in Wonderland, a navigator, can look like. We also realize that we could be wrong, that we could be way off the mark; that we exaggerated or just got carried away in our ideas about Wonderland. In that case we’ll just stop… and start again.
83. Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day, in which Phil relives the same day over and over again? We have all had that same experience at some time, haven’t we? Regardless whether it was Déjà Vu or Vujà Dé.

Chapter 7



“She’s a replicate, isn’t she?”84
84. A quote from Deckard in Blade Runner. It reminded us of the days when we thought a good manager was a predictable one, one that you could rely on to have the same, one-best-way approach for years. 85. Eindhoven, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands and the city where Philips once ruled everyday life of just about all inhabitants.

July 4, 2029, 7:04 AM. As Mrs Smith awakens, she confirms to her satisfaction that she, indeed, is in her penthouse loft in the center of Eindhoven85. She can still enjoy the fact that she took the decision, about a half a year ago, to move into the 285,000 m2 apartment complex with open-plan offices, studios, ateliers and showrooms. Some 5,000 inhabitants and around 300 points of gravitation have their physical home base here, their pied-àterre. It’s still amazing that this whole complex used to be for just one organization, one single company. Moreover, this was just one of the complexes that they had in this city. Up and dressed, Mrs Smith recaps yesterday while adjusting the pattern and color of her outfit and enjoying a cappuccino in the elevator on her way down. Seeing the pictures projected on the elevator wall, she immediately gets that overwhelming feeling that the African wilderness induces in her every time. She spent yesterday on her great passion, physically working in the nature reserve Bongo Bongo in Central Africa. She can’t wait until the next time… maybe tomorrow? Sure, why not! Mrs Smith steps out of the elevator, chats a bit with Mr Gearloose, while he uploads his Interesting Thoughts Log from the past 24 hours to her iHelp. Then it is high time to start with the first interview of the day. Mrs Smith and Mr Gearloose, who have been working together for many months now, setting up Transforming Transformations, ‘their’ point of gravitation, have two interviews this morning with young enthusiastic transformation specialists. Both have indicated that they think the vision and way of working in Transforming Transformations is interesting and would like to discuss a structural collaboration. The interviews are going well, but at the same time, there is no real click, no feeling that Mrs Smith and Mr Gearloose have lit their discussion partners’ fires. Both specialists come to the same conclusion: Yes, certainly interesting to get in touch in the future and perhaps sign up together for a few projects, but they don’t really feel the same passion, the same drive to create the type of transformations that Mrs Smith always describes as “evolving from gorilla to human being”.



Afterwards, Mrs Smith says that she sees two important steps for the coming weeks. Create an update on their website about their “going ape” experience, because for one reason or another, the message just doesn’t seem to be coming across as it is meant to, and… for now, put in three or four clones of her self in order to realize this. Mr Gearloose: “Clones? No Jane, you can’t do that!” Mrs Smith: “Why not? You’re not going to tell me that you’ve suddenly become old-fashioned, are you? That you suddenly don’t want to make use of what the guys at Build You can do for us?” Mr Gearloose: “No, of course not, silly; I mean that I want to see a few of my own characteristics built in then…” Stop.

86. A quote from Doctor Who himself. The full quote is: “I love humans. They always see patterns in things that aren’t there.” So true, so very, very true…

“I love humans.”86
Holden: “You’re in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down...” Leon: “What one?” Holden: “What?” Leon: “What desert?” Holden: “It doesn’t make any difference what desert, it’s completely hypothetical.” Leon: “But, how come I’d be there?” Holden: “Maybe you’re fed up. Maybe you want to be by yourself. Who knows? You look down and see a tortoise, Leon. It’s crawling toward you...” Leon: “Tortoise? What’s that?” Holden: [irritated by Leon’s interruptions] “You know what a turtle is?” Leon: “Of course!” Holden: “Same thing.” Leon: “I’ve never seen a turtle... But I understand what you mean.” Holden: “You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back, Leon.”



87. This scene is from the movie Blade Runner. Picture it, then read on and you’ll understand why we felt the need to include it here.

Leon: “Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden? Or do they write ‘em down for you?” Holden: “The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t. Not without your help. But you’re not helping.” Leon: [angry at the suggestion] “What do you mean, I’m not helping?” Holden: “I mean you’re not helping! Why is that, Leon?” [Leon has become visibly shaken] Holden: “They’re just questions, Leon. In answer to your query, they’re written down for me. It’s a test, designed to provoke an emotional response... Shall we continue?”87 July 4, 2029, 7:04 AM. As Mrs Smith awakens, with sore muscles from the day before, she immediately thinks of the important appointment she has this morning. Up and dressed, Mrs Smith recaps yesterday while enjoying a very pleasant and much needed chiropractic treatment and a cappuccino in the elevator on her way down. Seeing the pictures in her mind projected as see-through holograms, as she imagines herself in Africa and, despite shooting pains in her hamstrings, she cannot suppress a smile. Who is crazy enough to want to repair a fence themselves? She can’t wait until the next time… maybe tomorrow? Sure, why not! Mrs Smith steps out of the elevator, chats a bit with Mr Gearloose, while he shows her the highlights of a daytrip to Greenland and then it is high time to welcome Dr Sayer to his office. Dr Sayer, looking around surprised: “How thoughtful of you to receive me in my own office!” Mrs Smith: “Naturally, Doctor, but if you have a good look around, you’ll see that we have added a few details, gadgets inspired by our “going ape” experience.” Dr Sayer: “Yes, I see… nice, exciting. Needs getting used to for someone like me, who has lived his whole life trying to get people to feel more human. Strangely enough, though, it also feels very familiar…” Mr Gearloose: “That is exactly the reason for this conversation, Dr Sayer. We are convinced that our organizations can help each other, can strengthen each other; that we suit each other.”



Dr Sayer: “Yes, I understood that already from the invitation, or rather, from the words of the cute little gorilla that you sent me.” Mrs Smith, smiling innocently: “Yes, sorry for the somewhat nambypamby choice of holohost, but we wanted to be sure to get your attention…” Dr Sayer: “You succeeded; who can resist such a sweetie. But I would very much like to hear your thoughts on a collaboration. Could you just go through the points again for me why you think we would be able to help each other?” Mrs Smith: “Of course! To put it briefly, as we understand, you as Identity Restorers focus on people who have difficulty dealing with all of the possibilities and choices that are available to us humans nowadays. You especially focus on somewhat older people who were used to technology that had a prominent, steering role in life, that filled your day so to speak. To put it simply, people who were perfectly capable of the Tetris-like circumstances of 20 years ago, who even excelled, but are now confronted with so much time, space and choices that they can no longer manage to use these constructively. And you help these people with this, you get them back on track so that they can make their own choices on their path in life again. Is that more or less a correct description?” Dr Sayer, nodding enthusiastically: “Mrs Smith, I couldn’t have explained it better myself; that is exactly what we do, what we’re all about!” Mrs Smith: “Well now, that is actually also precisely what we here at TT are all about, what we focus on. Which is why I always describe our basic principle as ‘evolving from gorilla to human being’. Our transformations focus on getting people to feel human again, to realize what we’re here for, what makes us human.” The conversation is going well! Mrs Smith and Dr Sayer seem to be on the same wavelength. They soon come up with an idea about letting Dr Sayer’s patients undergo an extensive, adapted version of “going ape”, to create an experience that uses the wilderness of Africa as a catalyzer for restoring meaningfulness, for restoring the feeling of contributing, having a goal. Then, there’s a silence. It is actually only one single moment, a short moment, only noticeable to the alert observer and mostly on Mrs Smith’s part. And that is the moment when Dr Sayer tells about a patient who he would like first to experience “going ape”;



88. Captain Janeway gives expression to the tedious side-effects of time travel in Star Trek: Voyager.

a classic case of someone who got stuck in the years around 2010. Apparently, this patient used to be a manager for a, typical for those days, giant of a company, state-of-the-art then, but now no longer exists. And that patient is Mr Smith… Stop.

“the future is the past, the past is the future, it all gives me a headache”88
July 4, 2029, 7:04 AM She gets up a little less refreshed than normal, Mrs Smith. It’s still early and last night was later than she had planned. First such a long day in Bongo Bongo. And then karaoke singing, which is definitely not her most flattering talent. Besides, as much as the Japanese have gotten better the past few years at letting go of daily worries, allowing them to be good at coming up with new solutions unexpectedly, she still can’t get used to the fact that it’s important to gulp down a glass of strong alcohol together. Not that this is physically any problem nowadays, she just thinks deep in her heart that it is a pity on the taste. She wasn’t actually planning on getting up so early, but a man who was also at the Chances Bar Network last night, and who she met there for the first time, knocked on the virtual door from New York. She considered switching off the visuals because she hadn’t gone through her morning rituals yet, but no, she felt visual contact was too important for that. So, with a “hold on, I’ll get back to you in five”, she rushed into the shape-up cell. What happened again? In between the karaoke sessions she had been having a good conversation with Mr Kurosawa about his new method of land fill mining, by which a treasure of rare heavy metals was just waiting to be picked, when she was approached by the stranger. Naturally, she introduced herself; she liked wearing her personality wristband. The man introduced himself as a neurobiologist and had apparently participated in various global research projects initiated by TT. During a previous project, in which he had developed energizing herbs and spices together with an



Internet retail-host and a few other researchers, he became interested in the eating habits of primates. He was curious how long one’s food demonstrably contributed to one’s feeling of happiness and before Mrs Smith knew it, they were enthralled in an interesting conversation. “Hi Greg, loved our conversation, a few hours back. You inspired me and afterwards, I thought about the possibility of linking our “going ape” experience to a cooking clinic. Perhaps there are some possibilities on a short term. Why don’t you physically come around to our purple room in Dublin in a couple of days? I could also use a change of pace as I’ve been at home for several weeks. I’d love to meet you in reality and have a look at what our opportunities are to collaborate. And I’ll take the liberty of asking you out for a shepherd stew in my favorite pub. You just wait ‘n see how happy that’ll make you.” While Mrs Smith is busy gesticulating and pacing up and down between the balcony and the living room, Greg is calmly looking the other way, at the ocean. She sketches the contours of the possibilities of connecting communities and illustrates this with ideas that have come in from twittering colleagues. When she finally stops to breathe, he seizes the moment to admit that he is too tired to react to all of the new plans, but as soon as he has caught up on his sleep… Naturally, he, too, has already begun thinking of the facilities they would need. He had already thought of bringing his senses-set to Dublin. That way they could set the mood with inspiring colors, scents and sounds. He still has to check out how much energy his activities during the past few weeks have added to the World-Wide-E-Web, to see whether his footprint can handle the trip. Mrs Smith is not a patient woman and tries again: “But Greg, otherwise I’ll just e-mail you one of our experimental energy boosters right away: the Real Banana89. Your micro-wave will turn it into any dish you want in mere seconds. You’ll see – you won’t need to sleep anymore and in the evening you’ll be rearing to go in Dublin. No jet lag. I’ll take care of everything in Dublin and see that you have your transportand-stay reservation on your desk in a minute.” Stop.

89. As we all know, bananas are known for their quick sugar boost.



“Go ahead, make my day.”90
90. Who better than Clint Eastwood, as ‘dirty’ Harry Callahan in the movie Sudden Impact (1983), to challenge you to...

July 4, 2029, 7:04 AM You wake up and…



Gravitate us
It has to start somewhere. Somewhere is the beginning of a new initiative, a new vision, a purpose. You, manager of today and, more importantly, navigator of tomorrow can sink your teeth into the first of our five navigation tools. You are the one who is focusing on initiating and maintaining gravitation. For this, your most important competence is imagination. You use it for the future pull that sheds a new light on today’s reality. You look for opportunities in every corner of your field of expertise, in the areas where you feel most comfortable, in the direction of your passion. You can do this in two ways. You can tug and pull, push and knead, with all your might. This can be very rewarding, especially in the beginning. There is often an initial result that you can show to others so that they can understand what you’re up to. It demands welldeveloped muscles and perseverance. However, you can also choose to use the forces that are already in the field. Compare this to rockets that we send into outer space, that, while catapulting through space, use the gravitation fields of other heavenly bodies to accelerate in the right direction; a kind of kung fu with gravitation. Not working against the force, but using the forces for your journey, for your goal. It seems to us in many cases to be the sensible choice. But you need to have developed the technique. You could compare the difference in approaches to the difference between building a cathedral and a bazaar. The cathedral is strong but static and built according to one detailed drawing. The bazaar is organic, varies from day to day, but stands for one principle. In his book “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”, Eric S. Raymond drew this parallel when he compared the way of designing the operational system of Microsoft with that of Linux. Linux is the epitome of a system that is continuously in beta status. It is never finished. There are always bugs. But because everyone is allowed to be involved, a lot of problems are very quickly discovered. It is the kung fu flexibility of open innovation that makes Linux the favorite software for most servers in the world. Microsoft keeps building a new cathedral, like Microsoft Vista, meant to appear on the market totally problem free. The users, however, know that they will never actually succeed. So, it was big news

Chapter 8


91. This dialogue in Kung Fu, The Legend Continues, illustrates that the importance of the beta status is recognized in various cultures…


when Microsoft decided in July 2009 to release important source codes of their own system on the market so that others can freely develop new software with these codes. The bazaar moves into the cathedral. Kwai Chang Caine: “Change is not only desirable, it is necessary.” Peter Caine: “Confucius?” Kwai Chang Caine: “Frank Zappa.”91 We haven’t said it in so many words but there is a catch when it comes to gravitational forces. When elements attract each other, they are drawn towards each other. The closer they get, the bigger the force and the faster the motion is. It more or less ends at the moment they reach each other. This makes for a static – catastrophic - end result. The core that then develops subsequently grows, with new elements, into a new heavy core until the moment when the mass is so big that it implodes and changes into a black hole. We don’t like the looks of this gloomy picture. It looks too much like the way we view huge organizations of today. That is why sensible navigating, using gravitational forces, calls for continual near-misses. It calls for every nearing element to not head directly towards each others’ paths but to shave past each other, in smooth curves. In our eyes, this fits in better with the human nature of people looking for transformation, for a realization of their inner objectives. You cannot and will not accept that you’ve definitely reached the final destination. Every result is also the starting point for a new search. Before we move on to the second tool, it is important to note that an important element of the description of all five navigation tools is the addition of us. The manager sees himself, by nature, as the one who controls the strategic dashboard. Many theories over the past decades have added new buttons to this dashboard. You could also see the five tools presented in this final chapter as new buttons. But a dashboard with these new buttons can no longer be controlled by the manager alone. In the word us lies the shared responsibility with those who are close to the same point of gravitation. So, a good navigator keeps his eyes open for input from others in the cluster and asks himself continuously, how this input can be beneficial to those gravitational forces. And on the other hand, the navigator cannot place himself outside of the gravitational picture. You are part of the motion around



the core. You are part of the DNA. The course and the interaction exert an influence on you as well. A good manager, sorry, navigator, is sooner aware of gravitation than he is the controller of navigation. And with that we also refer to the forces that are exerted by other points of gravitation. Because as we established earlier, all of us together make up a value network where courses and goals influence each other.

Join us
It could be that coming generations, if we may call them so, will look back on this time as a heroic period. They will probably see us as a group of people who, in the midst of accelerating developments in technology, have experienced many advantages of these developments but also many disadvantages. Never before was technology so visible, so obviously present in our lives. And never before have people adjusted so quickly to such rapid changes. They’ve had to. If you look at developments that are likely to follow, technology will become less and less visible, and the advantages will mainly be present in the background of our lives, while many disadvantages will disappear. In other words, the tech-pioneers of today are living in the transition between the periods of low-tech and high-tech. The users of tomorrow will hardly be able to imagine a problem such as RSI.

The impact of developments in technology
Low-tech max Tech-pioneering High-tech

Advantages Disadvantages 0 2009 Time


92. We used to call these joint-ventures, mergers or takeovers, and do you remember how many problems they caused us?


And when this technology again offers us the opportunity to show our human nature, the natural way of collaborating will automatically become dominant again. In building up his software company, BSO-Origin, CEO Echart Wintzen soon saw that a group of more than forty people lost their social cohesion. Subgroups grew. Based on this observation he developed his famous cell division theory and introduced the rule that as soon as the company had forty people on staff, it had to prepare to split up. Before there were fifty employees in the company, they had to split up in two subgroups, where at least one of the two groups had to establish itself in a place that would guarantee enough new customers. Obviously, this concept has consequences for the structure of the organization. During the growth to forty, you need to make sure that all important positions are filled by at least two people. The advantage of this side-effect was that even before the group split, the flexibility and the strength of the organization was bigger. This philosophy has worked well for BSO-Origin, and more and more organizations are looking into this form of growth. Mainly, we see the logic that Rolf Jensen has also already noted. In the future we will once again act more tribe-like, working together for clear projects, with shared goals and starting points. The forms of collaboration will be totally different, not the feeling of connection. The input for this connection, for the joining of forces, will come from a shared image. Inspired by everything that the point of gravitation stands for, the participants in the force field will be mainly co-imaginators; people who join in and enhance the picture. For the participants, this is where the primary reward is. Only at a later stage will any kind of a salary, or whatever it is that develops in the future, be of interest. This is why joining will be based more (openly) on systems of friendship than is the case today. This is why it will be important for navigators to develop and use their empathetic qualities. Sincere interest in the motivation of co-imaginators will play an important role in the gravitational force of the new organization. Joining is of importance at a primary level, but also at higher levels. A point of gravitation is always in motion, grows or shrinks and travels forward on its course, always in relation to other points of gravitation that participate in the force field of value networks. The choice to follow the same course together for a period of time92 or to get together in a spin



around a ‘virtual point of gravitation’, for the sake of a specific project, depends a great deal on your navigational choices. And, naturally, on the inspiration that you and your co-imaginators show with regard to new opportunities for the future that such a meeting offers. Joining at a higher level also has to do with the entwining of what we now still call private and professional activities. Like the silent withdrawal of the time clock made many blue collar workers more efficient, since the conveyer belt disappeared earlier, so will no one in the future have to account for private matters that they deal with during working hours. Joining forces always has a temporary character. This could be a longer period of time, if you are working together close to the core of the point of gravitation. It could be shorter, if your expertise is needed in a particular project. It could be of a repetitive nature, if you regularly come by for projects that occur more often. And in specific situations, joining forces could also be something very brief. In fact, already today, virtual collaboration is more and more a daily practice. As a student, what do you do if you come up against the limitations of your Excel program, so that you can’t connect several parts of interviews in a structured manner? You post your question on a suitable Internet forum and calmly continue your work. You assume that somewhere in the world there is a specialist that will give you the solution. And sure enough, within a couple of hours you receive a few lines of software that add an extra function to your Excel program. A brief moment of collaboration that offers something for both parties: The student can go further with his data; the programmer who came up with the solution got an interesting question. Imagine an extended version of this and you see web 2.0 in all its efficiency. If you buy a modern navigating tool today, for instance a TomTom, you not only buy the quality of the routes programmed into the software, but mainly, you buy the connection to all the people who keep up with all the changes in the road network real time via the TomTom community. And on the other hand, the same brief forms of collaboration present long term opportunities as well. When a family moved to South-East Asia for a year, the children lost contact with their friends. Lost and lost… One of the daughters is now playing an old-fashioned game of Snakes ‘n Ladders via Skype every Saturday morning. One of the players lives in Italy, the other in Iran. Distance just doesn’t matter.



Ultimately, it will not only be the sincere interest in each other, and the sharing of a common picture and goal, which will determine the quality of the collaboration. For a navigator it is essential to realize that ‘playing the role of boss’ is not compatible with the verb ‘join’. A navigator acts as facilitator of the collaboration, gives direction if necessary, but knows that inspiration is a matter of interaction.

Host us
Hosting, indeed, has to do with hospitality, with the roles of host and guest. At the same time, as we discussed earlier, there is much more involved than just pouring coffee, offering a friendly smile and making sure that the crackling fire doesn’t burn out. Sometimes hosting is literally hosting. A short while back, we talked to the founder and president of Igluu. Igluu is an organization that specializes in offering completely furnished office space to flexible professionals, mostly small businesses with no employees. As a professional, you can subscribe to Igluu and can then rent a completely furnished work space in their office building. Why would you, as a professional, want to subscribe to something like that? According to Igluu, to increase your network, to have a sounding board, to get inspired and to meet colleagues. But, explains the website, mainly because, besides your work space up in the attic at home, the desk at your customer’s office and the pub, you need a professional work space. When it suits you and in a beautiful environment. The philosophy behind Igluu is a typical expression of the tendencies that we have described in this book, that we will be seeing in Wonderland. Tendencies that will not only apply to small businesses with no employees, but to all organizations, all professionals, all managers. At the same time, Igluu has given them form in today’s context, with starting points that we call progressive now but not tomorrow. Don’t get us wrong; we admire and appreciate Igluu, and the people behind the concept. It is clever and it is necessary. But Hosting in Wonderland goes much, much deeper. As we pointed out earlier,



fixed roles will be out of the question; sometimes you will be the host, sometimes the guest. Hospitality by means of meaningful dialogues and identity refreshment goes further than guaranteeing a nice place to work in, a range of facilities and the possibility to brainstorm in a dedicated relaxation area. Hosting will not be determined by the furnishings in the building, or by the facilities at a certain location. Hosting is a two-way street; it is interpreting what we continually have denoted as everything being connected with everything, everyone with everyone. Hosting has to do with being prepared to let the DNA of your point of gravitation be of service to your companions, just like theirs will be to you. Moreover, hosting is not only a two-way street; it is mutual, it is a spiral, in itself a strengthening phenomenon. What do we mean by this? Sometimes you are host, sometimes you are guest, so much is clear. But in your role as guest, you are co-responsible for the way in which your host interprets his role. You give him the chance, the space, the energy, the inspiration to interpret this role in such a way that the DNA, the course, the performance of the point of gravitation, that both of you are giving form to, will develop, be polished and perfected. Host us is a logical subsequent step to Join us, the further interpretation of the collaboration. Hosting, joining and gravitating compliment each other; they are navigation tools that reinforce each other. Hospitality and imagination are the starting points that you need to interpret in a clever way.

Tag us
OK. You’ve just picked up your luggage from the carousel after getting off your international flight. The other four hundred passengers have done the same. You are just as surprised every time at how many suitcases look alike. Luckily, you’ve tied a bright red label with your name and address on to yours. It gives you a secure feeling knowing that if your bag gets put on the wrong plane, you can still be pretty sure that it will find its way back to you in the end. Moreover, the red nametag stands out very well among everyone else’s bags on the carousel. Most of the other passengers have taken the same measure.



93. Radio Frequency Identification.

One has put a sticker of his vacation destination on his suitcase; another has fastened a colorful belt around his. All variations of the phenomenon tagging. And on top of all that, there is the temporary, logistical tag with a barcode that the airline company has stuck on. A barcode representing a brief link to you, whose function ends as soon as you have received your luggage. “How can you trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders? The man can’t even trust his own pants.” Anti-hero Frank speaks these famous words just before he does away with the umpteenth bandit in the movie “Once Upon a Time in the West”. If it were only about pants, we could agree with Frank. If we deduct this reasoning for tags, the opposite applies. The more the better. Well, in any case, it is often difficult to map a website, an article or a person using only one label. Tagging is the method today and of the future, using short efficient key phrases, to be able to find something. Internet is possible only due to the use of hyperlinks. Jumping from one site to the next, within a site from one location to another; it’s only possible because we are guided by tags. Take Google. You won’t encounter a single site via Google if the search phrase doesn’t coincide with the tags on the site. Tagging is the act of translating the content, the story, to key phrases that you can remember and retrace, which is why tagging people is possible as well. Most of us do it on a daily basis. Are you on Facebook, Hyves, Linkedin or one of the other network sites? Have you recently added a new picture of yourself, or your new job, the last book you’ve read, or an exciting event that you’ve just experienced? That is tagging. You tied new labels on to your profile, your identity on Internet. That’s what makes tagging people something dynamic. Just like your identity changes, grows, transforms, so will some tags become aged and new tags will be needed; needed on the Internet, in order to be able to find you there, and to be able to assess who you are. But also necessary in other circumstances. At some airports, if you want to go through customs quickly, you can register by means of an iris-scan. Just look into the scanner and your identity can be established. Tagging. You get a visitor’s pass to gain access to the office where your business partner works. Tagging. Your shopping cart registers via RFID93 what products you buy and also which route you take and which shelves you



stop at, so that while you’re doing the shopping, you will be shown all the ads that you’re most likely to be interested in. Tagging. Your friends know where to find you because you have given them access to the GPS search system of your cell phone. Tagging. So, your tags are sometimes defined by yourself but, in many cases, tags are hung on you by another party. Sometimes because you have given permission, such as for all the different loyalty cards that you use to pay with. Sometimes, without you consciously knowing about it, as when websites stick cookies to your computer system. In this way, a whole collection of characteristics grows around you that, put together, tell quite a lot about you. If these tags together form a coherent whole, then one can say that the description of the person being tagged is reliable. Some tags are more closely related to the main important characteristics of a person than others. Tag clouds are sometimes used to prioritize tags that refer to a specific article or data base. The tags that appear most frequently or that represent higher value are shown bigger in a cloud of tags. It goes without saying that this is also an option in self-created profiles on Facebook or Linkedin, or in files that you keep about others via advanced CRM systems. Sure, the discussion about sensitive information and privacy lies in wait. Many new employees have seen their careers curbed because of notvery-flattering information that they themselves published on the Internet once upon a time. And even if tags get put on you that are not correct, or contain information that you prefer not to hang out on your wash line… in these times of transparency you have little to say in the matter, other than to make sure that your other tags get priority. For inspiration, do watch the movie “Enemy of the State”, where Will Smith and Gene Hackman struggle with the problem of shaking off their tags before contracted agents hunt them down. Tagging as profiling. Tagging to back your identity. Due to the developments in technology we will go much further. And this will involve the risks described above, but of course also excellent opportunities. How will you find your way in the complex network of points of gravitation in a couple of years? There is a good chance that the successors of LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon and Google will supply tagging-profiles that will be of great help to us in navigating in our new



environment. Your tags will help you to connect to points of gravitation, will give you input for interactive software programs. Programs that serve you like personal agents, who will plan your diary and activities and will be able to create links with other tag-fed agents, with a ‘click’ that is obvious, even if the tagged person is on the other side of the world. This is why tagging is one of the navigation tools that will help you to defy the increasing complexity of the world around you. Moreover, via tagging we will find out more about ourselves and each other, and identity refreshment will be the next dimension. No hosting, joining or gravitating without tagging. And you, as navigator, will, of course, help your coimaginators in their transformations by regularly updating their tag cloud together.

Energize us
Energy. Nice word, isn’t it? Nice image. Motion, force fields, attracting and repelling, joining forces and the separation of ways, hauling in the line and throwing out new ones. Essential for Wonderland, for operating successfully in the fluid that we have sketched in this book. At the same time, we shouldn’t get the wrong idea. The kind of energy we are talking about is not the kind you can find in power stations. It is not the petrol in our cars, or whatever we are driving in 20 years time. It is not the energy that factories run on, that trains run on or lamps burn on. Wonderland is people’s work. Points of gravitation consist of people, are shaped by people, are given content and meaning by people. By you and your companions, by the manager and the professionals. Energize us is about the kind of energy that enables you and your professionals to operate successfully, to perform to the best of your abilities. Perform to the best of your abilities - again such an interesting phenomenon. But what is it? It has to do with doing things, getting things done, being successful. People, who perform to the best of their abilities, demonstrate a certain behavior, behavior that leads to results, to the best results. Thus, we are talking about the behavior of you and your professionals that will bring your organization, your point of gravitation, and the people who give form to that point of gravitation closer to an alluring picture of the future, closer to fulfilling a specific purpose. We



are talking about specific behavior that provides you, your companions, your point of gravitation, once again, with the energy needed to stay on course, to fulfil the purpose. What determines whether someone demonstrates specific behavior? What are the deciding factors of specific behavior? Psychologists have written bookshelves full about this. Many theories and models have been developed, adapted, designed and rediscovered. Behavior - it seems like something complicated… Yet there are points of departure, common denominators that we can recognize, logic that we can apply. Ultimately, we see in our daily lives, in people’s behavior - or rather especially in the lack of certain behavior in certain people - several factors that evidently play an important role. One of these is, without a doubt, motivation, wanting something, seeing something as worth striving for, as alluring, as meaningful. We show specific behavior only if it leads to a result that we want, that we can appreciate, to which we feel attracted. No matter how unattractive or strange the result may be to others, for us it is evidently what we want. Something that gives us a good feeling. Something that gives us energy. Something that challenges us at the moment that we need a challenge. A thirst-quencher after a day in the desert. An inspiration in - in terms of creativity - barren times. And here it all comes together. Within the context of Wonderland, you are the manager that gravitates professionals, who offers them a purpose, a vision. And they, you. And you are also willing to go along with the ideals, the wishes, the dreams of your professionals. You join them in their point of gravitation, on their path in life. You advise them and assist them, offer them help and guidance, you are their host. You pour the coffee, organize office space and a built-in BMW cabriolet, you give them access to your expertise. You give them the tools and possibilities to seek and to find, to excel in the fluid. And they do the same for you. It’s the Burning Man project, the Dutch superyacht industry, and the Igluu concept combined, catalyzed by your ability to deploy hospitality and imagination, allowing your point of gravitation to succeed in Wonderland. You energize them, they energize you, we energize us.



That’s it really. Just one last quote, and who better than Alice to have the final say: “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn’t be, and what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”


a AIG 35 Alessi 107 Alice 32, 80, 110, 152 Alliances 30 Altruism 87 Amabile 110, 157 B Baby Boomers 54 Bazaar 141 Bear market 37 Beertender 27 Behavior 98, 151 Beta status 99, 141 Better Together 77 Biggest telescope 75 Black hole 122, 142 Blue Ocean 70, 157 Bohemian Index 105 Boss 27, 28, 84, 98, 102, 117, 126, 146 Boundaries 26 Brainstorming 127 Bretton Woods 38 Brundtland 47, 157 Bull market 37 Burger King 63 Burning Man 112, 151 Bush 48, 100 Bush Sr. 33 C Canton 50, 157 Carroll 32 Cathedral 141 Cell division theory 144 Chaos theory 37 Chesbrough 72, 157 Choice Architecture 38 Christensen 73, 157 Cleese 112 Clinton 33, 111 Cloud of tags 149 Club of Rome 57 Cluster approach 124 Co-creation 27, 39, 56, 66, 70, 73, 75, 109 Co-imaginator 5, 109, 127 Co-imaginators 5, 122, 125, 126, 127, 144, 145, 150 Co-imagine 99, 108, 123 Collaboration 62, 145 Collins 66, 157 Combi-brand 28 Commitment 86 Community 41, 71, 145 Competitor 24, 25, 69, 70, 81 Co-navigator 125 Confidence 34 Conley 94, 127 Co-operation 27 Co-production 26 Co-productions 30, 128 Core values 61, 74 Cosmo-pro 84 Course 120 Creativity 62, 105, 110 Cruise 14, 15, 55 Csíkszentmihályi 110 D Damn 15, 104, 111, 121, 122, 129 Dashboard 142 De Bono 112 Déjà vu 102, 109 Demand 82 Deming cycle 68 Dissatisfiers 89, 90 DNA 60, 71, 108, 120, 143 Double bagger 91, 93 e eBay 34 ECONOMY 32 Employee 70 Energize 150



Escher 101 Eureka vu 109 Expectation 68 Experience 39, 58, 64, 66, 92, 135 F Factor of production 26, 82 Fiasco 107 Financial Crisis 33, 36 Florida 105, 157 Followers 89, 108, 109, 125 Footprint Equivalents 14 Ford 89 Fortis Bank 34 Fulfilment 6, 7 Future 50, 100 Future Pull 101, 117 g Gay Index 105 Gekko 76 Generation 26, 54, 56, 107 Generation X 53 Generation Y 53 Gilmore 39, 64, 65, 67, 157 Gore 42, 45, 47, 157 Gosh 104, 111, 121, 122, 129 Governance 21 Gravitate 81, 141 Gravitation 74, 123, 129 Gravity 119 Gray 38 Groundhog Day 133 Guest 86, 87, 96 h Hans Brinker Budget Hotel 95 Happiness 6, 26, 68, 139 Hierarchy 25, 119 Horx 50, 157 Hospitality 83, 86, 87, 96, 116, 147 Host 85, 86, 87, 96, 146 Hueting 36

Human capital 62 i iDeal 34 Identity 148 Identity refreshment 94, 126, 127, 147, 150 Igluu 146, 151 Imagination 62, 66, 83, 99, 116, 141, 147 Ind 8, 60, 61, 72, 157 Intangible aspects 88 Intellectual Property 72 Interaction 66, 68, 73 , 146 International Monetary Fund 36 IPCC 43 IPhone 89 Ito 39, 40, 41 J Jensen 62, 63, 64, 71, 144, 157 Job hopping 25, 84, 98 Join 143 Joining force 76 Joining forces 145, 150 Joint ventures 30 K Kelley 102 Kim 70, 157 Knowledge workers 63 Kung fu 141 l Larry King Show 35 Laszlo 57, 58, 59, 128 Leadbeater 40, 41, 72, 157 Lego 69, 72, 75 Life time employment 25, 84 Lodging 88 Loyalty 90 M Madoff 37, 38 Magritte 101


Malone 48, 157 Manufacturing environment 63 Maps 115 Martini principle 83, 85 Maslow 26, 31, 67, 69, 82, 84, 125 Mauborgne 70, 157 MAYA principle 106 McLuhan 68, 157 Meaning 109, 110 Meaningful 64, 66, 147, 151 Meaningful dialogue 91, 127 Meaningfulness 137 Memory 64 N Nash 14, 36, 41 Navigate 81, 114 Navigation 75, 116 , 123 Navigation tools 141 Navigator 116, 133, 143 Newton 74 Nike 61 o Obama 32, 33, 34, 35, 57, 58, 59, 77, 128, 157 Ockels-Mill 47 Oops principle 106, 122 Open innovation 72 Organization 61, 81, 144 Organizing principle 119, 128 Outsourcing 29, 30 p Paradigm shift 104 Past Push 101, 117, 118 PayPal 34 Penicillin 103 PEOPLE 53 Perfect Draft 27 Piët 68, 157 Pine 39, 64, 65, 67, 157 Pink 111 Plane crashes 114

Point of gravitation 74, 119, 120, 126, 134 Porras 66, 157 Porter 73, 158 Prahalad 39, 70, 73, 158 Pricing 65 Private and professional values 121 Process manager 122 Professional 84 Professional and private life 25 Professionals 82, 126, 151 Purpose 66, 118, 129, 141, 151 Q Quality manager 122 r Ramaswamy 39, 70, 158 Raymond 106, 141, 158 Reciprocity 40, 84 Relationship 89, 96 Reward 34, 144 Rijkenberg 108, 158 Role of a manager 17 Role of knowledge 49 Rules and regulations 111 S Sachs 33, 37, 158 Senseo 27 Serendipity 103, 108, 112, 121, 123, 124 Service Economy 64 Service with a smile 88 Share Economy 39, 40, 41, 158 Shipbuilding industry 123 Social capital 77 Social Dilemma 39, 44 Solidarity 58 Sony Ericsson 27, 90 Stagflation 40 Stakeholders 76 State of mind 112 Stick to your core business 29 Story 148



Sunstein 38, 158 Supply 82 SUSTAINABILITY 41 t Tag 147 Tagging 148 Tangible aspects 88 Technocolomy 48, 54 TECHNOLOGY 48 Tetris 104, 137 Thaler 38, 158 Tinbergen 36 Toffler 68, 158 Tolerance 105, 106 Total Recall 64 Transaction 73 Transformation 58, 67, 68, 73, 134 Transparency 60, 149 Tribal society 63 Trump 35 Trust 34 Twitter 53 U Us 142, 143, 146, 147, 150 v Value 33, 73 Value networks 39, 74 Value system 88 Van Gogh Syndrome 105 Virgin Earth Challenge 46 Virtual point of gravitation 145 Vision 118 Vujà dé 103, 104, 108, 112, 121 W Watson 49, 50, 158 Web 2.0 48, 145 Weggeman 82, 84, 125, 158 Weitzman 40, 41, 158 Wells 15

Wikipedia 46, 49 Wonderland 16, 80, 96, 127, 150 Working environment 18, 84, 128 Y YouTube 15


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