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Perhaps you have heard of the emerging theories of the post-capital society where success is more a function of access to and application of knowledge rather than capital [Drucker, P.P., Post-Capitalist Society, New York: Harper Business, 1993]. IEM is a means of accessing and applying greater knowledge. To fully grasp the benefits of the IEM concept for your company and yourself, we must go back to the late eighteen hundreds.

The period referred to as the industrial revolution was actually a shift from a labor based economy to one based on the efficient application of labor and materials. Subse­quently this evolved to an economy based upon labor, materials, capital, and energy. Those who applied these resources most productively won. The dramatic increase in the cost of energy in the early nineteen seventies, caused a change in the economic basis away from energy to knowl­edge. The efficient application of knowledge, finding a way to do something not possible before, displaced the wasteful consumption of capital and energy. A migration from labor and material to capital and energy occurred earlier with the advanced use of mechanization and the beginning of the computer age.

We can conjecture that this shift would have occurred without the energy shock, just more gradually. As consum­ers we became concerned about wasteful consumption, popularly called "conspicuous consumption," and the im­pact of our behaviors on the ecological underpinnings of our environment. We developed a consciousness about the deterioration in our quality of life. However, with the increase in the cost of energy, we became more selective about our purchases. As consumers we began a migration from a consumption orientation to a conservation orienta­tion in our use of natural resources. The definition of productivity and the criteria for competitive success changed.

Today consumers want products to meet very specific needs, mass produced solutions with limited choices are less acceptable. Through the greater application of knowl­edge and knowledge processing capabilities we create "smart products." Examples include:
• Cars that sense the driving conditions and the driving habits of the drivers alter engine and transmission parameters to optimize performance and improve safety.
• Computer controlled efficient heating and cooling sys­tems that adjust to changes in environmental condi­tions to save energy.

• Lighting systems that automatically respond to changes in natural light to reduce energy consumption.
• Distributed computing, local area networks, data­bases, and bulletin boards where users access more knowledge in an hour than can be found in any other single source.

Mass produced solutions that partially meet the needs of the consumer are not competitive. Developing the "smart solutions" exceeds the capabilities of one heroic leader. Smart products and services require the integrated knowl­edge of many people. Productivity is now measured as the utility of goods and services—how closely they meet the needs of the consumer, as a function of the knowledge used in their development and the knowledge used to produce them with the minimum of waste of material and energy and impact on the environment.

Societies and cultures are known by their heroes. What is it people openly respect? The evolution for our society is clear. We have changed from heroes who are rugged and strong to heroes who leverage knowledge to create solu­tions. From John Wayne to Bill Gates. From posses of armed men to police armed with local area networks.
The Evolution of Our Heroes
• We started as a society that respected those with the physical strengths to survive.
• Then we began to combine our individual strengths and labor to overcome obstacles too big for our individual heroes.
• Next we combined our resources and land to create abundance.
• Abundance led to excess wealth and capital, which we combined to create economic power and states with rights and authority (as a way for those with wealth to protect their wealth).
• Excess wealth and authority combined with the stated intent of protecting individuals' rights and the pursuit of common goals led to the creation of the modern organization and modern government with the "have's" and the "have not's" competing in a "beggar our neighbor world."
• Then we realized that we must combine our knowledge to protect our world and help our neighbor for we learned that "what happens to our neighbors happens to us." We really cannot increase our standard of living at someone else's expense.
• The rapid and efficient application of knowledge became power.

People who apply the principles of IEM enhance their effectiveness for working in cross-functional teams. The new insights and additional knowledge create opportuni­ties for better decisions. IEM prepares you for thinking at a higher level, creating a curiosity and inquisitiveness for more knowledge. This inquisitiveness leads to a more comprehensive understanding of business issues and how they affect each other. IEM offers employers a way of developing tomorrow's business leaders.

Integrated Enterprise Management is the art of outdoing a competitor, knowing that the competitor is trying to do the same to you. (Others have defined this as Strategic Thinking. [Dixit and Nalebuff, Strategic Thinking, New York: Norton & Company, 1991.]) Successful integrated enterprise management remains an art. But its founda­tions consist of some basic principles—an emerging science of the creation and application of knowledge.

The science of integrated enterprise thinking is to satisfy your customers better than anyone else can, organizing with a focus on satisfying customers rather than functional boundaries, and working to develop an understanding among members of the enterprise of common objectives and a common strategy.


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