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
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
• 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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