Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Reexamining business school fundamentals (reconsidered) 15: emerging 21st century realities

Posted in reexamining the fundamentals by Timothy Platt on March 29, 2017

This is my 15th installment to a series of brief, single issue sketches in which I reconsider each of a set of core issues that I first addressed in this format in a 2010 series. See Section II of my directory: Reexamining the Fundamentals for that earlier related series, and in particular see my earlier same-name counterpart posting to this one as included there: Reexamining Business School Fundamentals and Emerging 21st Century Realities.

I initially offered that 2010 posting as a brief statement of conclusion for its series as a whole, focusing in it on change per se as a more general condition, and as just addressed. And I noted in its context, both the at-least intended overall scope of what I had just been writing about there, and the intended underlying connectedness of all of the basic elements that I had just written about in it. And I add here that I also explicitly made note of the selective limitations of the specific set of issues that I had just successively addressed in all of that, and how my selection there was at least somewhat arbitrary, even as it was considered and thought through for its scope and content.

I identified my choice of organizing topics in that series, as collectively representing a single more overarching perspective as I saw matters, on the then current business and economic conditions that we all faced in 2010. And I offered that series as a benchmark starting point for later reference for when further assessing where change was bringing business and economic, and I add larger sociopolitical systems. I have to add here, that I explicitly planned out and wrote that earlier series with this next step series in mind, even if I did not have anything like a firm or fixed idea as to when I would come back to it with this next iteration.

I write this 2017 series installment as one of my two last concluding contributions to it, and find myself looking back at both this series and its 2010 predecessor in essentially exactly those same terms. I have, in that, successively returned to each of the basic topics that I first addressed in 2010 and in the same basic order and with the only real change in overall series structure here, coming from a 2017 inclusion of added-in supplemental framing and orienting postings at the beginning and end. I chose to include these posting elements now in this series iteration to help connect the two series offered so far in this together, and to put them more clearly into a single larger perspective. I have written this series largely as a posting-by-posting update on a same progression of issues and perspectives as before, and intentionally so. And with that stated, I note that if anything the issues of change that I began addressing in 2010 have become both more pressingly important and impactful, and more complex.

I began this installment with all of its attention focused on change, and that has in fact been a driving point of discussion throughout this series. That might even be considered the driving, conceptually organizing point here and for all of this larger effort. But I step back from that point of focus here to more explicitly consider constancy too, and to note how a great deal remains the same even in the midst of the most profound change. To offer a physical reality analogy here, invention of aircraft might make it possible for us to move ourselves and our goods through the air, but that does not and cannot repeal or even fundamentally change the nature or existence of gravity. Basic underlying principles and the empirical realities and their dynamics that shape them do not necessary change – only the circumstances and the conditions in which we experience them, as we seek to shape our own existence within their defining frameworks and within our now-current here and now. We might be facing different and even seemingly profoundly different immediate contexts now in our businesses and economies than we did in 2010. But the underlying realities underlying both timeframe perspectives as might be organized into a more comprehensive descriptive and predictive theory of business, that shape the one, shape the other too. They remain basically the same and will continue to do so.

One of the points that I have made in this series that bears repeating in that context is that the seeds of our 2017 reality that we now face were in fact already present in 2010 when we were facing an overtly very different day-to-day world with its then tacit day-to-day expectations. And it is just as certain that the seeds of a next iteration change are already forming and beginning to grow now too, that will in turn shape the perhaps very different day-to-day realities that I will hopefully be addressing a next time that I return to this complex of issues. My goal in that larger intended endeavor is to write succeeding series as short timeframe points of observation and perspective that could be strung together with these first two, along an at least somewhat longer explicit timeframe than any one such point in time series could offer, and with the wider overall perspective that that would support and even compel.

Change is important in all of this, and so is consistency. And one of the great challenges in all of this endeavor is in more fully perceiving and discussing which is which, and certainly when we actually live in and have to function in our immediate here and now, and in terms of strategic and operational planning that is of necessity grounded in it. This challenge, I have to add defines one of the principle compass-point guides that enters into and informs in my thinking as I incrementally develop and offer this blog as a whole too, and as I address both change in its cyclical and disruptively novel forms, and the underlying frameworks of consistency that that change takes shape in.

I began at least intimating change to come and the prospect of it in this posting. I am going to conclude this 2017 series installment in a next installment, where I will at least briefly offer a starter discussion of what these forward facing possibilities and perspectives might mean. And I note that as of now, I have not set a firm schedule in any way as to precisely when I will write my series three iteration on this complex of issues, but I will write my 16th and last posting to this second iteration with that likelihood in mind too. I conclude this iteration, or at least rapidly approach doing so, with firm expectations of coming back to all of this yet again in a few more years for a take three iteration, as the current-news specifics of this take two as offered here become as perhaps-quaint as those of 2010 take one probably seem now.

Meanwhile, you can find this and other related postings and series at Reexamining the Fundamentals, with this series offered as a new Section VII in that directory.

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