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Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose, Second Edition by David B. Wolfe, Jagdish N. Sheth, Rajendra S. Sisodia

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3. Dealing with Disorder

Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia character Valentine first uttered, “The future is disorder,” before an audience in London’s National Theater in April 1993. Twenty years later, that future has clearly arrived in the world of business. Virtually every major industry is beset with dramatic changes and fresh challenges, driven by multiple technological revolutions that have followed rapidly upon one another, widespread globalization, quantum shifts in customer preferences, and rapidly evolving value systems.

The Western mind is accustomed to meeting disorder with force. Step on it. Hammer it down. Rein it in. Order will be restored at all costs. Ahem, sir, how do you box the wind?

For more than two centuries, business has operated ...

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