Some revolutions—like the American Revolution—are bloody, noisy, and everyone nearby knows about them. Others—like the Industrial Revolution—are quieter, slower, and many people at the time may not even realize they're happening. In the long run, though, both kinds of revolutions lead to profound change.
Today, I believe we are in the early stages of one of the quiet revolutions. At the heart of this revolution is an increase in human freedom in business.
Key enablers for this revolution are the increasing availability of information and new technology that helps people act on it. When people have access to more information, they can make more sensible decisions. They don't have to wait for orders from someone above them in a hierarchy who supposedly knows more than they do. And when they have the freedom to make decisions and the ability to take action for themselves, they are often more highly motivated, more creative, and more flexible.
In our increasingly knowledge‐based and innovation‐driven economy, these benefits of decentralized decision making—motivation, creativity, and flexibility—are often the critical factors in business success. And that's why I believe this increase in human freedom in business will spread throughout many parts of our economy. In the long run, I think it will be as important a change for business as the change to democracies was for governments.
But what does this really mean for you?
Of all the businesspeople I know, Howard Dresner has some of ...