Re-inventing the Corporation

One purpose of MEGATRENDS, Naisbitt’s well-known first book, was to describe the forces that will shape society in the next decade and beyond. In RE-INVENTING THE CORPORATION, he and his coauthor look at how these trends and others will affect the corporation in the future. Naisbitt’s main premise is that society in general, and corporations in particular, stand at the threshold of a transformation of staggering proportions. This transformation will be made possible by two interacting forces: dynamic social values and economic necessity. Together these forces will forever alter the structure and processes of the corporation.

Like MEGATRENDS, this work is built around the articulation of several specific developments that will impel change. Among these are the entrepreneurial revolution, artificial intelligence software, working women, and lifelong learning. Taken alone, none of the authors’ observations is especially profound. What makes this volume notable is the enthusiasm that the authors bring to the subject, along with the host of possible implications that they uncover for each trend. Also, pervasive throughout this well organized book is an emphasis upon people, not technology, as the instrument of success.

Particularly intriguing is chapter 5, wherein the authors analyze the American educational system as a partial cause of corporate problems as well as a potential savior. While the “re-inventing” metaphor is stretched a bit thin at times, this book contains many provocative tidbits to stimulate executive creativity. Managers should find it both useful and enjoyable to read.