In the modern corporation, there is no place for free passengers, only contributing members. Restructuring, re-engineering, shrinking profit margins have made the workplace increasingly intolerant of the unskilled and non-performing members. The only defence against the pink slip is personal excellence and constant growth. This can put a lot of pressure on the individuals. Flatter organisations celebrate individual performance. There is no place for anyone less capable to hide in the crowd. This can be a challenge. It could also be a test, which many will fail. Constant competition with peers can be very tiring. The only way out is innovation, through uniqueness, through entrepreneurship and intrepreneurship.
Alvin Toffler’s prediction of the electronic cottage (people networked and working from homes) and small office home office (SOHO) is becoming a more and more visible reality. The customer is no longer interested in mass produced products. He demands choices. No more Henry Ford promising, ‘You can have any colour car you want provided it is black.’ Paint companies allow you to even mix your own colours. This can be an opportunity and a treat depending on the entrepreneur’s attitude.
Maslow’s self-actualisation principle—the individual’s capacity to be transformed into the individual God created him to be—is a possible destination for all.
Einstein, Time magazine’s ‘Man of the Twentieth Century,’ warns:
‘The concern for Man and his destiny must always be the chief interest of all technical effort. Never forget it among your diagrams and equations.’
The revolution of rising expectations, fuelled by the global perspective, provided by the media and internet creates unrelenting stress.