12.8 c
Thursday, November 30, 2023

A World Changing from Vertical to Horizontal

One year has passed since I wrote an article titled "Companies are becoming communities and work is becoming projects. One year later, in the year 2020, which is expected to be a milestone for Japan and the world, I have taken a look at the rapidly changing world and summarized it under the concept of "the world changing from vertical to horizontal". The Showa and Heisei eras are the "vertical world. I define the future starting from 2022 as the "horizontal world.

Vertical World

The vertical world is a hierarchical structure (hierarchy) that stretches endlessly vertically. The concept of "above" and "below" go hand in hand with master-slave relationships and coercive power, and are typical of the organizational structure of the "nation (military)" during the World War 70 and the "company" during the period of rapid economic growth 60 years ago.

Gravity working from the top down is the engine that accelerates centralization and financial capitalism and bloats comparisons with someone or something else. Jobs fall from above like Newton's apple. In a group, those who are best at "problem solving" and catching the apple are the ones who climb upward. Individuality and aesthetics, which are difficult to manage, are crushed by the pressure of homogeneity.

The excesses of vertical management have turned businesspeople into cogs in the wheel of the company, and thorough compliance has led to a state of suspended thinking in which people can only do or not do what has been decided. On the earth, competition for resources and global warming are accelerating, and the polarization of wealth and opportunity is causing nations to lean to the right. I feel that all of these are distortions of a society that has been endlessly "stretched" vertically. I am not denying the vertical. However, I believe that the distance between the top and the bottom is approaching its limit.

Horizontal World

The horizontal world is a horizontal structure that expands from side to side. There is no compulsion in a concept that has neither top nor bottom. Therefore, the language of significance and meaning, or vision, is the "only answer to working together. In the modern era, a "community" based on sympathetic capitalism is a typical organizational structure.

The horizontally expanding social structure will accelerate de-centralization and decentralization, and people will be asked what they live and work for, and the meaning and significance of their actions at any given moment. New concepts such as teal organizations, SDG's, and blockchain may be the "language of the new age" that symbolizes the world of Yoko.

Work does not fall from above. Therefore, we must define and create value ourselves. While the demand for consultants who are good at solving problems will not disappear, the demand for innovators who take on the challenge of creating value will be in demand on a global scale.

Companies that adhere to vertical management will end their role with the end of the Showa and Heisei eras. In a few decades, even the state may no longer be an exception. Companies (nations) that merge the vertical and horizontal will one day find that their organizational structure has become a "community. We may be witnesses of history, living at the turning point where the vertical and horizontal worlds are blending together.

We were not born to solve problems.

Is the work that you are currently spending your life time working hard for something that you have decided, verbalized, and defined for yourself? Based on my own experience, I would say that the majority of jobs are "problem-solving tasks that someone asked me to do" that were assigned to me from above, and that employment was a way of working in which I dedicated my time to a company.

We were not born to solve problems.

A senior colleague of mine, whom I respect and admire, wrote in an article of a well-informed person I don't want to say to the young people of the future, or to the new life that will soon be born, "I'm sorry, but since you were born into this world, you have a problem to solve. Life is a gift, an opportunity that opens up a world of possibilities. There are more important things than problems and needs. If you want to solve problems, avoid thinking about love. Problem solving and love are incompatible."

As the world changes from vertical to horizontal, people are becoming driven not by needs, but by purpose. What is purpose? It is a vision.

Company employees will disappear and labor laws will cease to exist.

There will be a gradual decline in hired labor and a gradual increase in self-employment. This should be a worldwide trend, not just in developed countries (there seems to be an argument that the percentage of sole proprietorships will approach 50% in all countries). Labor in finance capitalism was almost synonymous with labor in joint-stock companies. Decades from now, the term "company employee" will disappear and labor laws will most likely be revised.

Company becomes a community, work becomes a project

This is a repost of an earlier entry. In a future that transitions from vertical to horizontal, the majority of work will be vision-driven. Naturally, there will be more opportunities to work with people with "overlapping visions," and companies will become communities. Young people, the bearers of the future, will increasingly look to companies for their value as a community. Companies like the Keio Mita-kai (just an example), where current students and alumni unite to encourage and support each other, will become more valuable, while companies where the end of graduation is the end of a relationship will lose their "value of belonging" for a certain period in life. People will work together in multiple communities that share the same vision, and the era of vision-driven projects will continue unceasingly. That is my expectation.

Stance and skills needed in the world of Yoko

As we move from a hierarchical to a horizontal structure, the stances and skills required are also changing. The stances I consider are,
(1) Don't mount (stay away from people who do)
(2) Vision > Function (Function is important, but vision is more important)
(3) Be curious (everything starts with curiosity)
Three of the above. Skills,
(1) Acceptance (acceptance, not denial)
(2) Empathy (listening to and empathizing with the vision)
(3) Ability to verbalize (put into words)
The three are

It is a prediction, but there should be more books and papers on acceptance, empathy, verbalization, and community management. Please praise me if I am right lol.

Your life is determined by the choices you make.

In the Harry Potter books, Dumbledore, the principal of the school, said, "It is not your abilities that determine who you are, but your choices. What you are is not determined by the abilities you possess, but by the choices you make. In the world of Yoko, your life will not change by improving your abilities. You have to make choices and decisions from your own point of view. You are the only one in the world. There is no one, and there should be no one, who will deny your choices and decisions.

Boundaries between students and working adults are disappearing.

This is a repost of an earlier entry. Students and Working Professionals. Age has nothing to do with vision and professionalism. The number of students who transmit their visions and work together with working adults on projects from the time they are in junior high and high school will continue to increase, and one day, the very concept of "getting a job at a company after college" should become a skeleton. What is an entrance examination? What does it mean to be a member of society?

All in order to foster trust and confidence.

In the vertical world, what guarantees trust and credibility are "nationality," "educational background," "company name," and "work history. In the coming horizontal world, it is only your daily decisions and output that will guarantee your trust and credibility. Are you communicating your vision? Are you accepting and sympathizing with the vision? Continuation and continuity of this process will enrich and broaden your life. Develop your character. We must be truly grateful for each and every relationship. Accumulate trust and credibility by continuing to empathize and work together. This is the gateway to a bright future.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to discussing the future with you all.

PS: Numerous friends have pointed out to me about the "polarization of the horizontal world". I feel that there is no doubt that in the future, a new strain, different from that of the vertical world, will arise. When I output, I can meet people who will receive it. I would like to have a discussion with you all, taking into account the points that I myself did not reach and did not have the confidence to verbalize.

writing (e.g. as a profession)
Watanabe, Chikashi 
President and Representative Director, Fireplace, Inc.
She joined Dentsu International Information Services (ISID) in 1999. After working as a manager of the Recruitment Group in the Human Resources Department, he joined Recruit Co. In 2014, he joined ISID Open Innovation Institute as a business producer, mainly involved in local community development using ICT. Advisor to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on tourism and community development. Advisor for community development in Shizuoka Prefecture. (External advisor for Satoyume Co.
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