The three “commitments” of the shareholder, market, and employee can be looked upon as forces that make up the “field” of the company. Out of this field, or behavior space, arises the product, and it is from this product that a return on investment can be provided to shareholder, employee, and market for the investment that each makes.
The notion of the company as a field is a very important one for our study because in the first place it encourages a view of the company as a dynamic set of interacting forces, and secondly, it implies that the company is not a thing, nor simply a collection of things. A collection of things cannot grow (in the way that that term can best be used). Things can be added to the collection, but it is only when the interaction, the mutual relevance of these things is also taken into account, and, furthermore, when these interactions increase both in number and in complexity that growth can be considered to have taken place. The notion of a field allows for these interactions to be taken into account. It allows for a qualitative understanding based on the notions of “fitness,” order, harmony, emergence, and balance. Furthermore, and perhaps this is the most important, when the company is seen as a dynamic field of forces in equilibrium an orderly expression of change is possible.
The field theory is the Western counterpart of the Buddhist idea of karma. From the Buddhist viewpoint there are no “things,” no enduring entities, but rather each “thing” is seen to be a nexus of interacting causes and effects. This view of the world as a field will arise if the more familiar “dualistic” view of the world is given up. Our understanding of corporate life is bedeviled by dualities or dichotomies, by “either/ors”: management/men, staff/line, centralized/decentralized, skilled/unskilled, shareholders/employees, and so on.
March 4th, 2020 ~Sets of three (3) are a common theme in Zen and Creative Management. When I mention this to people, I often get a look of “huh”. People often don’t see the connection. Shareholder, employees and markets are seen as separate entities that aren’t connected. It isn’t just shareholders and employees that see themselves as separated. The market sees itself as separate. Often times, the market doesn’t know what it wants. The customer can help drive more custom products and the shareholders and employees should take more notice.
As in most posts on Zentrepreneurial.com, italicization of words refers to the words of either Jiddu Krishnamurti or Albert Low. The website writer’s words are in regular text.