The concept of business planning and business design, in popular conception, involves conceiving of a problem or challenge that some number of people are struggling with, imagining a solution that they would like to pay for, raising investment to create this offering, and selling it to consumers.
This paradigm, while still functional, will be less and less relevant, particularly in the frothy world of the internet and social web.
Now, it is basically inconceivable to think of a world without Facebook. Facebook changed the way we communicate as a species. Facebook, lest we forget, is just 8 years old. Further, it is now, for many of us, inconceivable to think of a world without Kickstarter, which is just four years old. Kickstarter is a harbinger of the change of how we will share resources throughout the world. These tools and other similar tools will soon be recombined into a system that can let us co-create at the scale of the planet.
And the next-level step out of this will be business models that are not fixed, but mutable. And, they will not be mutable based on the keen perceptions of a few on the management team, but by the designers of the business, using a keen understanding of the nature of evolution itself to turn exponential change into a logarithmic graph: to make humanly comprehensible an exponentially changing business world of consistently accelerating upheaval.
To do this will require the business designers of tomorrow to make use of the insights of everybody. But not in the sense of voting or a democratic process, but in the ability to create structures that differentiate, recombine, and select even the most marginal of ideas, however far outside of the mainstream, and amplify them to be the dominant idea within an ecosystem for however long it is fit to serve, only to be swallowed up and transcended anew.
The successful organization of the future will be self-cannibalizing, self-transcending, and created based on the principles of making the core concepts of the organization itself subject to the evolutionary change of the actors participating within the system.
Anything else will be outdated and outmoded in ever shorter intervals.
Moreover, the very foundations upon which our economic systems are based: shareholder primacy, debt-based currency, and many other structural facts, are all subject themselves to extraordinary evolutionary pressure in this era, and even taking for granted the global economic context in which a business is operating is no longer a sustainable approach.
The full-bloom of the peer-to-peer economy is something we are as yet unable to comprehend, and to try to design a static structure that will serve this economy simply will not work. We need to think like bio-psycho-social-economic ecologists to provide the moral, structural, and transactional frameworks which will allow pathways in which all stakeholders can generatively interact, co-evolve, and co-create these businesses of the future.