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I have a dream that in my lifetime, I would see the revolution of the services company as we currently know it. I have a dream that one day our companies will shrug off the inertia of the past, and the single-minded self-enrichment focus of the present. I have a dream that one day our companies will take their rightful place in our human social structures. I have a dream that one day it will be deeply rewarding, exciting, enriching, fun and fulfilling to work for our companies.
If that happens, it will not be the first time in history that the way we do business as human beings has been revolutionised in just a few decades.

The Production Line
In living memory, Henry Ford is probably the greatest corporate revolutionary. My 92-year-old grandmother, who is alive and well and lives in Bournemouth, England, and sends a weekly e-mail to each of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, was born in 1914. This was the same year that Henry Ford changed the rules of the game for his factory workers, and a year after implementing his revolutionary production line concept. When he conceived the production line, it took 13 hours to build a Model T. By 1914, his factories were churning out one car every 90 seconds.
But Henry Ford’s grander vision was to create a middle class in America, raising the living standard of his factory workers. He often expressed this by saying that he wanted everyone who worked in his factories to be able to afford one of the cars they were helping to build. To make this vision a reality, in 1914, Ford started paying his workers $5 a day � double the going rate. He also reduced the working day from 10 hours to 8, and slashed the price of his cars (the Model T cost $950 in 1908 and $290 in 1927). In September 1926, he announced the five-day workweek, and wrote, ‚It is high time to rid ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is either lost time or a class privilege‛. Very soon, factories around the world followed suit.
This wasn’t all altruism. By the time production ceased for the Model T in 1927, more than 15.5 million cars had been sold in the US alone — or half the world’s output.
I have a dream that I will be involved in revolutionising the company of the Connection Economy in the same way that Henry Ford revolutionised the factory of the Industrial era. I have a dream that all the peoples of the world will have direct access to the promise of middle class living.
The Entire System
Henry Ford’s genius was not just his development of his own factories, but it was his foresight to change the environment in which his products were made available. He was at least as good a politician as he was a businessman. It was he who convinced the government to build the roads infrastructure and ultimately the Interstate highway system in the USA. It was he who was a major influence in establishing a policy of strategic oil reserves to guarantee America’s fuel supply. These policies were echoed in virtually every country on the planet.
Think of how he had to strategise. To get millions of cars into people’s homes, he needed there to be roads, petrol (gas) stations, service workshops, traffic signs and regulations, and ultimately traffic police. Which came first in this chick and egg situation? The answer is: both. They had to emerge simultaneously.
And his cars changed everything: The horse disappeared so quickly that the transfer of acreage from hay to other crops sparked an agricultural revolution. The car became the mainstay of the American economy and a stimulant to mass urbanization and suburbanization, longer vacations and long distance interactions.
I have a dream that, just like Henry Ford changed the way the world worked, that I will be involved in changing the whole system of service companies, including how children are prepared and educated, how universities and business schools train professionals, how retirement (and retrenchment) is structured, corporate citizenship is governed and how social institutions and companies interact.
Constant Change
With everything they had done right, Henry Ford’s iron rule of the company was nearly its undoing. Ford nearly lost everything as they lost touch with their market. Alfred Sloan of General Motors was able to step in and take Ford’s revolution another few steps forward, by offering customers what Ford refused to: a wider selection of cars, in different colours, with annually updated models. Sloan also decentralised GM, and improved relations with labour and dealers. Although Ford was the pioneer, he forget to keep pushing the boundaries, and thus Sloan’s superior management techniques were able to propel the car business into the modern age.
I have a dream that we would build constant change into our systems, and learn to be humble, savvy leaders, so that we don’t reach another crisis point when the next generation enters the workplace in a few decades time. I have a dream that the revolution of business would bring lasting change to the way we live and work.
And so, to TomorrowToday.biz, and our company’s vision: You don’t have to work the way you’ve always worked. You don’t have to lead the way you’ve always led. You don’t have to learn the way you’ve always learnt. It doesn’t have to be how its always been!
If you want to join us in this dream, go to http://www.tomorrowtoday.biz/knowledgecommunities/index.htm.

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