For thousands of years, markets and hierarchies were the only alternatives when it came to aggregating human effort. Now there’s a third option: real-time, distributed networks.
– Gary Hamel
I love this comment. The only exception I take to it is that it assumes these forms of production are mutually exclusive. I think there is tremendous potential for markets to coordinate distributed networks.
The quote comes from The Future of Management in a section discussing hierarchy’s inability to keep up with rapid change. It makes particular reference to the impossibility of a hierarchical structure ever producing something as dynamic as the internet. I agree, but think markets can facilitate and even coordinate rapid change, probably better than distributed networks. Networks are pretty unbeatable at production of information based products though. So why not combine the two?!