Article by Mr. Francesco Sansone, CAPP Coordinator in Milan – April 2012
Values which formation should pursue in order to promote labor relations focused on the Common Good
Corporate competitiveness in a global market ultimately hinges on the role played by human capital in organizational management in the new economy of the age of knowledge.
At the beginning of the 80s John Paul II in his encyclical “Centesimus Annus” (32) already stated: “Whereas at one time the decisive factor of production was the land, and later capital — understood as a total complex of the instruments of production — today the decisive factor is increasingly man himself, that is, his knowledge, especially his scientific knowledge, his capacity for interrelated and compact organization, as well as his ability to perceive the needs of others and to satisfy them”.
Therefore it is especially important and urgent to understand the fundamental reasons that define and bring about the passage from a knowledge based economy, where innovative knowledge was hidden within technological progress based on automated production, to a knowledge driven new economy, whose dynamism depends substantially on the diffusion and sharing of knowledge and its use for market globalization. This is achieved by cognitive elaboration of the technology of interactive information (internet) organized in “intranet” (Business to Business) and “extranet” (Business to Consumer), where flexible thought plays an essential role in transforming information into knowledge.
The new means of communication make it possible to distribute and share knowledge between corporations and public/private institutions, within an informative and cognitive structure of interrelated networks, resulting in a highly complex and rapid transformation of the organization of knowledge.
All of the above strongly affects corporate potential for development. To retain a competitive edge in rapidly evolving markets, increasingly dependent on knowledge, corporations must learn to aggregate business through digital networks. This is the only way to operate in a milieu where information and knowledge are the most advanced vehicle of competitiveness and maximization of profit.
In this context a highly functional model of organizational culture is emerging, mainly in “family run” businesses. I refer to the “Organizational Humanizing Culture”, so defined by Doménec Melé of the University of Navarre (Spain), which promotes sharing and the ability of people to work together for a common goal. Trust, mutual understanding, shared values and behaviors that bind people together produce cooperation and success.
Development of innovative and flexible knowledge, a component of human capital, thus becomes the highest added value in business in the context of a post industrial society, since it results in better and faster use of invested capital and sharp cuts in expenses related to order processing, invoicing and payments thanks to the simplicity and rapidity of online communication.
To promote the passage from a traditional industrial society based on resources, i.e. on the transformation of raw materials, into a society focused on the specific production of knowledge (knowledge as the soul of the product, the very object of the activity), one must operate at a cultural level for a widespread diffusion of cognitive and behavioral flexibility, a multiplier of opportunities and roles essential to the efficient management of complexity.
Since human mind is the source of all innovation, even in the present market evolution, I am convinced that an appropriate formative approach focused on overcoming management skill shortage through flexible thinking is a decisive tool for the development of a new economy in the age of knowledge based on the central role of the human person. Corporate growth in a global market can and should be achieved within an economy at the service of man.
Let us remember that Benedict XVI in his encyclical “Caritas in veritate” (21), in addressing “human development in our time” advocates a new humanistic synthesis for a comprehensive understanding of the aspects of the current crisis and its solutions, placing the human person at the center as it searches for an opportunity for discernment, in which to shape a new vision for the future.
President of “Società Valore”, Milan
Author of “Flexible thought”, published by Franco Angeli (IV edition)
On the faculty of the Postgraduate School of Politecnico di Milano
Milan coordinator of the Foundation “Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontifice”