The goal of an enterprise is to make money… or not

Last week, I rehearsed a session around the evolution of organizations, methodologies and IT with some people of the Red Hat Montreal office. Thank you to them for their valuable feedback! Even if the title of the presentation was Devops and Bimodal IT, I presented some roots of the evolution of organizations and methodologies, and their short term and long term impacts on businesses.

timeline

I used a timeline and zome out to show previous moves, and “selected” important events, like Deming involved in the Japanese reconstruction, the new new product development game by Takeuchi and Nonaka, or The Machine That Changed the World : The Story of Lean Production by Womack and Jones.

At the end of the presentation, there was a discussion thread around clarity of vision and goals of enterprises. One question arose that foster an animated conversation : “What is the goal of agile enterprises?”.

This question led to a definitive answer from one attendees : “The goal of enterprises is to make money.”

And the discussion starts…

There was opinions like: “the others purpose are only things to hide the main goal of making money…” or “good intentions, but if we look at what enterprises are measuring, we know that money is the main driver”… and so on…

I tried to push my opinion that money was only a by-product of a higher purpose for enterprise that operate on a different model than “making money” ones. And that it worked for those companies… People seemed not really convinced… Still some work to do on this 😉

Featured image by Jericho [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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