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很多人都在担心,假如鲸鱼在地球上消失,海底深处那个运转了千百年的神秘生态系统是不是会遭到破坏?可是,亿万年前,恐龙的灭绝并没有带来生态的紊乱,反而出现了科学家所谓的“竞争释放”。哺乳动物的体型在恐龙灭绝之后呈爆炸式增长趋势,拥有了更多的食物资源,进食效率也大大提高。

同样,商业领域中“恐龙”的倒下从来都不是一件坏事情。优秀的人才被流放到组织之外,其中一部分人会充分发挥自己的“企业家精神”,用掌握的资源和技术成就属于自己的事业。20世纪70年代,以色列军方自主研制出性能卓越的LAVI战斗机。80年代初,迫于美国的压力,LAVI战斗机仅仅在生产了3架之后就被彻底叫停。虽然项目被取消,但参与LAVI项目的1500名工程师进入业界发展,直接推动了以色列走向高科技强国。同样,1977年,IBM因为印度政府的限令而退出印度市场,但大量IBM的前印度雇员却掀起了在本土创业的热潮,多年后,印度聚积了一批全球IT技术的重要人才。

我们在这里不是在倡导汤姆·彼得斯式的狂欢,让所有巨型组织都轰然倒下。毕竟大公司才是推动工业时代经济发展的主要力量。可是,当骤然发现公司存在的种种假设即将或者已经发生变化的时候,我们也不得不承认这样一个现实:以往区分公司“大”与“小”的方式显得过于简单粗暴。

麦肯锡在多年前的报告中写过:在未来的商业生态系统中,会有鲸鱼、布谷鸟和益生菌并存的局面。这种带有明显工业时代经济体特征的观点在今天看来已显过时,因为用这个框架无法解释创客群体的存在,更无法解释海尔和阿里巴巴在进行的自我革命。

一位美国管理学者在博客中这样形容自己的兴奋:金融危机之后,大量人才行走在纽约街头,他们吸引着风投的目光,因为他们每一个人都有可能成为企业家。

我们将这种兴奋归于他看到了未来的公司趋势——“企业家公司”,这也是德鲁克生前愿望的浮现——每个人都是CEO。

网络化公司崛起

韦尔奇在1992年的年度报告中,有一句话至今还被奉为变革圣经:“我们致力于将小型公司的精神和小型公司的速度植入我们大型公司的肌体。”与他持有同样观点的还有ABB公司的总裁柏西·巴列维。他的战略几乎完全摒弃了公司的中心,把责任移交给不同的小型、个人化的事业部。巴列维的逻辑非常简单:成功只会垂青于那些行动迅捷的公司,那些通过品质、服务、创新和接近顾客来增加产品附加值的公司;类似的还有稻盛和夫那扬名天下的阿米巴组织。

社会学巨擘曼纽尔·卡斯特在《网络社会》中,将组织分为两种:第一种组织的主要目标是自身手段系统的复制;第二种组织的目标以及目标的转变,是塑造与不断重塑系统的结构。卡斯特称第一种组织为科层制度,第二种组织为企业(enterprise)。

基于两种组织的区分,卡斯特提出了“网络化公司”的定义:一种特殊的企业,其手段系统是由各自主目标系统之部分交织而成。因此,既定网络的操作便依赖该网络的两种属性而定:其一是连接性,指促进组成部分之间无障碍沟通的结构性能力;其二是一致性,指的是网络目标及其组成部分之间利益的共同程度。

卡斯特对网络企业的梳理,来源于他对工业时代以来产业组织与生产方式的相互影响的分析。首先是大量生产到弹性生产的转变。大量生产的代表是“福特主义”,其原则根植于泰勒的科学管理和科学的工作组织。弊端是无法准确预测世界范围内的市场需求,同时也很难在质与量之间求得平衡,而且大量生产的系统过于僵硬,因此有了弹性生产的需求。大企业的组织模型奠基于垂直整合以及层级、功能性的管理。在“福特主义”之后,出现了“丰田主义”,卡斯特认为,丰田主义的真正特点不在于厂商间的关系,而是管理者和劳工之间的关系。以往,美国公司强调通过细致的部门分工以及明确的工作划分来提高工作效率,日本公司则重视工作团队自发地处理工作现场紧急事务的能力。

卡斯特认为:如果大公司本身能够进行改革,将组织转化为一个接合(articulate)多功能决策的新网络,在新经济中就能真正成为较优越的管理形态。而组织变革的任务就是让生产系统更加有弹性和协调性。

一个人就是一个公司

卡斯特认为依靠大型生产生存的公司不会死亡,但并不意味着大公司不会死亡。“网络化公司”更像是新经济时代中的企业意识形态,其形成得益于节点的表现。在企业中节点是由最小的经营体,即由人来组成。网络化公司更像是一个利益共生的共同体。

一个完美的网络化公司,应该是由无数个“企业家公司”构成。由此来看,海尔目前正在进行的网络化战略带有鲜明的革命色彩,它和GE、ABB的本质不同在于,海尔要从大到小彻底消灭金字塔结构。如果阿米巴的内部还依赖于等级制度的话,在海尔的变革中,这样的依赖就会被张瑞敏斥为“当官意识强烈”。所以,在海尔,才会出现一个员工孤零零地拎着包去管理被并购的泰国工厂的情景。一个人就是一个公司,他的背后是海尔的品牌资源。

海尔正在尝试的网状组织和网络化战略是划时代的举动,把大公司变小,把小公司变成小微公司,最后让每个个体成为直接面对市场的“CEO”。在这种背景下,我们无法再用“大”“小”公司来衡量这样的企业举动,解放“人”似乎成为了唯一合理的视角。

“未来每个企业的CEO的成功,并不在于你的企业为社会制造了多少产品,而是在于你制造了多少CEO;在于是否打造了一个让每位员工实现自身价值的平台,让企业实现永续经营。”张瑞敏如是说。这也似乎为卡斯特那飘在空中的“网络化公司”寻找到了着陆点。

面对网络化的个人主义者,企业能做什么?答案是:把自己变成一张没有边际的网,把以人为核心的资源能力变成节点。

网络化组织的不平衡

张瑞敏特别提到“供应链无尺度”,并延展到“用户体验无尺度、员工创新无尺度”。在网络理论中,无尺度网络是带有一类特性的复杂网络,其典型特征是在网络中的大部分节点只和很少的大节点连接,这种关键的节点称为“枢纽”或“集散节点”。如果网络化组织中的每一位员工都是一个节点,那么节点与节点之间的距离一定会拉大。节点好比磁铁,有的磁铁具有超强的聚集力,有的吸引力则比较微弱。换言之,每一个节点不是平等的,因此,网络化组织也绝对不会是平衡的,会出现一些问题。

首先是连接性问题。在互联网的碎片化时代,在网状组织中会出现每移除一个节点以及与其相关的连接,那么原网络中的其他点也可能受到影响。原本相连的两个节点可能不再相连;即使相连,从其中一处到另一处可能需要经过更多的路途。总的来说,网络的连通性降低了。所以,如何提高每个节点的不可移除性以及连接性,是网状组织亟需解决的问题。

其次是一致性问题。这可能是更加关键的考验。尼葛洛庞帝在《数字化生存》中描述了这样一个实验:一个大礼堂中有千余人,实验者要求大家开始鼓掌,掌声尽量协调一致。结果发现,虽然没有人指挥,起初杂乱无章的掌声却很快就节奏一致。尼葛洛庞帝研不由感慨:我们对于从完全独立的行动中所产生的协调行为的认识还非常之肤浅。

“尼葛洛庞帝式鼓掌”现象显示出网络的同步性——即便单一节点能力提高,如果整个网络不具备协调一致的同步性,网络化组织的效率打造也终将归于失败。而决定网络动力系统的同步性的则有多种因素,如节点动力系统的特性、节点的耦合方式与网络的结构。大部分大公司在组织变革的时候,虽然可以用信息化解决连接性的问题,但却在“一致性”问题上受阻。

——————————

当诺基亚面对苹果的冲击基本上一败涂地的时候,在企业内部发起了一个叫做“诺基亚桥(Nokia Bridge)”的计划,为进行创业的前诺基亚员工提供15万欧元的融资。目前,诺基亚孵化器中已经有100多家公司。诺基亚作为昔日“恐龙”被诟病,但它用解放个人的方式宣告了创新不死。

任何一种管理理论的提出都有当下的经济学假设,最大问题是其静态性和对多面人性的忽略。管理的终极目标就是要解放人性。大公司不再“大”,把每一位员工当做节点,激发他们的企业家精神,慢慢地,这张网就会成为一个大写的“公司”。


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