As a senior manager in organizational development and change at Arthur Andersen, I learned sooo much in The New Economy. I relearned the reality that organizations are not natural orders as we find in physical or biological science. Organizations are cultural artifacts that are created, discovered, and invented by humans. Thus, they succeed or fail based on our actions, not history.
The New Economy was an exciting time of movement (we thought it was "forward movement" at the time), action, change, challenge, and opportunity. In an organization thought to be as traditional, conservative, established, and filled with history as Arthur Andersen, we thought that this was a time of reinventing our organization. I learned, once more, that we cannot take the future for granted.
I relearned, in the most difficult way, the importance of helping leaders operate from an ethical base. I also relearned the importance of Ralph Waldo Emerson's statement that "What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
Bonnie B. Hudson, Managing Partner, BBH Consulting
Our Readers Respond
- Feedback: What You Learned
- We Cannot Take the Future for Granted
- My Way and the Highway
- Quicken Charts Never Lie
- Short Working Life
- Become the Person People Work For
- Blame It on the MBA's
- Additional Lessons
A version of this article appeared in the March 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.