Our readers are ambitious - unapologetically so. They want to do work that matters for the future, and they want to work in the present on things that have meaning. Put simply, they are eager to participate in setting the agenda for the new world of work.
Welcome to The Agenda - a special report on the people, teams, and companies that are creating the future of business. The Agenda focuses on universal themes that are changing how we all compete, work, and live. Most important, The Agenda offers both inspiration and application - a vision for making sense of change, a program for taking advantage of it. In it, you will meet people who are leaders at four companies that define the best in thinking and in practice:
"Grassroots Leadership - Royal Dutch/Shell"
Steve Miller of Royal Dutch/Shell, whose approach to grassroots leadership offers a powerful model of what leadership means - a recognition that commitment and creativity come from all parts and all levels of an organization.
"Humane Technology - PeopleSoft"
David Duffield of PeopleSoft Inc., whose devotion to humane technology shows how powerful computers, linked to a worldwide network, can generate enormous productivity - and let loose the unbridled human spirit.
"Total Teamwork - SEI Investments"
Al West of SEI Investments, a pioneer in total teamwork, heads an organization whose speed and agility has much to teach everyone about becoming a take-no-prisoners competitor through one-for-all, all-for-one collaboration.
"Sustainable Growth - Interface, Inc."
Ray Anderson of Interface Inc., whose commitment to sustainable growth demonstrates the kind of zero-waste practices that every individual and company can use to merge economic growth with social responsibility.
Why The Agenda? We want to introduce you to leading-edge innovators in four categories of work that we believe matter. We want to identify a set of best-in-class practices - living case studies that offer a road map to the future. Make no mistake: The people, teams, and companies profiled in The Agenda are the future. They are doing every day what some of us are still just talking about - and what many of us have yet to start thinking about. We offer these profiles as learning tools - which is why each article in The Agenda includes a mini-agenda of techniques that you can use to create your own best practices, a workable program for growth and success.
What have we learned from creating The Agenda? That there is a strong, deeply held sense among those at the forefront of business that purpose, community, and sustainability are lasting values that inform the work we all do - and the future that we are all working toward. There is an agenda for the future - one that is enormously hopeful, powerfully energizing, and absolutely achievable.
What do we hope you will learn from The Agenda? That there are ideas and tools that you can put into practice to create your future - and to succeed in it.
A version of this article appeared in the April/May 1998 issue of Fast Company magazine.