For those who don’t know him, Antoine Riboud was the former CEO of BSN now called Danone. This man always had a clear vision of the future of enterprises. A book has been published about all his texts, conferences, reports and I wanted to point a report he made on 1987 at the request of Jacques Chirac (who was prime minister at this time).
The theme is “Taylorism is dead and now enterprises have to bet on their employee’s intelligence“. Riboud crossed the world to see what was happening in foreign countries, foreign companies to have a clear vision of what was really going on.
He saide (I quote) :
The act of production isn’t efficient and profitable untill it makes the most of the whole productive capital. In this purpose we need their rigour, their imagination, their autonomy. The ability to obey, to repeat, of strenght, everything that’s a mastered routine, is now outdated. The most outstanding enterprises will be those who will jointly take in account technological development, work content and change in social relations in the enterprise”
So, where are we twenty years later ? His analysis never seemed so true. What did companies do ? They have taken into aucount one, two, seldom three of the points he mentionned. But never jointly. Perharps it’s time to realize that this word, “jointly” was the most important of his sentence.