Organizations in Fashion

March 9, 2020

Organizations are inserted in wide and dynamic context, incomprehensible in its totality, density and amplitude. They are, at the same time, authorial determinant and idiosyncratic result of the time where they are inserted, ineradicable associated to the proposal questions, surpassed challenges and failures experienced during their existence by means of different social groups.

Particularly interesting, they are the defended proposals for the North American thinkers Freeman Dyson and Stewart Brand for the civilizational analysis in layers - some fast, other slow.

While the fast parts learn, consider and absorb external shocks, the slow parts memorize, integrate and restrict them. While the fast parts receive all the attention from the audience, the slow parts withhold all the power. From one side of the specter, fashion and commerce are presented, respectively, as fast parts. In the other extremity, nature and culture remain, respectively, as the slower parts. In the intermediate plan, the infrastructure and government layers of infrastructure divide the plan between the fast and slow layers.

The role of the fashion - and, also, of the art itself - consists on being fast, involving, light, probably frivolous, always self-centered. Young tends to be obsessed by fashion, while elders are bored with it.

Commerce - and, therefore, organizations -, except supported by government and culture, become crime. Even the intention of the commerce in influencing the more structuring and slow layers seems to be excessively myopic for such enterprise, limited for its necessary privileged search for the return on short term.

The infrastructure, although essential to society, does not justify itself for the commercial objectives on account of its return for long term, demanding governmental intervention by means of financings and/or concessions. Even education and science can be considered intellectual infrastructures, with high returns in long term. The government itself, at the same time that supports commerce and infrastructure, is also subjected to the public opinion.

Culture moves slowly in the rhythm of the language, religion, customs and usages, fruit of the unconscious and uncoordinated action of people throughout generations. Finally, nature keeps its vast power, inexorable and implacable, which apocalyptic forces follow closely our irresponsible actions against the ecosystemic balance. Deep and perennial revolutions do not occur in the thrift of the fashion, but yes in the uncommon force of the nature and/or the culture.

Organizations, in their turn, even acting in the most superficial layers in its search for the accomplishment of the enterprise intention, must observe and always anticipate movements in the nature, culture and government layers.


Daniel Motta is the Founder and CEO of BMI Blue Management Institute, a leading niche consulting firm. He is a global thought leader focused on culture, strategy and leadership. He has a PhD in Economics, MSc in Financial Economics and BA in Economics. He is also an OPMer from Harvard Business School. He is the Managing Director of USA-based VC company White Fox Capital and the Senior Tupinambá Maverick of bossa&etc. He was a co-founder of Brazilian Society of Finance. He currently serves NGO UNIBES as Strategic Planning Principal. He is the author of the best selling books Essential Leadership and book Anthesis. He also has three articles published by Harvard Business Review. He is a Board Member of MASP.