Those we consider allies today may become competitors tomorrow; those we consider competitors may be our best allies in the future; and particularly, those we thought we had had nothing to do with will soon most likely become our important competitors or allies…
After the industrial society and the society of services, we are entering into a new type of society where the boundary between the product and the service blurs to the benefit of hybrid uses; we are now in a society of relations, a hybrid society. Those who sold the products yesterday will have to envisage associated services, and similarly, those who only offered services will have to re-evaluate them so they fit the new uses.
The world is more and more hybrid, which means everything tends to become double, mixed-up, a bit blurred, often contradictory and heteroclite. Nothing enters clear boxes anymore! Hybridisation comes with unpredictable and elusive consuming behaviours. Faced with this evolution, what kind of strategies can enterprises resort to?
To all the bastards, all the centaurs, all the mermaids, to every heteroclite, mixed, crossed and blended beings who have always been told that they have ‘no identity’ or ‘too many identities’, it is high time to assert your right to exist.
Enterprises, universities, public institutions, research laboratories, schools and elected officials: walk towards the heteroclite! Do not trap clients, citizens, pupils, collaborators, specific disciplines, your partners, your competitors, yourself or your job into set boxes! Make improbable weddings!
Let us all be centaurs!
Organisational models, recruiting, partnerships, training, strategy, innovation, management: hybridise yourself, hybridise everything! In other words, go towards the heteroclite, drop your anchor as far as possible towards what is, towards what seems the most estranged to yourself.
Let us all be centaurs!
A praise of hybridisation
This essay analyses a steady trend in our contemporary society, which is hybridisation. In brief: the world that surrounds us is more and more hybrid. Hybridisation is the characteristic of anything that is mixed-up, contradictory, heteroclite. It is everything that does not fit the traditional boxes. Nothing escapes it: objects, territories, identities, materials, products and services, politics, consumer habits and trade, enterprises and public institutions, jobs, buildings, ways to innovate and work, education, etc. We are witnessing the emergence of new combinations and re-combinations; we are entering into an era of improbable weddings!
This creates unease within society, because things, situations and beings that used to fit the boxes no longer do and all the traditional definitions are being smashed into pieces. However, hybridisation – if we tame it – can be a real opportunity for humans, for enterprises, for public institutions and society.