The household enterprise sector of the new knowledge/service economy

Now stop and think about this. He’s projecting that just 30% will be successful in the knowledge/service economy. What will happen to the other 70%? Are we to accept that there’s no place for them?

I want to challenge that and show that instead of the new knowledge/service economy resulting in the greatest disparity of have and have nots -- it actually affords us the ability to create  a new employment sector that ultimately will result in a thriving economy that includes most everyone!

If business schools are correct, the person who is capable of autonomy and decision-making will be successful in the next economy. In a nutshell, this is a person with high-level thinking skills. There are six levels of thinking development (see Blooms’ Taxonomy of Thinking) and in the knowledge/service economy we need folks who operate on the highest thinking levels. The Consumer economy did not which is why we designed a school system that spends 90% of its time on the three lowest levels of thinking development. We now have millions of people educated for the wrong economy!

So, here’s the opportunity. But how do we transform this? You might be thinking, "Ugh, changing a school system is like turning a battleship in the middle of a big ocean." It can’t be done quickly and we need it to happen now. So, you’re right, schools aren’t the place to get started.

Where do we get educated before school starts? At home. And there’s the solution for where many people will be able to work in the knowledge/service economy: the household enterprise.  In this new employment sector, the household enterprise, we have the opportunity to take current adults who were educated for the old economy and make the work of raising the next generation to be autonomous and capable decision makers  be the place where they have the opportunity to transform as well.

[image-1]Imagine hiring a parent as a ‘human capacity development professional’. As part of a company of professionals, he/she works with a team of 30 other professionals overseen by a management team of three. Their daily work as a team determines what's necessary to foster high level thinking/whole person development for the children in the home. The household enterprise becomes a learning center that is connected (using technology) to other professional human capacity professionals, connected to universities, and connected to other small businesses in their community.

Doing this, we solve where the ‘other’ 70% might work while also fostering the next generation to be ready to function effectively in the new economy. As the household enterprise employment sector goes into full force, it will foster other new small businesses that they will need to access in a business-to-business process. In truth, with the rise of the household enterprise sector, we turn the knowledge/service economy into a thriving economy that benefits the many, not the few.

Yes, adding the Household enterprise sector into the measured and monetized economy is new and different. But faced with the reality that without this, 70% of our citizens will be left out of the economy, it is unfathomable that we would not use our decision-making skills to get creative and design new solutions. When we add the household enterprise, our children, our communities and all of our businesses benefit. Otherwise, 30% will have to care for the 70%--and that’s just not a solution that works for anyone.

In a recent email dialogue I had with a business school dean, he acknowledged that the economy is transforming from a consumer economy to a knowledge/service economy. I had asked him how he saw business schools responding in preparing students for this transformation.

He answered that it was quite a concern because from what they could see success in the new economy would be for those who were capable of autonomy and good decision-making in an ever-changing world. Their goal was to help foster this group of people as soon and as much as possible. At the same time, their projections show that about 30% of the population would do well in this new economy — but about 70% would be lagging behind.

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