The People wave was the antidote to the financial excesses of the previous Profit wave. People, all people, not just the high potentials or talented, were valued. It was also more widely recognised that for business to succeed, the employee demographic needs to reflect the customer demographic, especially in the C-suite. Gender equality made some progress, as did all other forms of diversity. Sustainable business, corporate social responsibility, and much greater inclusivity meant finally everyone was welcomed to the party.
The ability to embrace a much wider set of perspectives ushered in a more egalitarian and fairer workplace capable of generating wiser answers to the wicked problems created by the previous waves. In the People wave, we are beginning to appreciate that we need to change the way business is structured and organised. We must change ownership and governance, otherwise no real long-term inclusive sustainability agenda will be possible. Inspiring words on a corporate document or even the very best of intentions to run the business differently is simply not enough. We must also address the contradictions that emerge from inclusivity, including post-truth, fake news and rampant relativism.