Keywords: agility, change, history, paradigms, speed
Value people, stay competitive: next Century's demands
Society, companies and organisations adapt each at its own pace to changing circumstances and demands. Differences will therefore appear. In this paper, the objectives of organisations and individuals in the context of Western Europe are analysed by following some historic trends. It is concluded that accepted paradigms such as "growth is necessary to survive" and "lifelong employment" no longer serve the objectives best. New notions such as leadership, shared values, continuous improvement and the like are essential for the future of our society. Interestingly history shows that these new notions have been guiding principles before, most explicitly in the old guild structure. The original small firm application of the guilds structure is projected onto large corporation and management roles in the 21st Century.