Enterprise archetypes drive the basics of business attitudes


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Archetypes define the essential behavior of cultures. Enterprise archetypes define the standards of normality that are applicable in a business. Four archetypes have been discovered that guide the spontaneous behavior of the members of a business: Non-influential participants, influential participants, number 1 and innovators.

Archetypes of EnterprisesThe archetype of an enterprise  might have been defined by the founders of a company. If this is not the case it will follow the archetype of the segment of a culture where the company was created.

The archetype of a company needs to be consistent with the market it works with.

Institutionalized enterprises cannot belong to the segment of non-influential participants, because they need to have a transcendent strategy which requires having influence in the environment.

Description of the Archetypes:

Number 1

The number one business is the “owner” of the standard of the market with which others competitors compared themselves to. It is the one that sets the limits of negotiation and whose products/services have a high level of reliability that sustain its added value brand attributes and consistency in time. The number one develops its strategy based on its market dominance.

Number 2 / Innovator

The number two business is the innovator of the market. It is the one that seeks to set the new rules of the game in the market through innovation. It is the one that seeks to create new products discovering the unsatisfied needs of the market.

The number two develops its strategy based on the conquest of new markets. For this purpose, it develops an empty-space-occupation strategy that requires a previous weakening of the flank of the opponent/space to be occupied.

Influential Participant / Nr. 3

The number three of the market is the one that seeks for a place without trying to occupy the place of the number one or the number two in the market.

It seeks to develop its business with high profit, without having neither the costs of developing innovations that the number two has nor the high costs of communication that the number one has. In structural terms, it is shareholder oriented, so it is organized on a very hierarchical way and tends to over-adapt to the environment to achieve its objectives. Its goal is to be organized by objectives to guarantee its business, so it fosters participation in the market, even though many times tends to work with false consensus.

Non influential Participant

They work in an artisan manner, compensating with a great effort the difficulties of the position of only having negotiating capacity based on personal influence without any support of a brand whatsoever. Therefore their growth nucleus is basically based on personal influence.

At an operational level they establish bonds between their clients and the products and seek to organize based on precise working processes that in practice have a high level of entropy. Because they have no power on the market, they substitute it with wit to take advantage of the mistakes of the dominants.

Can the archetypes be changed?

Upgrading archetypes requires necessarily a re-foundation of the company or the expansion to markets that are driven by superior archetypes.

The re-foundation implies a change of the shareholders and of the management, while the expansion to superior markets can be done with the existing structure.

But the expansion of the boundaries towards a superior level requires making structural changes that modify the perceived attributes of the company.

Peter Belohlavek

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute was the pioneer in using the unicist logical approach in complexity science research and became a private global decentralized leading research organization in the field of human adaptive systems. It has an academic arm and a business arm. https://www.unicist.org/ucu-en/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/turi.pdf

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