At some point the proof is in the pudding. There are thousands of business books published each year; some claim the number is as high as 11,000 (that claim, admittedly, is made by a company that sells you summaries of business books -- there's actually a kind of derivative market for business books!). All these books claim to know some kind of answer, and if you spend much time reading about business management history, you know that the vast majority of claims about what works and doesn't in business are specious. On the other side, ideas that have been proven through experiment (often again and again) are often continuously ignored because they don't fit in with the current set of convenient and comfortable business beliefs. It's not hard to come to the conclusion that the vast bulk of management ideas and practices during the last century are nothing more than superstition.
The opposite of superstition is science (ironically and yet appropriately, the very thing that Frederick Winslow Taylor was claiming he was doing while he was lying through his teeth, fabricating his data to fit his desired conclusions). It's very difficult, perhaps impossible to do true science when it comes to management, but we can at least apply the most basic principle of science which is to try things out. This is far from deterministic -- if you listen to the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcasts you'll hear lots of very successful entrepreneurs telling you their version of the one true way to start a successful business ... with widely differing and often clashing conclusions about what those "truths" are.
But even if they're often wrong, the people who have tried things out themselves are miles ahead of those who simply postulate that one management method or another might work. It's not science, but at least it's an experiment.
This has gotten me thinking that, if I'm going to turn the business world on its ear by proposing the next organizational structure, one of the most effective ways of promoting said structure is to actually start a company to experiment with that structure and -- because I believe that structure will automatically evolve to improve itself -- figure out better and better ways of doing things through experience.
This is clearly one possible path for this project. To be honest, it sounds more attractive to me than writing yet another book. I don't know if I want to write a book based solely on reading other books and visiting companies, unless I'm sure I could contribute something useful. However, creating some kind of actual test which shows that these principles work (and how to create a structure that makes them work) seems like it might have a far bigger impact. Doing, rather than talking.
This opens up a ton of questions, which is good because these are the very questions I need to be able to answer if someone asks me how they can start such a business (or if I were to create a book or a workshop to teach that). Questions like how to finance it without losing control of the organization to the point where the financiers can destroy the vision in an attempt to extract short-term profits. If the organization is a collective, perhaps there is a way to self-fund or bootstrap.
Assuming the problem of financing can be solved, what should the business do? Although to some degree it doesn't matter what you do, I have no reservations about trying to stack the deck in my favor as much as possible (if the business fails, I'd rather it fail because my ideas about organization are wrong, because then at least I'll know). So the obvious choice is something in the software world; this has the added benefit that software companies tend to require much less overhead to get started.
I also seem to have more experience in what is probably categorized as B2B; it seems like most of my work in the past falls into the category of helping businesses do their work better (through training and consulting).
So I imagine a business that makes software tools that help other businesses. To bring it full circle, what about a business that makes software tools that help companies implement next-organizational-structure ideas? (Even if I don't yet know what those idea are or what the tools would look like...). That has a kind of nice snake-swallowing-its-tail characteristic, because the business would have to constantly focus on the new structure and how to implement it better.
The B2B approach might also solve part of the funding issue, if enough customers were interested enough in the products to help by purchasing up front; taking the Kickstarter idea and applying it to B2B.