Moving forward in today’s digital age involves a complete shift in mindset, culture and management philosophy.
The collective immune system of many global businesses is increasingly fragile. They may easily crumble under the constant barrage of technological disruption and quickly shifting consumer expectations.
Compounding this challenge? Today's management systems, structures and talent strategies tend to be outdated; designed for an era when size and enduring stability defined the competitive advantage.
Amidst these changes a new breed of organisations is emerging. One that is shifting away from command-and-control cultures.
In the fourth industrial revolution, successful organisations are transitioning to management practises that harness diverse crowds of people who are engaged and energised. People focused on surprising and delighting customers, unencumbered by excess bureaucracy, pursuing both personal and business goals with purpose.
Organisations that once benefited from a size and scale strategy have quickly disappeared from the S&P 5001 and original Dow Jones index.
Today, just 14% of CxOs report a high degree of confidence in their ability to make the changes that the digital revolution requires.
Beyond the C suite, employees’ trust and confidence in business and government is at the lowest levels in decades.
Put yourself in the shoes of a business leader in the early 19th century. In the span of two decades, people and businesses had to adapt to a world turned upside down by the advent of flight, the lightbulb, telephone and automobile.
In the midst of this radical change, some businesses not only survived… they thrived. Leading to the rise of new industries in finance, transportation, telecommunications and energy.
Now, more than a century later, those businesses are in the cross hairs of large-scale disruption. Add to that continuously dropping levels of employee and customer engagement and you have a perfect storm of externally-imposed change. Often followed by a lack of internal readiness to deal with it.
Today, we debate the same set of issues ad nauseum: enterprise agility, customer connection, being purpose driven or simply breaking out of old hierarchical patterns.
And while global businesses are triangulating around a common target (ultimately aiming to increase their relevance to both their employees and their customers), very few organisations are doing something about it. And even fewer are becoming truly adaptable.
If history has taught us anything, it’s that those who adapt can carve new paths, build new legacies and truly flourish.