Build organizations that are fit for the future

July 16, 2015 Torben Rick


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For companies to survive and strive in today’s competitive environment, they will need to change quickly and successfully. Managing change is now a core competence that can no longer be considered a discretionary “nice to have”.

The accelerating pace of change coupled with increasing uncertainty and complexity has pushed up this skills gap to what is now a major area of concern.

Array of challenges

No organization is exempt from a daunting array of challenges:

  • In a world where exponential change is the new normal, how to build a company that can change as fast as change itself?
  • In a world where no organization is protected from intense, unpredictable, disruptive competition, how to make innovation everybody’s job?
  • In a world where knowledge itself is becoming a commodity, how do to cultivate an environment that engages and unleashes the gifts of each person’s imagination, initiative, and passion?
  • In a world of increasingly limited resources, how to rethink what it means to win so that profit comes not from gaming the system but from changing the game for everyone?

Tackle those mega-challenges

As Gary Hamel argues in the video “Reinventing the Technology of Human Accomplishment”, you can’t tackle those mega-challenges if you’re not willing to do three things:

  • Aim high – Don’t rest until everything is done to make the organization as resilient, inventive, inspiring, and accountable as it can be
  • Challenge the status quo – Be a relentless contrarian to peel away the operating assumptions and built-in beliefs that surround organizations like wallpaper
  • Explore the fringe – The future doesn’t happen in the corner office or the conference room. It starts out there, on the edges, around the bend.

Resilient, inventive, inspiring and accountable

Hamel paints a vivid picture of what it means to build organizations that are fundamentally fit for the future – resilient, inventive, inspiring and accountable.

“Modern” management is one of humanity’s most important inventions, Hamel argues. But it was developed more than a century ago to maximize standardization, specialization, hierarchy, control, and shareholder interests. While that model delivered an immense contribution to global prosperity, the values driving our most powerful institutions are fundamentally at odds with those of this age-zero-sum thinking, profit-obsession, power, conformance, control, hierarchy, and obedience don’t stand a chance against community, interdependence, freedom, flexibility, transparency, meritocracy and self-determination.

Build organizations that are fit for the future

 

 

Business history is punctuated by seismic shifts that alter the competitive landscape. These mega trends create inescapable threats and game-changing opportunities. They require businesses to adapt and innovate or be swept aside. Managing change in today’s organizations is not getting any easier. However, doing it well is the new imperative.

It it time to radically rethink how companies mobilize people?

 

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Torben Rick
Build organizations that are fit for the future

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