Sunday, May 30, 2010

These are the times for explorers



In a few years from now we will see more clearly that the real paradigm shift we are experiencing right now is that we are leaving the hierarchical, static and sequential approach to designing organizations, processes and systems for more organic, dynamic and network-oriented approaches.

The currently dominating way to organize an enterprise stems from the early 20th century and is by design not well suited for today's ever changing, global and dynamic business environment. It was designed for scalability in a stable business environment, not for agility in a constantly changing and sometimes disruptive business environment. The premise on which this model was built has been the fact that the cost and complexity of communicating and thus also the cost and complexity of organizing labor and other resources has been high.

The technology development during recent decades has changed this by radically reducing the costs of communicating. As a result of this, we are also seeing new ways of communicating and collaborating emerge. This has changed the assumptions on which the industrial enterprise has been built. What we are experiencing now is a disconnect between this new emerging reality and the way we are used to designing and running enterprises. This can be seen as either a threat or an opportunity. It is a threat to enterprises which are pretending as if the old reality is still valid and choose to do nothing about it (or just redesign themselves based on the same old principles). It is an opportunity to enterprises which see this new reality as a way to design and run their operations and management in a way that will make them thrive in the new business environment.

Nobody knows what, when and how things will change. The only thing we can be sure of is that things will change, and that those of us who are able to quickly find out (or rather guess) how and how to adapt will have a clear benefit. 

These are the times for explorers. 

1 comment:

  1. One of the things I talk with folks about is the importance of the intersection of technologies with business needs.
    The explorers find the new worlds. The pioneers then move it to start to make it useful for the settlers that follow.
    I view the pioneers that capitalize on the intersections.

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