An article I read recently opened my mind to the dynamics that are dictating evolution of organisations into Next Gen Enterprises. I am completely convinced of the necessity to understand and appreciate these trends. They will determine business success in the future besides putting a demand on leadership to align itself to continue to be meaningful and relevant.
Global economy is headed for a fundamental change. Consumers will become prosumers – both consumers and producers of a company’s products and services. You all have seen advertisements from Vodafone asking viewers to participate in the creation of the next ZOO-ZOO commercial. There are many similar examples that only reinforce the development. Also enterprises will deploy talent on demand and engage and develop people in a wide variety of ways – from full time employment to anonymous collaboration over the web.
The article captured four broad forces that are driving a perfect storm of change in global business :
1. Technology Revolution marked by the arrival of Web 2.0. New participative approaches to collaboration – wikis, blogs, digital brainstorms, telepresence etc – cut across organisational silos and tap more deeply into the power of human capital. So in a way the static publish-and-browse internet could well be a thing of the past soon.
2. Demographic Revolution – in an earlier post we mentioned of the emergence of the Net Generation – those born between 1977 and 1997. These teenagers and young adults are the first generation immersed since birth in an interactive, hyper-stimulating digital environment. Utterly at ease with new technologies that have caused them to develop different expectations in terms of how they should learn, interact and work. These youngsters will soon dominate the workforce and the marketplace.
As employees their expectation is an innovative work environment, flexi working hours, upward mobility, agile decision making process. As consumers they demand speedy, responsive and customisable goods and services. They have a very different perspective on how value is created, distributed and consumed.
3. Social Revolution in the form of social networking. There is an explosion of online collaboration. With nearly 80% university students connected to some social network, youths spend many hours online sharing product related information, collaborating on customised projects, engaging in commerce and exchanging tips and tools. It is amazing how citizens in so many countries self organise to launch advocacy campaigns on socially relevant issues like global warming etc.
4. Wikinomics – fundamental changes are taking place in the way companies orchestrate capability to innovate and create value. Innovation now often begins at the fringes. So hierarchical enterprises are turning to collaborative business models where masses of consumers, employees, suppliers, business partners and even competitors co-create value in the absence of direct managerial control.
These trends have implications for organisations. In the past corporations have organised themselves into hierarchical lines of authority. Now employees – especially the younger ones – expect to collaborate, co-create, to be treated individually each day. This clearly presents a unique challenge to corporate culture and style.
Companies that sieze opportunities created by the four forces are evolving into Next Generation Enterprises. I know this is a lot of contemporary gyan but felt it important enough to share. Let me know how you all see the trends evolving in the sphere of your experience.