What makes a modern company in the age of ecosystems?
by Ingrid Maass

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Modern has traditionally been a label that stood for “breaking with the old ways”. In this sense, “modern” is a mindset that does away with the mantra of “never change a running system”. Modern companies constantly challenge existing ways of doing things while being conscious where modern means doing it the “old” way. Are ecosystems modern? An ecosystem is born when people start operating “…beyond their traditional operational borders and creating or participating in new, flexible, and adaptive networks…” (Richard Straub). It can be part of only one organization, or cross the boundaries of that organization. The ecosystem in itself is not modern but looking at a company as a series of (overlapping) ecosystems is. […]

A vision for shared leadership in complex ecosystems
by Neha Chatwani

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The current discourse on the urgent need for an inclusive systemic approach to dynamic ecosystems needs equal reflection in the leadership debate. Leaders are still viewed as individuals with a certain skill-set or competencies, and leadership as something that is done by these individuals to a group of people. The leaders stand on the center stage. However, it is the notion of leadership that needs to be moved to the center, and understood as the relational and emergent property of ecosystems and groups of interacting individuals. Distributed or shared leadership is dynamic and embraces an openness in the boundaries of leadership. It appreciates that expertise and knowledge are distributed across many and seeks to leverage […]

Clarity across ecosystems: defining value and governance with integrity
by Ron Carucci

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The 2019 Global Peter Drucker Forum will focus on a world of ecoystems, with their many complexities, opportunities, and unknowns. In a globally networked economy in which the boundaries between firms and even industries are blurring, how do companies build trust within their governing structures? Beyond contractual NDAs or other forms of legal agreement, what is the best way to ensure decision rights are clear at the intersections between firms and industries, especially when in some contexts ecosystem partners may also be competitors? How do you ensure integrity is the bedrock across the value chain of an ecosystem? My 15-year longitudinal study revealed four factors that determine whether people will lie or withhold the truth […]

The digital ecosystem depends upon the human one
by Vlatka Hlupic

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Much has been written and discussed about the pace of technological change. More than replacing routine tasks, artificial intelligence can transform business processes, customer service and the way businesses are set up and run. Blockchain technology, for example, is being used for supply chains not only to improve efficiency, but also transparency. Everyone involved has the same information, which cannot be erased. Drucker Forum 2019 This article is one in the “shape the debate” series relating to the 11th Global Peter Drucker Forum, under the theme “The Power of Ecosystems” taking place on November 21 & 22, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. #GPDF19 #ecosystems Blockchain technology can be used by companies to ensure ethical sourcing – […]

To strengthen your ecosystem…strengthen persons
by Anthony Howard and Sylwia Sysko-Romańczuk

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Business ecosystems are a consequence of the creativity of human persons; it is the actions of people that create and brings systems into existence. While the human person is both the source and the summit of ecosystems, we often risk the system we have created turning on us rather than contributing to human fulfilment. While fundamental to 21st century business, ecosystems have the power to develop or diminish human beings, depending on whether we treat people as a means to an end, or see them as an end in themselves. Tools have traditionally been in the service of people, whether a plough, a printing press or a telephone. These things improved efficiency, yet left no […]

Fostering an Agile Ecosystem
by Howard Sublett

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The rules of business have changed. According to a recent Credit Suisse report, the average S&P company lifespan was once 60 years. Today the average is around 20. Startups? Small businesses? They are lucky to survive at all. And as fast as things are changing today, businesses are experiencing the slowest rate of change they’ll ever see. Tomorrow will be faster. The next day faster still. How do organizations thrive in an environment where disruptive innovations change entire industries seemingly overnight? The answer for many is to try to become more agile—to drive decisions to the far edges of their business. This is a good first step; but it doesn’t go far enough. Growing the […]

Building trust in digital ecosystems
by Professor Kriti Jain

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“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” – Clarke’s Third Law Imagine a senior citizen who wants to sell off her old furniture. A digitally-naïve, trusting individual, who is still excited to try out new technology, she finds an online platform that matches buyers and sellers, and places her advertisement. Voila! A prospective buyer contacts her on the phone, they agree on a price, and he convinces her to receive money through electronic payment. She downloads one of the digital wallets (APIs) and it automatically links to her traditional bank account by using secure passwords generated on her mobile phone. What efficiency! She marvels at the coordination between the different entities of this ecosystem […]

Alignment and agility: prerequisites for complex business ecosystems in a dynamic era
by Lindsay Uittenbogaard & Lukas Michel

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Traditional alignment methodologies and traditional management that were intended for the stable environment have lost their impact. In rapidly emerging complex business ecosystems, sustainable performance requires a comprehensive alignment of people and parts within an agile design. For decades now, leaders have been struggling with how to succeed in a VUCA world. Typically, efforts to correct shortfalls and improve performance look at what need to align, such as strategy, structure, skills, and systems. Follow logic A, B, C. Take step 1, 2, 3. In today’s dynamic environments, this approach looks Two Dimensional. Drucker Forum 2019 This article is one in the “shape the debate” series relating to the 11th Global Peter Drucker Forum, under the […]