Managers often use their strong analytical orientation to make sense of increasingly diverse “big data” to better grasp and envision their company’s ecosystem — customers, technology, competition, and stakeholders interacting in myriad ways. Not surprisingly, the demand for data analytics competence and digital transformation is exploding. But is a sharp analytical mind enough? I, like others, suggest a creative analogue mind is equally necessary. As long ago as the 1930s, Chester Barnard wrote about the importance to leaders of non-logical processes. Donald Schön described in the 1980s how intuition supports more rational, deliberate processes. Daniel Kahneman and others have shown that our beliefs are far from objective and we use all kinds of shortcuts to […]
Ask not what the ecosystem can do for you, but what you can do for the ecosystem. In the ‘paradox of thrift’, saving money is good for the individual consumer, but if everyone saved money the overall economy stagnates. There is a paradox of managerial thinking in a networked world: staying in the shell of legacy brings internal comfort; but if everyone did it the ecosystem atrophies. When it comes to innovating the ecosystem re-draws the boundaries of the organization. The value equation expands to include the social context of the system and your role and place in that system. What is at stake is the very shaping of the value the system creates, offering […]
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. […]
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 […]
Richard Straub in his starter article for this year’s Global Peter Drucker Forum, What Management Needs to Become in an Era of Ecosystems made some excellent observations. Straub correctly, in our view, suggested that the ecosystems are not new quoting numerous theorists whose ideas were shaped primarily during the last century. However, we suggest that organizational ecosystems have always existed and just given a name in the last 50 or so years. What has changed since the end of the last century is the speed at which conditions change primarily due to advancements in technology; the internet, AI, social media, and more. Traditional measures like profits, market share, ROI, stock price, etc. are outcomes from […]
Andrew Hill is management editor and associate editor of the Financial Times, where his weekly column has a wide following. He tells Peter Day about some of the notable things that have changed in his nearly three decades of reporting for the paper on business, companies and management..and the things that haven’t.
Design in the 21st century is grappling with a crisis of identity. Despite the unprecedented popularity of design thinking within contemporary business and society design as a practice is being challenged by many of the same disruptions affecting every aspect of modern life. In short, design is struggling to deal with complexity. While the process of design was not codified until the 1960’s through the work of Herbert Simon and others, the act of design is as old as humanity. Each and every stone-age axe was designed. Carefully honed to meet the specific needs of the maker and his immediate community. Jumping forward several thousand years, it was the industrial revolution that created the […]