Regime shift – getting Ecosystems back on track
by Andrew Want

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Society ascribes legitimacy to ecosystems. When ecosystems cannot meet societal expectations, they, and the firms within, deteriorate (h/t Simon Caulkin). A regime shift is a process whereby a change in the structure and function of an ecosystem will result. Regime shifts are critical for ecosystem evolution and maintenance of societal legitimacy. 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 Conditions need to be ‘just right’ for a regime shift to occur. This blog considers the mobility ecosystem that could indicate such conditions. […]

The Ecosystem of Wicked Problems by Christian Sarkar

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As humanity faces a growing number of existential challenges, we find that governments and institutions are not doing their jobs – they are failing us precisely at the moment we need them most. The apocalypse has many horsemen: social unrest, inequality, environmental collapse, species extinction, pandemics, trade wars, and yes, old-fashioned war. Even the tired wars of ideology have returned. Let’s start with an observation: We don’t know how to collaborate. Is this true? We aren’t taught to collaborate. Our careers are based on competition, not cooperation. Sometimes our collaborative efforts extend to including our children and relatives in the family business. It’s called nepotism. Just think back to that cross-functional meeting you had where […]

Ecosystems for lifelong learning
By Esther Clark

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“Lifelong learning.” A word cluster that comes up with over 99 million results when searched in Google. It is a popular concept with its central tenet being that we must always be learning in order to adapt to new opportunities or threats and to continue to make way for innovation and connections between ideas and people – past, present, future. It is said that effective leaders have the quality to question, and learn from, people and ideas inside and outside their industry. Leading organizations need to be able to “see around corners”, and lifelong learning helps us to do this by pulling in knowledge from different disciplines and dimensions. While few of us are likely […]

Constructing Ecosystems: More than Analytics
Johan Roos

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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 […]

Collaboration and partnering: the keys to successful ecosystems
by Mark Béliczky

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Ecosystems are not new to business. During the Middle Ages there were large fairs where merchants and trades would come together in coordinated commerce. This also occurred in Prato, Italy in the 14th century with the textile industry where an “ecosystem” of various trades from the textile industry would collaborate — all orchestrated by powerful wool merchants where “trading hubs” were established and were enabled through production coordination, QA/QC, and even financing. Other earlier examples would be the 100 year old Li & Fung trading company from Hong Kong or the VISA card platform. All were successful ecosystems, but without a “digital backbone.” Today with our VUCA world and combined with digitized 4th IR, there […]

Thinking for the age of ecosystems
by Joseph Pistrui and Dimo Dimov

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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 […]

Crafting sustainable work ecosystems
by Andrew Spence

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The world of work can be seen as a complex ecosystem with many interdependent species including workers, employers, suppliers, and regulators.  In predicting the impact of technology on the future of work, the prevailing economic narrative focuses on changes to jobs and tasks caused by automation. We need to examine the impact that the same technology has already had on workers and our societies, and also the infrastructure we use to organise our work. 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 […]

The New Barriers to Entry: Why Strategy Assumptions Need to Change in an Era of Ecosystems
by Rita Gunther McGrath

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A cherished idea in traditional strategy is that a company that has found a repeatable, reliable business model then needs to erect barriers to entry—some kind of obstacle that prevents others from simply copying or matching their offerings. Barriers can take many forms, including regulatory hurdles, high investment in assets, patents and strong brand names. What we are witnessing today is a weakening of many traditional barriers and simultaneously the emergence of very powerful new barriers that institutions are struggling to figure out. Consider the barrier represented by high costs of entry. Once upon a time, a startup would have needed to raise funds to buy computer servers, hire people, get office space, perhaps invest […]