Introduction to the Drucker Forum 2019
The Power of Ecosystems - Managing in a Networked World
by Richard Straub
Ecosystems are everywhere, not confined to natural environments — increasingly, we see businesses, public sector institutions, and third-sector organizations all moving beyond their traditional operational borders and creating or participating in new, flexible, and adaptive networks of enterprises jointly pursuing ambitious purposes. There are the ecosystems of developers that have been mobilized by powerful tech firms such as Microsoft and Apple; the innovation clusters embedded in certain geographic ecosystems; and the legions of lean, agile organizations that have proliferated as large infrastructure builders provide robust platforms. Long before these recent developments, Peter Drucker recognized that complementary organizations and institutions together make up a "social ecology"— a complex adaptive system that is new and man-made – in which entities of all sizes and strategies interact and operate in an increasingly fast changing and complex environment. In today’s digitally enabled markets, Drucker’s concept of a social, business ecology has become full-blown reality. With a new “nervous system” – provided by digital networks and increasing machine intelligence, pioneering players such as Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent, and Google — as well as long-established companies such as VW, Novo Nordisk, and Rio Tinto—are engaging in the new leadership imperative to leverage sprawling commercial ecosystems.
The 11th Drucker Forum will enlighten and equip leaders across economic sectors facing the growing opportunities and challenges of business ecosystems. Discussions will address key questions such as
- Under what conditions do generative business ecosystems emerge? Must they be cultivated or can they be designed?
- What are the characteristics of the various types of business ecosystems?
- How pervasive are they - are they replacing traditional forms of business configuration?
- How do these business ecosystems influence the way companies shape their own organization?
- How are competitive dynamics changing and what is the impact on strategy development and execution?
- What type of leadership competencies are required in these new fluid and interactive environments?
- Which new management concepts and tools help us to cope with this new complex and fast changing settings?
- What governance mechanisms emerge in business ecosystems?
- What is the impact of advanced digital technologies such as AI, Machine Learning and Internet of Things on business ecosystems?
Deputy Dean, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School
VP and chief Internet evangelist, Google
Forester de Rothschild
Founder Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism
Professor, London Business School;
Director of the Management Innovation eXchange
CEO, Infineon Technologies Austria
CEO, WLJ Advisors
Former President European Research Council
Founder, Future Today Institute
Senior Advisor, Tencent Holdings Limited
Don’t expect to get simple answers.
But expect to be inspired.
Opening and Welcome at the 9th Global Peter Drucker Forum 2017