Building a Future Fit Organisation!
“The Future belongs to those who know where they belong.” Divergent
The best way for organizations to compete in the future is to understand it and prepare for it adequately.
However, in today’s fast-moving world it is no longer about “knowing”. Market dynamics, technology, regulations & competition change so quickly that knowledge about how things used to work in the past is increasingly marginalized in importance. It can lead to complacency and a sense of arrogance. At times it can even be counterproductive. In fact, in fast-changing times “learning” is not an option but a given. It does no longer just separate the great from the good companies; it has become a question of survival. If you are not leaving your comfort zone to try out something new, to feel clumsy, or even fail then you are most certainly setting yourself up for failure in the long run. This is true for companies as well as it is for their leaders.
You can continue doing what made you successful in the first place. You can even become really good at it, just like Nokia. However, while you are still optimizing yourself the competition is changing the rules of the game and then it becomes increasingly difficult for you to catch up with Competition.
How many Organisations are aware of who they are, what is their purpose of existence, what makes them succeed & believe in themselves. Are they able to foresee the future and how are they preparing for it? How many of them who are aware of the turbulent Future, see it as an opportunity or as a Threat.
A Chinese proverb says that in times of Great Winds, many build bunkers and some build Wind Mills. We are living in times of Great Winds and organizations, Entrepreneurs will have to decide whether they want to build bunkers or capitalize on the opportunity and build windmills.
The disruption to the world of work that digital technologies are bringing to the workplace, poses significant challenges to employers, policymakers, government, employees & the society at large.
As we enter the Digital Age, rapidly emerging technologies—such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Internet of Things, Automation, Blockchain, Big Data, wearables, robotics, and Industry 4.0—are spurring the development of new production techniques, business models, and value chains that will fundamentally transform the business environment. The speed and scope of change add complexity to Leaders & Entrepreneurs in guiding the ship of the Future.
As technology continues to revolutionize the way we live, work, and lead, are companies fully equipped for what lies ahead? Are our Leaders capable and equipped to face the future?
Leaders will have a challenging time facing and adapting to the changing demands of the Future. They will have to ensure that their organizations stay above water during these turbulent times but also be able to sail to the shore.
Building an Organisation that is Future Fit will be a herculean challenge for most leaders. No one has a clear picture of the Future nor is it easy to predict what the future will unfold. A cultural balance must be struck between short-term capabilities and Future strategic intent.. In effect, the present is a critical resource to fund the Future. Before attempting to frame long-term strategies for the Future, it is essential to make sure that they work towards building an organizational culture that enables organizations to adapt, crystallize and execute on strategy as the Future becomes progressively clearer.
Organizations will have to continuously adapt themselves and build an Organisation Culture that promotes continuous learning & development. Innovation will be the key to success. The future-fit organisation is a key to growth. The Ivey Business Journal article visualized the Innovation Culture as follows:
Source: 2 Robert Angel, “Putting an Innovation Culture into Practice”, Ivey Business Journal Volume 70, Number 3, January/February 2006.
However, Leaders / Entrepreneurs shouldn’t get overawed by the Future or the disruption that is unfolding before them largely caused by Technology. They must work towards co-creating the Future.
The Future is not going to be decided by Technology. The Future should not be decided by geographies. We are here to build our Future. The Future that we want is there for us to create. – ILO
How do we build organizations that are fundamentally fit for the Future? It’s time to radically rethink how we mobilize people and organize resources to productive ends.
Mr. Ramesh has served the H.R. and Businesses for 35 Years. He is a former V.P. of H.R. in Schneider electric and has worked in Indian & Multi-National Companies in various capacities, including leadership roles for the last 20 years.
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