There’s an interesting paradox that organizations are faced with. On the one hand they realize that the rate of change around the world of work (and the world in general) is increasing and on the other hand they are focusing on growth. In order to remain competitive organizations must be nimble, adaptable, and agile yet by focusing on growth they make themselves more complex and slower; so therein lies the problem. Why are organizations focusing on things they know will make them slower and more complex when they know they need to be more nimble and adaptable? The analogy I like to use is trying to lose weight by eating more calories a day; an impossible task.
I see three scenarios which can play out:
Too profitable to fail
Organizations get so profitable, have so many assets and customers, and have so much money that nothing short of a world apocalypse can bring them down. This is certainly possible for some companies.
Smaller organizations replace larger ones
We have seen amazing disruption from smaller but rapidly rising organizations. Look at Box, Netflix, Uber, Square, and many others which are challenging established organizations and industries. This trend will continue until larger organizations keep getting displaced or they attempt to acquire their smaller counterparts.
Larger organizations split into more manageable pieces
How big can an organization realistically get and how scalable and manageable can that growth be? One option is for organizations to start breaking off into smaller pieces instead of putting more pieces together to form a giant mass.
I discuss all of these ideas and more in the video below.
So what is the future going to look like? That’s a good question and it’s certainly not easy to predict the answer but we do know what’s right in front of us. Change is happening faster and the larger the organization (in most cases) the longer it takes and the harder it becomes to adapt to change.
What’s your take?
Jacob is the author of the Amazon best-selling book, The Collaborative Organization: A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Social and Collaborative Tools (McGraw Hill).