Anti-equilibrium Archive

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The Company of the Future

In the coming decade, companies will increasingly need to compete on the rate of learning. Technology promises to play a critical role: artificial intelligence can detect patterns in complex data sets at extreme speed and scale, enabling dynamic learning. This will allow organizations to constantly adapt to changing realities and surface new opportunities, which will be increasingly important in an uncertain and fast-changing environment.

But for companies to compete on learning, it is not enough to merely adopt AI, which alone can accelerate learning only in individual activities. As with previous transformative technologies, unlocking the full potential of AI—and of humans—will require fundamental organizational innovation.

In other words, to win the ’20s, leaders will need to re-invent the enterprise as a next-generation learning organization.

The next-generation learning organization will need to be redesigned to fulfill several key functions: (See Exhibit 1.)

  • Learning on All Timescales. The growing opportunity and need to learn on faster timescales, driven by technological innovation, is well known—algorithmic trading, dynamic pricing, and real-time customized product recommendations are already a reality in many businesses. But it is perhaps under-appreciated that slow-moving forces are also becoming more important. For example, trade institutions, political structures, wealth stratification, and social attitudes are slowly changing in ways that could have a profound impact on business. Gone are the days when business leaders could focus only on business and treat these broader variables as constants or stable trends. But such shifts unfold over many years or even decades. In order to thrive sustainably, businesses must learn on all timescales simultaneously.
  • Combining Humans and Machines Optimally. Machines have been crucial components of businesses for centuries—but in the AI age, they will likely expand rapidly into what has traditionally been considered white-collar work. Instead of merely executing human-directed and designed processes, machines will be able to learn and adapt, and will therefore have a greatly expanded role in future organizations. Humans will still be indispensable, but their duties will be quite different when complemented or substituted by intelligent machines.
  • Integrating Economic Activity Beyond Corporate Boundaries. Businesses are increasingly acting in multicompany ecosystems that incorporate a wide variety of players. Indeed, seven of the world’s largest companies, and many of the most profitable ones, are now platform businesses. Ecosystems greatly expand learning potential: they provide access to exponentially more data, they enable rapid experimentation, and they connect with larger networks of suppliers of customers. Harnessing this potential requires redrawing the boundaries of the enterprise and effectively influencing economic activity beyond the orchestrating company.
  • Evolving the Organization Continuously. The need for dynamic learning does not apply just to customer-facing functions—it also extends to the inner workings of the enterprise. To take advantage of new information and to compete in dynamic, uncertain environments, the organizational context itself needs to be evolvable in the face of changing external conditions.
  • By reconceiving the external and internal workings of the organization as a flexible, evolving ecosystem, businesses can handle much greater dynamism and complexity. This requires subjecting all aspects of the organization to market forces, enabling it to learn and adapt in response to new opportunities. And it requires internal systems that adjust automatically to new information, allowing learning and resource reallocation to occur at algorithmic speed. When combined, these capabilities can create a “self-tuning enterprise” that constantly learns and evolves according to its environment. (See Exhibit 3.)To harness the power of ecosystems throughout and beyond the organization, leaders must:
    • Engage external partners to create a shared vision of the future.
    • Develop capabilities for collaboration and information sharing at scale—for example, platforms and APIs.
    • Redesign internal processes to be more adaptive and data-driven, allowing the organization to become “self-tuning.”

By reconceiving the external and internal workings of the organization as a flexible, evolving ecosystem, businesses can handle much greater dynamism and complexity. This requires subjecting all aspects of the organization to market forces, enabling it to learn and adapt in response to new opportunities. And it requires internal systems that adjust automatically to new information, allowing learning and resource reallocation to occur at algorithmic speed. When combined, these capabilities can create a “self-tuning enterprise” that constantly learns and evolves according to its environment. (See Exhibit 3.)

To harness the power of ecosystems throughout and beyond the organization, leaders must:

  • Engage external partners to create a shared vision of the future.
  • Develop capabilities for collaboration and information sharing at scale—for example, platforms and APIs.
  • Redesign internal processes to be more adaptive and data-driven, allowing the organization to become “self-tuning.”

By Allison Bailey, Martin Reeves, Kevin Whitaker, and Rich Hutchinson

More: BCG https://www.bcg.com/

The BCG Henderson Institute is Boston Consulting Group’s strategy think tank, dedicated to exploring and developing valuable new insights from business, technology, and science by embracing the powerful technology of ideas. The Institute engages leaders in provocative discussion and experimentation to expand the boundaries of business theory and practice and to translate innovative ideas from within and beyond business. For more ideas and inspiration from the Institute, please visit Featured Insights.

 

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Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2019 Report

In 2019, an intensifying combination of economic, social, and political issues is challenging business strategies. Faced with the relentless acceleration of artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive technologies, and automation, 86 percent of respondents to this year’s Global Human Capital Trends survey believe they must reinvent their ability to learn. After nearly 10 years of economic growth,1 and despite a perva-sive corporate focus on digital transformation, 84 percent of respondents told us they need to rethink their workforce experience to improve productivity. And in the face of new pressures to move faster and adapt to a far more diverse workforce, 80 percent believe they need to develop leaders differently.

Prowadzenie firmy odpowiedzialnej: zmiana w zarządzaniu – człowiek w centrum uwagi

Prowadzenie firmy odpowiedzialnej 4.0 wymaga całkowitej zmiany podejścia. Przełomowe zmiany społeczne, polityczne i gospodarcze wymagają od pracodawców reorientacji: pracownik musi stać się centrum strategii biznesowej.

Raport „Global Human Capital Trends 2019” sprawdza, w jaki sposób pracodawcy mogą zmienić miejsce pracownika w procesie prowadzenia działalności, strukturze organizacyjnej i jak na dużą skalę zmodyfikować procesy kadrowe, by uwzględniały wszystkie aspekty interakcji, motywacji i nadawania sensu wykonywanym czynnościom.

Pracownik, to przede wszystkim człowiek – jego oczekiwania, obawy i potrzeby, znajdują się w centrum uwagi i stają kluczowym motorem zmian w firmie, w której pracuje. Nowe technologie, rozwój gospodarczo-polityczno-kulturowy, ale i rewolucja przemysłowa 4.0 diametralnie wpływają na rynek pracy, działające na nim firmy, a także działy HR, które stoją na froncie tego pozytywnego przeobrażenia nie tylko biznesowego, ale przede wszystkim społecznego.

Badanie „Global Human Capital Trends 2019” przeprowadzone wśród blisko 10 tysięcy liderów HR, a także IT oraz członków zarządów w 119 krajach, w tym 300 z Polski, a także rozmowy z przedstawicielami kadry kierowniczej największych organizacji – pozwalają twierdzić, że to nie koniec diametralnych zmian.

Więcej: https://www2.deloitte.com/pl/pl

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The agile manager

The agile workplace is becoming increasingly common. In a McKinsey survey of more than 2,500 people across company sizes, functional specialties, industries, regions, and tenures, 37 percent of respondents said their organizations are carrying out company-wide agile transformations, and another 4 percent said their companies have fully implemented such transformations. The shift is driven by proof that small, multidisciplinary teams of agile organizations can respond swiftly and promptly to rapidly changing market opportunities and customer demands. Indeed, more than 80 percent of respondents in agile units report that overall performance increased moderately or significantly since their transformations began.

What do managers in agile organizations do?

These small teams, often called “squads,” have a great deal of autonomy. Typically composed of eight to ten individuals, they have end-to-end accountability for specific outcomes and make their own decisions about how to achieve their goals. This raises an obvious and seemingly mystifying question for people who have worked in more traditional, hierarchical companies: Who manages in an agile organization? And what exactly does an agile manager do?

Aaron De Smet is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Houston office.

More: McKinsey https://www.mckinsey.com

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Seven key trends shaping maritime transport

UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport 2018 identifies seven key trends that are currently redefining the maritime transport landscape and shaping the sector’s outlook. These trends, presented in no particular order, entail challenges and opportunities which require continued monitoring and assessment for effective and sound policymaking.

1) Protectionism
On the demand side, the uncertainty arising from wide-ranging geopolitical, economic, and trade policy risks as well as some structural shifts, constitutes a drag on maritime trade. An immediate concern are the inward-looking policies and rising protectionist sentiment that could undermine global economic growth, restrict flows and shift trade patterns.

2) Digitalization, e-commerce and the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative
The unfolding effects of technological advances and China’s ambitious reordering of global trade infrastructure will entail important implications for shipping and maritime trade. The Belt and Road Initiative and growing e-commerce have the potential to boost seaborne trade volumes, while the digitalization of maritime transport will help the industry respond to the increased demand with enhanced efficiency.

3) Excessive new capacity
From the supply-side perspective, overly optimistic carriers competing for market share may order excessive new capacity, leading to worsened shipping market conditions. This, in turn, will upset the supply and demand balance and have repercussions on freight-rate levels and volatility, transport costs, as well as earnings.

4) Consolidation
Liner shipping consolidation through mergers and alliances has been on the rise over recent years in response to lower demand levels and oversupplied shipping capacity dominated by mega container vessels. The way this affects competition, and the potential for market power abuse by large shipping lines as well as the related impact on smaller players, remains a concern.

5) The relationship between ports and container shipping lines
Alliance restructuring, and larger vessel deployment is also redefining the relationship between ports and container shipping lines. Competition authorities and maritime transport regulators should also analyze the impact of market concentration and alliance deployment on the relationship between ports and carriers. Areas of interest span the selection of ports-of-call, the configuration of liner shipping networks, the distribution of costs and benefits between container shipping and ports, and approaches to container terminal concessions.

6) Scale
The value of shipping can no longer be determined by scale alone. The ability of the sector to leverage relevant technological advances is as increasingly important.

7) Climate change
Efforts to curb the carbon footprint and improve the environmental performance of international shipping remain high on the international agenda. The initial strategy adopted in April 2018 by the International Maritime Organization to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions from ships by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008, is a particularly important development. On the issue of air pollution, the global limit of 0.5% on sulphur in fuel oil will come into effect on 1 January 2020. To ensure consistent implementation of the global cap on sulphur, it will be important for ship owners and operators to continue to consider and adopt various strategies, including installing scrubbers and switching to liquefied natural gas and other low-sulphur fuels.

Source: https://unctad.org; Photo: Marek Grzybowski

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BCG – The Science of Organizational Change

There is a gap between where most organizations are today and where they will need to be to succeed in the coming decade. The companies that win in the 2020s will be designed to constantly learn and adapt to changing realities, combine artificial and human intelligence in new ways, and harness the benefits of broader business ecosystems. Reaching this necessary future state will require a fundamental transformation.

This change effort will be challenging. Many businesses have deeply entrenched operating systems that are predicated on hierarchy and human decision making. They will need to redesign their internal processes and build new capabilities and business models. Furthermore, this will not be a one-time change effort: the dynamic nature of business will require organizations to build capabilities for ongoing large-scale change to keep up with evolving technology and competition.

Traditional approaches to enacting organizational change are generally not very effective. Change management is generally thought of as one-size-fits-all and based on plausible rules of thumb. But our research shows that only about one in four transformations succeeds in the short and long run, and the success rate has been trending downward. Meanwhile, the stakes are extremely high: the cumulative difference between success and failure for the largest transformations over a decade can add up to the company’s entire market value.

Leaders need to take a new approach to change—one that deploys evidence, analytics, and emerging technology. In other words, leaders must apply the emerging science of organizational change, which is based on five key components. (See Exhibit 1.)

  1. Ground change programs in evidence.
  2. De-average change strategies according to the nature of the challenge at hand.
  3. Embrace uncertainty and complexity in change management.
  4. Use technology to identify the right talent to execute change.
  5. Tap into emerging science to enhance change programs.

By Lars Fæste, Martin Reeves, and Kevin Whitaker

More: www.bcg.com/publications/2019/