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Joe,

I think I misunderstood the assignment you provided for this leg of our discussion. I will do as Avis always promotes and “try harder” this time.

So to reset, if business is going to change in these ways . . .

  1. Innovation as a key opportunity for competitive advantage
  2. Increasing rate of change
  3. Disruptive technology
  4. Importance of customization and individualization to consumer desires
  5. Trust as a key opportunity for competitive advantage
  6. Importance of design

. . . how will the organization be different? Rather than talk specifically about what the organization should look like as I did in my last post, I’ll instead talk more generally about what is likely to happen in organizations as business evolves in the directions we discussed.

How will the organization of 2020 be different?

  • Culture will be important, for the reasons you described, but also because top talent will be increasingly more portable and willing to move. Today’s younger generations also put more value on culture as a decision for where they choose to work.
  • IT as we know it will no longer exist. As technology gets more pervasive, sophisticated, and inexpensive, the role of the traditional IT department (writing code) will go away and a new strategic IT must emerge. Every person in every function will be utilizing technology in a significant way to do their job. IT will need to become more of an internal consulting organization to help the business make decisions about where and how to implement and utilize technology to make business happen.
  • Brand building will become increasingly important. Controlling the company message in the media and community at large is no longer possible so putting out a bunch of BS in an attempt to spin things won’t be an option in the future. Web 2.0 tools have created an environment where you will have to authentically “walk the talk” or your employees and customers will crucify you through their blogs and social networks. Thinking of brand in a much larger way will be the key. What you say about your brand must also be true about your culture in the future.
  • Specific and deep expertise in a product or service area may become a liability. Organizations who are able to develop competencies in creation, seeing the future, disrupting markets, and solving big problems are likely the ones best able to navigate in rapidly changing markets and business environments. These competencies are also global in that they create value regardless of business and locale. These organizations are likely to be those who are right-brained companies who embrace some chaos and welcome in the deviants who are too “different” to fit in at traditional companies.
  • Relationships and communication are going to be critical with both customers and employees. You mentioned building communities with customers. These communities need to power wide-open, no-holds-barred dialogue between customers and the organization. These dialogues aren’t about pushing products or promoting the company, they are about only listening and seeking to understand what is being said. And, they are the key to delivering the kinds of things that the market will consume. These same dialogues will need to be taking place with employees.

I hope that this was more in line with the assignment.

-Jason

Categories: brand, communication, culture

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