Thinking about where we will go…

Okay, I will get this thing started.

Again, no crystal ball here, but these are some significant shifts or movements that I believe provide some valuable context for the discussion about the future of HR / Talent / OD.

I think that there are three forces currently changing business that will continue to change business for near future…and they are all inter-related to some degree.

1.) Innovation. For more and more organizations, more and more industries and even communities, regions and countries, innovation is the biggest and best opportunity for competitive advantage. This is significant and causing a lot of friction in organizations not built for innovation. The increased importance of innovation will continue to change the structure and strategy of organizations as well as the culture and the role of management and leadership.

2.) The rate of change. We live in a world of increasing volatility. New products and services are introduced more often than they used to be, executive leadership changes more frequently than it used to, ideas and information travel much more rapidly than it used to. This is also significant and will reward organizations that are nimble and most able to integrate new ideas and information and.

3.) Disruptive technology. I got a Motorola Droid phone last week and let me just say that we are not in Kansas any more. I bought my first PC in 1993 for about $2,500 and the phone that I bought last week for right around $100 and carry in my pocket does more for me than that Gateway computer ever did. Moore’s Law, the democratizing nature of Web 2.0 and the explosion of mobile devices all mean more and more power and choice in the hand of individuals…whether they be employees (current, past or potential) or customers (current, past or potential). This also is significant.

There are a lot of things changing in the world of business today and there will be a lot of things changing tomorrow. We continue to become more of a global marketplace, sustainability is becoming increasingly important, our economy is shaky…all of these things and many more are relevant. But I keep coming back to these three things as key drivers of change in the nature of organizations and how we get work done.

In my next post I will talk about how they are and will change the organization.



  1. Nice post. You nailed it with the change comment. We have to get comfortable with the speed of change. If we have to digest change as it happens, we'll probably miss the next wave of change. Agility is not just a competency, it's a requirement.

  2. I agree Sharlyn…and I think that agility is especially hard for larger organizations (though I am sure there are exceptions). I doubt that large orgs are going away anytime soon, but I wonder about how their role and approach might change to adapt to increased volatility.

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