The Future of the Organization


So, let me try to summarize what we have pointed out as key influences changing business:

  1. Innovation is becoming a prime opportunity for competitive advantage
  2. The rate of change is increasing
  3. Disruptive technology
  4. Choice is becoming increasingly important (you said individualization and customization, can I lump those together as “choice?)
  5. Trust is becoming a prime opportunity for competitive advantage
  6. Design is becoming increasingly important

Does that accurately capture what we have sketched out so far?

I think that this seems like a decent list and that there is some evidence to support each of these trends. As I think about what this means to the organization, this is what comes to mind for me:

  • Organizational culture is going to be really, really, really important. Culture has always been important, but culture plays a huge role in an organizations capacity to innovate, adapt new practices and technology, and build relationships based on trust. Honesty, transparency and authenticity are becoming critical and that is a big change.
  • Understanding the value of ideas and information is becoming critical as are access to information and tools to share and organize information.
  • The relationships between the organization and its employees and between the organization and its consumers will have to become much more interactive and “two-way” in nature. Employees and consumers (past, current, potential) have valuable information about a great many things and it is no longer feasible for that information to slowly “trickle up” to key decision makers. Employees and consumers have to be viewed as as scouts and forward observers.
  • There is little (if any) case remaining for the profession of management as we now know it.
  • Organizations are going to need to find ways to put more power and tools and resources into the hands of employees and consumers. I think that organizations will become less about specific products or services and more about building community and providing that community with platforms upon which they can build what they want and need.

Looking forward to seeing what you have to add to this.


Previous Posts in this Series:
1- Where Will We Go?
2- Game On
3- Thinking About Where We Will Go
4- Thinking, Take 2


  1. Branding:
    Brands will be a real intangible asset of the 21st century organization. In a world where numerous products and services offered are alike and where process and products are so easy to be copied, creating meaninful and trustful brands brings a shortcut to customer minds.

    Berenice Ring
    Branding Consultant and MBA teacher

  2. This is a great comment, Berenice. Branding continues to emerge as a powerful force in business. I believe that branding will not only be important in regards to customers, but will become a really important tool in building the culture of organizations in the future.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.