The unprecedented success of the iPhone is a globally recognised fact. It is known to have broken profitability records, dominated its competition and overwhelmed the market. It is likely that you are reading this article through the screen of an iPhone, and it is equally as likely that if you glance around you will see several more similar to yours in the hands of commuters or crowds or co-workers.
The age of minimalism and Marie Kondo is well and truly upon us and the latest disruption in the retail industry reveals its efforts to keep up.
Over the last week the world has watched as the restaurant empire of Jamie Oliver has partially crumbled. After struggling in many of its branches in the last few years and several attempts to revive it in investments, the UK branch has collapsed.
Raised in an age of media and advertising, Millennials are highly attuned to the old techniques of marketers. The strategies that once stood as tried-and-true have aged into transparent tricks in the eyes of the younger cohort.
Collaboration is not about gluing together existing ideas. It’s about creating ideas that didn’t exist until everyone entered the room.
Over a century ago, the great educationalist John Dewey remarked: “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
As prescient as this observation was at the time, it is perhaps more relevant today than ever. We are staring down the barrel of a very turbulent few decades of widespread change and so the need for educational systems and educators themselves to be future-fit has never been greater.
Any experienced surfer knows how important it is to keep one eye fixed on the horizon. While a wave is still forming a long way off, that is the time to start paddling, to get into position and get ready. Leave it too long or fail to move at all, and you’ll be wiped out as the wave crashes you.
It’s much the same when looking to ride the waves of change. Smart individuals recognize how important it is to have one eye firmly fixed on what lies ahead. Failing to identify and prepare the waves of change will set any business or professional on a collision course with irrelevance or annihilation.
Large and mature organisations tend to be inertial at their core. In nature as it is in business, size is almost always inversely related to agility.
While talk of decentralised business structures is far from new, most leaders and large organisations cling to nineteenth-century management models. Although a rigid bureaucratic approach may promote consistency and predictability, these benefits all come at the cost of the very agility and responsiveness required to win in the twenty-first century.
So is it possible for large businesses and mature organisations to mimic the agility and responsiveness of a nimble startup? Is a truly decentralized and network-based business model practical and possible? In short, the answer is a resounding yes.