The new instability


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The New Instability looks at how cloud computing, globalisation & social tools are changing the way business operates.

Its hypothesis is that the current unstable business environment is a permanent condition – a side effect of generations spent tweaking and improving our organisations – and there won't be a return to business as usual as we used to know it.

The New Instability argues that enterprises are going to be revolutionized, looking extremely different in the future, and that companies that don’t adapt will struggle to survive.

Published in: Business
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  • Wasn't all this nimbleness theorized by John Boyd tried out in Iraq by Rumsfeld and his war planners?
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The new instability

  1. 1. “A key book to read, tolearn from, and, most ofall, to change one’sperspectives”Andy Mulholland,Global CTO, Capgemini The New Instability
  2. 2. The New Instability looks at how cloud computing,globalisation & social tools are changing the way businessoperates.Its hypothesis is that the current unstable businessenvironment is a permanent condition – a side effect ofgenerations spent tweaking and improving ourorganisations – and there wont be a return to business asusual as we used to know it.The New Instability argues that enterprises are going to berevolutionized, looking extremely different in the future, andthat companies that don’t adapt will struggle to survive.
  3. 3. So what changes have globalization, theinternet and social media forced on business? The pace of change has accelerated, opportunities seem smaller and shorter than they used to be. Success seems too hard to catch, and even harder to hold on to than ever before. • The British East India Company lasted Deloitte has quantified this trend with over 200 years its Shift Index showing that business competition has intensified in the past • The robber barons from the 1800s – few decades Bethlehem Steel et al – lasted around 100 • Many of the titans from the start of the computer age lasted ~ 40 • How long does Apple have left? Is this simply a case of more change more often? Or is something deeper at work?
  4. 4. incremental technology improvement hasfinally resulted in a climate shift in businessBusiness used to be dominated by Now business is dominated byseasons; long planning cycles and the disruptions. Like the Tasmanian aboriginesneed to rally resources. Change was slow our success now depends on our ability toand predictable. Like the eskimos, our adapt. We need simple, flexible tools thatsuccess depended on having the right allow us to quickly create a response totools, investing in the right assets, as if our the challenges in front of us, as we fail iftools failed then we did too. we are unable to adapt and respond.
  5. 5. Success now requires us to unlearn many of our old behaviours and to learn new onesBusiness used to be focussed on Now you need to be focussed oncollecting assets mobilization• Resources, Computing and Data • Reactions, Connections and Decisions• While a large business might be slow to • Size no longer matters and mass, being turn, the huge assets at its command big, is not as important as it used to be. allows it to crush the smaller Managing instability is the name of the competition game• Companies that can collect and • Nimble companies that can respond manage the most assets are the ones when opportunities strike are the ones who are successful who will be successful• Companies that have realized that the environment has changed are seeing double digit growth• Those stuck in the past are seeing double digit declines• Making the change requires us to change our understanding about what it means to be successful
  6. 6. What does it take to succeed?John Boyd – a military strategist and one of the drivers behindmodern manoeuver warfare – taught us that success in a rapidlychanging environment requires us to break away from the numbersgame that is a war of attrition• Optimise power-to-weight. Create small, lightweight and therefore nimble organisations who can quickly tap into vast resources when they need them, shifting the focus from collecting resources to optimising our reactions• Provide sensible controls. Provide easy to use controls that enable the team to focus on what they need to do rather than struggling to do what they must, shifting the focus from collecting and communicating data to optimising decisions• Be adaptive. Create a strong connection to the environment around you, focusing externally to understand both the challenges and opportunities you see and how to best leverage them, shifting from worrying about computing (and getting work done) to connections
  7. 7. The opportunityThe creation of a new breed of more flexible and adaptive businesses, businesseswhose success is based on their ability to mobilise resources rather than their ability tocollect them• Organisations that can rapidly evolve their product portfolios to follow customer demand• Organisations that can quickly reconfigure how materials are sourced, products are manufactured and customers are served, across the full breadth of the value chain, allowing them to sail through disruptions that leave competitors stranded• Organisations that can dynamically reconfigure the end-to-end supply chain, delivering the right product to the right customer, just when they realise they need it (or even before they come to this realisation)• Organisations that can rapidly enter and leave markets and geographies, as need be• Organisations that can do all of this with resources and services that it does not explicitly own or manageBusinesses that will be impossible to compete with on conventional terms
  8. 8. “Written from theperspective of businesstransformation, [Peter] Evans-Greenwood uses examplesfrom virtually every industryto argue that it is how youpartner rather than what youown that defines success inthe digital era.”— Robert Hillard, COO,Deloitte ConsultingAvailable at Amazon, AmazonKindle and iBookstore.