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Winning in a fast changing world


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The word exponential is one of the most used and least understood words in the lexicon of political and managerial speak, and yet it is fundamental to the way our world is being driven by technology in an unprecedented way. It also heralds a move away from our slow, stable and predictable industrial past, to a new era of speed, non-linearity, and greater uncertainty.

It is not by accident that our working and leisure activities seem to be accelerating – everything is now mobile, intelligent, connected and communicating whilst changing at an accelerating rate. If we are to cope, if we are to win in this new environment, we have to think and act differently. The old tools and methods will not only fail, they will pose a significant and growing threat.

Here we identify and consider the big game changers, look at failure mechanisms, and identify changes to come including some aspects of growing complexity. We also point out some of the basic management errors and the need to innovate in new ways that allow organisations to quickly learn and adapt on the hoof. This includes business modelling, war gaming, and celebrating failure!

Published in: Business, Technology
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Winning in a fast changing world

  1. 1. Winning in a F a s t Changing World Peter Cochrane COCHRANE a s s o c i a t e sTuesday, 7 August 12
  2. 2. du strial past pac ed in om a slow com e fr nd, We nde rsta asy to u ed ,e nage! l be hav ma r, we l easy to as l i nea t, very thatw rospec d in ret anTuesday, 7 August 12
  3. 3. ything is so fast everTuesday, 7 August 12
  4. 4. Seemingly out of control, unpredictable, with non of the old rules working anymore !Tuesday, 7 August 12
  5. 5. What happened ?Tuesday, 7 August 12
  6. 6. Four BIG game changers ! • Microelectronics revolution • Computing and software • Internet, mobility and networking • Globalisation and distributionTuesday, 7 August 12
  7. 7. Our world went digital, non-linear & exponential ! • Huge manufacturing capabilities • Massive computing engines100,000 • Instant connectivity10,000 • Everyone & everything networking 1000 100 10 • Non-obvious cause and effect 1 • Unintended consequences 1 23 4 5 6 7 8 9 • A growing lack of understandingTuesday, 7 August 12
  8. 8. Digital Failures • Always abrupt • Mostly avoidable • Often caused by people • By unanticipated mechanisms • From a direction we are not looking • Can be very expensive & threatening • Almost always reputationally damaging/fatalTuesday, 7 August 12
  9. 9. How come, and what caused all this?Tuesday, 7 August 12
  10. 10. We went from a single transistor in 1947 to 10Bn/chip in 2012 and by 2020 10Tn/chip at a much reduced cost and improved performance at every stage...Tuesday, 7 August 12
  11. 11. Production transistors are now smaller than the flu virusTuesday, 7 August 12
  12. 12. > 10Bn Networked and active devices on the planet and growing exponentially...Tuesday, 7 August 12
  13. 13. BUT WE are such dimensionally challenged thinkers that even the simplest of exponential problems have unlikely outcomes to our way of thinking One grain of rice on square 1, 2 on square 2, 4 0n 3, 8 on 4, 16 on 5 ....and on the last square more rice than we can grow on the planet in a year! 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024.....264Tuesday, 7 August 12
  14. 14. Networking social & business now vital toolsTuesday, 7 August 12
  15. 15. Big cultural shifts resulted in society and business that see: •Insourcing •Less loyalty •Outsourcing •Multi - careers •Crowd sourcing •Shorter tenure •Self funded training •Soda straw expertise •Continual education •Self funded IT & Support •The rise of the insider threat Transient relationships Broader innovation Faster innovation More start ups Higher risksTuesday, 7 August 12
  16. 16. Complexity and non-linearity are here to stay... ...with emergent behaviours...that are in general impossible to predict We have to be thinking and acting differently!Tuesday, 7 August 12
  17. 17. The ratche t o f c h a n ge just went‘cis no going lunk’ ...ther back ! eThis is the new norm - the new stability!Tuesday, 7 August 12
  18. 18. Some things are inherently complex... ...and some things are made complex by us!Tuesday, 7 August 12
  19. 19. Networks of all kinds naturally exhibit complexity ...of interaction, behaviours and outcomes!Tuesday, 7 August 12
  20. 20. Networks of all kinds naturally exhibit complexity ...of interaction, behaviours and outcomes! Interconnection of yeast proteinsTuesday, 7 August 12
  21. 21. The internet wakes up in the early morningTuesday, 7 August 12
  22. 22. Although it is fully understood that layered complexity does not solve the problem, people mostly continue to build more layers in the hope that it might...but it never will!Tuesday, 7 August 12
  23. 23. So what do we have to do as leaders & managers ?Tuesday, 7 August 12
  24. 24. Our systems and networks will Accept that increasingly surprise us if we the business continue world current on the is now trajectory ! a bit of a blur & somewhat out of control...Tuesday, 7 August 12
  25. 25. Understand that business and commerce has now entered an evolutionary phase... it is no longer about the biggest and the is about the most adaptable !Tuesday, 7 August 12
  26. 26. Vital is is at th re pt th futu cce y to A ke ess the ucc sTuesday, 7 August 12
  27. 27. In Short: Get innovating or get dying ! VitalTuesday, 7 August 12
  28. 28. Incrementalism is reasonably safe but just only staves off death a little longer ! The card companies need to do far more Vital than move from ‘slide to swipe’ !Tuesday, 7 August 12
  29. 29. Whilst giant leaps can be risky!Tuesday, 7 August 12
  30. 30. A few really do get it right and change the world!Tuesday, 7 August 12
  31. 31. The consultants standard formula VitalTuesday, 7 August 12
  32. 32. In the past all of this was static and reasonably certain ! The consultants standard formula Vital ∂Tuesday, 7 August 12
  33. 33. Today it is all dynamically uncertain ! The consultants standard formula Vital ∂Tuesday, 7 August 12
  34. 34. Today it is all dynamically uncertain ! The consultants standard formula Vital ∂Tuesday, 7 August 12
  35. 35. Today it is all dynamically uncertain ! The consultants standard formula Increasing Uncertainty Vital ∂Tuesday, 7 August 12
  36. 36. Business Plan No longer a static document handed down by managers to be implemented and blindly followed by those belowTuesday, 7 August 12
  37. 37. Business PLan But a dynamic document engaging managers & people with continual feedback at all levels capable of adapting to a rapidly changing environmentTuesday, 7 August 12
  38. 38. Success demands talented, multi-disciplinary, and very capable, teams...Tuesday, 7 August 12
  39. 39. Never recruit in talented & capable multi- Success demands your own image disciplinary teams.. Mono- cultures are lethal - literally !Tuesday, 7 August 12
  40. 40. Keep a close eye on the: Competition Technology Innovation Markets And don’t forget: Politics Fashion Taxation Economics Global trade Investments is no longer all disconnected and independent - it it all linked - and as a result causality is increasingly complex !Tuesday, 7 August 12
  41. 41. Garner, value, protect and exploit expertiseTuesday, 7 August 12
  42. 42. No matter what age or sector...Tuesday, 7 August 12
  43. 43. Invest in data mining, business modelling, and decision support - gut reaction and knee jerk management is now very dangerous !Tuesday, 7 August 12
  44. 44. Here is why: complexity compounded by greed, ignorance and old management thinking was the cause of all this.......Tuesday, 7 August 12
  45. 45. lem ob n pr io ny rat a ch side oa on p pr c mov es t a due d n’ ut - do ho ns an g wit in n ti o am sio rg ci op a e w d ll t he in ss t ne fa es si Inv bu tin go or and t esTuesday, 7 August 12
  46. 46. You wouldn’t expect a pilot to fly a plane without due training and experience And running a company is far more complex a taskTuesday, 7 August 12
  47. 47. Make a virtue of failure In fact - make it a qualification If people are not failing from time to time - they are not trying !Tuesday, 7 August 12
  48. 48. Fail fast but avoid any critical damage... ...and recover even faster ! If people are not failing from time to time - they are not trying !Tuesday, 7 August 12
  49. 49. Be prepared to be very different - to challenge convention - to try the newTuesday, 7 August 12
  50. 50. ple am ex ne to JusTuesday, 7 August 12
  51. 51. - No proven market - No demand - No project - No funding - No design - No team - Design & build 18 months - First flight 1964 - Over Mach 3.5 Lockheed SR71 Blackbird - Over 80kft - In service 25 yearsTuesday, 7 August 12
  52. 52. We can only . .. ...w hat the futu re h olds . ..Tuesday, 7 August 12
  53. 53. For sure fortune favours those prepared to take risks! IP over WDM...Ethernet...Tuesday, 7 August 12
  54. 54. But they should be calculated and not foolish or unqualified risks!Tuesday, 7 August 12
  55. 55. All of this needs leadership and constant attention to detail...but not micro-management, just decide on the direction, point the way, and apply the light hand of management!Tuesday, 7 August 12
  56. 56. And in this context the next wave of change is going to be a challenge for a lot of people & managers !Tuesday, 7 August 12
  57. 57. Tuesday, 7 August 12