The speed of change seen by the 21st century is unlike any before it. Today, the business landscape is evolving and so are the market conditions. More than 88% of the Fortune 500 companies operating in 1955 have not survived till 2017. The trend of collaborative consumption or sharing economy is becoming very real in the corporate world with the meaning of ‘ownership’ and ‘responsibility’ becoming somewhat blurred (AirBnB, Uber and Ola). Strategic partnerships have been foundational and beneficial to the services business model. Though many businesses have previously thrived on strategic partnerships, the digital age has spurred the increased use of these connections in order to fill gaps and tackle previously inaccessible markets and audiences. Where once organisations were burdened with having to be all encompassing giants, serving every need – there is a new way of doing business – not only made to deliver to customer expectations, but one that recognises that you don’t need to own and deliver all of it either! In this context, organization structures will have to be more accommodative of the diverse business models that may emerge over a period.
Creating a high-performance organization will require it to be ahead of the curve. In order to thrive tomorrow, it will have to create or lead the change – define the future and leverage the first mover advantage. All this seems too big for an individual or a corporate – about creating a revolution, suggests being the domain of a handful guys like Jobs or Gates. But ‘change’ is not about revolutions, it is about creating a Competitive Advantage. What is that you are doing better than others, what is your offering-basket that people will come to you. That is how one can stay relevant continuously.
It is imperative to acknowledge that the landscape will keep evolving, different market forces will come into play and organizations will have to adapt to these changes in order to survive. It is no more a ‘good-to-have’ but a necessity for survival. Changing dynamics and employee demographics will keep bringing in new realities. Participation of the millennials in the workforce is increasing. They are looking at value adding activities and are project driven. This has led to the emergence of a gig economy where some part prefers short-term contracts or freelance work arrangements as opposed to traditional full-time permanent jobs. Corporates will have to negotiate some of the basics like organization structures, hierarchy, way of working etc. to cater to these forces. Adaptability and agility of the organization will be put to test. As HR, we cannot afford to over-commit to any one model and need to keep looking for fresh avenues to create space and the appetite for embracing change.
Among all these contrasting forces, strategy of the organization will bring in focus. The management will need to choose their priorities, identify core strengths and invest in them. Human capital is one of the key differentiating factors for corporates and Culture is the driver. It is critical that the culture is shaped to align to the overall strategy of the organization. It is not stated culture but the one that is lived by everyone in the organization that will help channel the organization in the intended direction.
In summary, creating a high performing organization is a journey. Each one will have to dive into their own priorities and strategy, accordingly, create a competitive advantage and have a culture conducive to the growth and success of the company in its chosen field.