There is a lot of talk on trends. How they change our societies, our way of living and even how we relate to each other and our surrounding world. These trends emerge with a speed and power that that is hard to embrace.
At Sonder, we reflect upon how these societal changes influence our perception on management – how we lead, govern, develop and act in our companies and organisations. We see that some trends have a larger impact than others.
Digitalisation as the driving and most influential trend
The most influential phenomenon that changes the demands on management is without doubt digitalisation. An increasing share of companies’ business models, structures, relations and processes is becoming more and more digital, and we are expected to interact and work digitally.
We see many companies that have developed a more digital value proposal – where both service and customer relationship are digital. Yet there is still much left to do when it comes to the internal operational model.
By making information far more accessible than before, digitalisation has also transformed the relationship between company and client, authority and citizen, employer and employee. This is creating a new landscape with more balanced relationships between stakeholders. The information superiority previously held by one party is gone, creating new demands on value creation and interactions.
An unstoppable globalisation
The digital development is pushing the globalisation further, and the world is much closer than before. We need to adapt to a new context, thriving with both opportunities and challenges as the global market increases in both proximity and size. Even if we see some examples of anti-globalisation policies today, most people does not believe they can withhold the market forces.
Another popular trend that put high demands on how we lead and act in our organisations is the new generations’ strive for autonomy and self-fulfilment. Regardless of what we call these generations, they are perceived as individualists, but also eager collectivists who want to do good, have influence and share values. They have the world’s collective knowledge in their pocket, and the habit of being able to influence anything and anyone in a heartbeat.
Change has changed
Digitalisation has also changed the nature of how change occur. Management guru Gary Hamel coined the expression change has changed. Instead of changes that gradually take form, following some kind of generic development curve, we see that changes and their impact are multiplied and exponential by their nature.
Everything boils down to an increased complexity and a higher rate of change
All in all, we see that these multiple phenomena, driven or accelerated by digitalisation, have come to increase the complexity and rate of change in our society. Cause and effect are not linear nor clear and changes have occurred before we even have noticed them. We find ourselves in a context where we seldom can predict what is going to happen, and where it is impossible for a single person to be in control.
Yet many of our management models and ideas are built on a logic of predict and control. We are convinced that we have to challenge these, and find new ways to lead and organise. If you are curious on how, download our whitepaper ”A new way to lead and organise”.