We’re beginning to see what the next generation of successful companies will look like.

Read the full article at: www.bain.com

Hello, business leaders.  Check out the last part of this article.  It’s talking directly to you. “Leading and working in a firm of the future will feel different. It will sometimes feel as if you are venture capitalists…Other aspects will feel like a professional services firm… And still other aspects will feel more similar to a scale start-up…”

Hmmm…interesting.  Got your attention?

In our blog on Monday, we talked about business changes the authors predict will come by 2027.  They conclude that business is shifting from shareholders (“shareholder primacy” in place since the ‘70’s) to focus on customers and employees.  “Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, puts it clearly: ‘Customers are No. 1, employees are No. 2, and shareholders are No. 3.’ “

The effect of this (and other influences discussed in the article) is “the biggest change in business since the 1970s. The fundamental goals of strategy will not change: Companies will still win by achieving a lower or better cost position, delivering superior customer experiences, or controlling an industry standard. But virtually every element of how firms pursue these strategic goals will look quite different.”

And here’s where it impacts you, the leaders. “Putting all this in place will be a profound leadership challenge. At an organizational level, many new capabilities will be needed: new technology assets and skills, new deals for talent, new and expanded types of partnerships, new managerial tools and metrics, new balance sheet approaches. At an individual level, leaders will need to evolve their own skills, shifting from management to inspiration and coaching, adding value through enabling the mission-critical roles rather than controlling information flows, building strong cultures not just within the firm but with partners as well. They will also need to guide their people through the mother of all change-management journeys.

“Previous shifts in eras have seen more failures to adapt than success stories of navigating the transition. Many companies have done it once or twice (IBM, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs), and firms such as GE and Nestlé have done it as many as three times. But these shifts are rare enough that most leaders have no direct experience with them…”

Still got your attention?

Contact us and we can help you understand and prepare for the leadership challenges that await you in the changing business world.