People living today are witnessing great transformations across all industries, characterised by the arrival of new business models, the disruption of traditional reigning businesses and the evolution of production, consumption, transportation and delivery systems. According to Klaus Schwab - Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, these changes are making history in terms of velocity, magnitude and scope. Their impact are so massive, complex and far-reaching that, from the historical context of human development, we are stepping into an era of greater potential or danger. To have a clearer perspective of this, take a look at the two figures below.
Figure 1: Cycles of Profound Changes in Human History: Accelerating complex systemic changes (Credits to The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Klaus Schwab)
Figure 2: Velocity of Change: From Linear to Exponential pace (Credits to The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Klaus Schwab)
The two figures basically highlight three main factors that we need to pay heed to: Velocity, Magnitude and Scope.
The current industrial revolution is occurring at an alarming rate as compared to the previous ones. This is a consequence of the profound interconnections that the world now shares. Moreover, we are at an inflection point whereby new technology catalyzes the breakthroughs of other technologies, getting more powerful and intuitive auto-machinery.
The fourth industrial revolution rides upon the preceding digital revolution, amalgamating technologies to drive paradigmatic shifts in business, economy, society and ultimately, individual lives.
The fourth industrial revolution is transforming entire systems within companies, markets, industries, countries, and societies.
To illustrate the scale of disruption and scope of change today, lets take some insight from this picture from visualcapitalist.
Along with the likes of Alibaba, Uber, and Airbnb, many of the tech companies listed above were relatively unheard of just a few years ago. But today, they are household names and practically everyone who is hooked up on the internet would be using them routinely. This is not just a result of innovation but also the speed at which it was developed, distributed and adopted. Simply put, major technological breakthroughs are fuelling intense momentum and creating tipping points throughout the world. All these changes are inevitable but the important questions to ask are:
- At the end of the cycle, would your organisation still be around to compete?
- Are the decision makers within your company still caught up in the outdated and linear thinking or too engrossed by immediate concerns to strategise plans to leverage on the disruptive changes brought about by the fourth industrial revolution?
- Is your organisation change competent or at a level of maturity adequate enough to manage the portfolio of changes ahead?
- Do you have a competent team of change heroes to prime and drive changes?
Can your organisation change fast enough to outlive, outcompete, and outlast the disruptors?
As it seems, the velocity of change will only continue to accelerate thereby increasing the importance of building change agility and competency in order to deliver expected results and outcomes. In this complex and ever-changing landscape, trying to speculate about the next "big" breakthrough within the industry is not really sufficient in helping organisations adapt to the cycles of change and survive because the disruptive forces may not work like that (think Uber and the new on-demand economy as compared to the traditional taxi industry) or even come from your industry. The goal is to "out-change" the competition and meet customer demands in new or fast-growing markets. This is particularly relevant to traditionally monopolistic industries where barriers to entry and exit are low.
How can we help you better chances of survival and build Change Management Capabilities?
CMC Asia invites you to baseline your organisation's current change management maturity level, enabling you to explain how you compare with best practices and then set a course for improving your organisational change management capability through execution of a structured and intentional plan.
Join us at the CMC Prosci Enterprise Change Management (ECM) Bootcamp in Singapore on the 25th August 2017
This 1-day intensive workshop is aimed at those charged with developing organisational change management capability. The ECM Bootcamp is an interactive, fast paced programme focused on how to best internalise change management practices, processes, capabilities and competencies.
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Prosci has spent over a decade researching and developing the Prosci methodology, to help organisations move past a project-by-project approach to change management and build true organisational change management capability. Learn more in the free case study.