2020 Predictions - Organisational OS 2.0

December 27, 2019

I would like to present a new analogy: Just like any MacBook, iPhone or iPad, organisations need to update their operating system, a rehaul like Apple has done the past years. The original Tiger 10.4 was Apples most reliable OS – IT NEVER FAILED – but as with all good things, it came to an end.

Just like Tiger 10.4, the organisations of today have become outdated. The new apps (external business innovations) does not run on the old software (organisational structure).

We need a new Organisational OS. Today Apple is running 10.15 on their MacBooks. That is 11 updates since ’05, which is just short of one per year. How many organisations have made 11 extensive updates to their entire system, both for speed, performance and appearance the past 14 years?

Organisational Rethinking

I think that 2020+ will be a decade of radical organisational rethinking. We will see organisations accepting that their ‘Innovation Theatres’ are not creating the desired value. Large organisations create processes to structure growth, but the people who are implementing processes are not the same as those who create products.

As Steve Blank writes, they have simply lost their edge:

If the company is large enough it will become a “rent-seeker” and look to the government and regulators as their first line of defense against innovative competition. They’ll use government regulation and lawsuits to keep out new entrants with more innovative business models. 
The result of monopolist behavior is that innovation in that sector dies — until technology/consumer behavior passes them by. By then the company has lost the ability to compete as an innovator [1]

Steve Blank

I predict we will see a great share of large companies changing strategic focus from innovative workshops to focusing on the culture and humanistic perspectives. The mindset is the quintessential driver for change, not a stack of post-its. We need to rethink what we consider an organisation and how it works.

[1] HBR 2019 - Why Companies Do “Innovation Theater” Instead of Actual Innovation

Curious for more?

Read my previous predictions for what we will see, during the first years of the next decade:

Intro to my 2020 predictions

(Non-)Sustainable habits

The Walking Browsing Dead

Trust, Trump and NewSpeak 2.0

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