The Digital Enterprise and New Ways of Thinking


This recent Article titled “Sayonara Sony” by Adam Hartung provides a great example of the dangers of not evolving as a business. I can’t help but think that this story will play out countless times over the next three to five years. In Sony’s case, it is a stubborn reliance on industrial age thinking that has driven their downward spiral. Those companies that won’t abandon their specific reliance on legacy practices will suffer the same fate. We’ve moved on from the industrial age. We are in the midst of an information age that requires completely new ways of thinking. Sustained innovation is the new mantra, and the emerging digital enterprise will not function on long standing management theory. Leaders need to realize this and adapt – or suffer the consequences. They need to embrace the characteristics of the new digital enterprise: 

  • Sustained innovation
  • Engagement and insight-driven
  • Mobile first
  • Context-aware
  • Business Technology NOT Information Technology
  • Relationship-based
  • Flexibility in operating & business models
  • Experiential versus transactional
  • Prescriptive

The best leaders can adapt – but we’ve never seen a time quite like this before. There is so much unchartered territory and things are changing very fast. Therefore, leaders need to be flexible, they need to be students of the disruptive forces that are driving change, and they need to be open to new ways of doing things. In short, they need to disrupt, before being disrupted. If not – it’s “Sayonara fill-in-the-blank”.

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