Conventional wisdom called Millennials a kind of Peter Pan generation that would be unchanging in their unique approach to life. But a funny thing happened. In the past decade, Millennials matured to adulthood. While not necessarily tech-native, they had access to smartphones, e-commerce, and social media during much of their formative years. And thus, they became the largest (and most diverse) American demographic and a phenomenal source of purchasing power and influence (projected $200 billion in 2017). Armed with an infinite font of information, buying channels, and social media, this demographic ushered in an era of disintermediation. Add to it a high barometer for inauthenticity and an insatiable appetite for new experiences, and providers began to rethink their offerings.
A brief history of the iconic toy manufacturer LEGO offers a clear argument that the traditional notion of perfection is the enemy of our modern reality. Historically, only by those companies able (and willing) to spend years on R&D have attained this status. Today, we know that time can destroy success, and that perfection may be a moving target.
Posted by Jason Fieger
January 11, 2017 at 9:05 AM
January is a time for resolutions. For many people (and businesses) the first weeks of any new year are given over to setting goals and shifting priorities. Many of these objectives relate to how we will “change” or “transform.” Despite our best intentions we more often than not fail, as any number of articles about keeping resolutions will tell.
Posted by Jason Fieger
June 22, 2016 at 9:00 AM
In the first installment of this two-part series on the evolution and benefits of horizontal (flat) organizations, we looked at the transition from laddered Industrial Era structures to agile and collaborative, Knowledge Age organizational models. We considered the factors that should guide the development of a pure or hybrid flat model, including innovation objectives, culture, legacy, and mission.
With that in mind, the next step is to dissect the flat organizational model to explain the concepts that underlie its success. The information should inform your considerations as you run scenarios and work to tailor the most appropriate version of the horizontal model for your current and future organization.
Markets and people are more interconnected, global competition is more intense, demographics have shifted, and we have a whole new set of communication tools. Businesses and government entities are facing the challenge and opportunity of information overload. In this Knowledge Age, we’re seeing growing evidence that a horizontal (flat) organization is more appropriate.
Conventional Second Wave wisdom posited that senior executives led most effectively by managing vertically. Particularly during times like the Industrial Era, vertical organizations did offer real advantages. They are structured for clearly defined lines of authority. That hierarchy produces a tight span of control that can elevate task-oriented productivity.