In past writing I have covered how managing in Disruption will be vastly different to the past 100 years - managers now have to work with ongoing fake news, presidential tweets, social media, internet to contend with. Disruption is defined with faced paced change from multiple sources where it is the lack of information, lack of reliability and uncertainty that will likely radically change the way organizations are managed. You may be surprised that it will be radical, as there have been times of great change in the past. Whilst the changes of the past existed in forms of uncertainty there were many more reliable information sources, today the reliable sources are either too slow or are diminishing- news services and newspapers were once very reliable forms of data, with their decline and the faster social media decisions may have to be made before full data sets and multiple sources of reliability are found.
Managers may have to fund and hire their own data sources and verification in the future - this may involve hiring staff with investigative skills, may require hiring academics to do surveys and research direct. Relying on the internet alone for information may be risky for the future organization.
There is an issue about how to manage during this ongoing Disruption. The past management practices have largely been logical and slow - information ideas and data gathered, analysed, new directions determined before setting plans to achieve. It may take large organizations 6-12 months or longer to gather information, to have their new directions approved by their governance boards or financiers. The processes of the past may already be too slow, where the delays may allow competitors and niche players to take advantage. These issues have been covered in my previous writing and in my book, certainly managing in this time will be unlike that of before.
I now turn to governance - it is the process that mentors and reviews significant decisions of management, it is the process of controls, delegations and review to ensure accuracy of information. Large organizations spend vast sums of time and money in their governance systems - reviewing audits, financial results, significant contracts, mergers and acquisitions, capital spend and senior management hiring/mentoring. These processes have not been perfect as financial crises, GFC and other losses have still occurred - yet these governance systems hold the corporate systems and non profits systems together on a daily basis.
In Disruption these governance systems may need to be more flexible, faster and more creative - the past practices may be too restrictive. Imagine a new technique like a robot or AI has emerged - one that can eliminate whole industries - in that situation the emerging business, the niche and flexible player may be able to change direction and gather investors in short time - they may be able to move fast. The large organization with conservative, inflexible and lengthy processes may not have the board approval to act quickly and flexibility. Whilst the larger organization may have funds and market presence to change and adapt it may take too long to take on risky and uncertain emerging technologies - by the time they put up a proposal and gain funding or approval from governance boards - opportunities could be lost.
It is acknowledged that governance boards cannot just let management have no controls or approval processes - an unconstrained management in risk and uncertain could surely be more risky for the organization. If you are on a governance board today - you need to consider what is appropriate, how will you be more flexible and yet maintain some form of risk aversion and control.
Failure to recognize Disruption as affecting management practices and consequently governance may cause considerable issues in future results, future stability of your organization. Boards may also need to hire entrepreneurs and those with creative skills that can operate during poor information, lack of reliability and higher risk generally. Changing the mix of skills in your organization may be required - what governance checks will need to be changed or added in response ?
If you are a Leader or seeking to be one in the future - you need to read, read, read about Disruption NOW ! Those that fail to understand and adjust will fall behind.
Feel free to ask Dr Mat over a chat or email on Leadership, Management or change issues, advice, consulting or mentoring that you may seek.
These and other related topics feature in Dr Mats upcoming book titled "Leading and Managing Change in the Age of Disruption and Artificial Intelligence" - written for the modern professional, student and academic wanting to be ahead on modern Leadership and Management issues. Available through Amazon and other book sellers from May 24th 2019 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1787563685
Consider your own specific situation and seek professional advice before acting directly in reaction to any of the tips on this website, they are intended as general advice only.