Thursday, December 10, 2015

My top predictions for 2016

Here are my top five predictions for things you absolutely should do but will ignore in 2016.

Focus on user needs. Lets face it, playing with tech is far more fun than actually understanding your user needs and so you'll probably argue that buying a whole load of VR gear is fulfilling this requirement. It's not but that won't stop you and it's not like the business knows what it's up to anyway.

Improving situational awareness. Making decisions, determining strategy and even effective operations requires an understanding of the environment. But hey, why bother starting now since you've been living for so long without it. The whole idea of actually understanding your landscape sounds very complicated especially when I can buy a report from McKinsey to tell me what to do. 

Getting over one size fits all. Whether it's agile, lean, six sigma or outsourcing then by now you should suspect that one size doesn't fit all. In fact, the techniques are specific to different stages of evolution. Eh? What? Oooh, that sounds complex. Especially since I can roll a dice and pick one.

Organising around evolution. New things appear and evolve. They start in the uncharted space (a world of exploration) then we learn more about them (the transitional space) before finally over time they become more commodity like (the industrialised space). You really need to organise around this evolution using cell based structures (e.g. Haier / Amazon Two Pizza) and models such as pioneers - settlers - town planners which require multiple cultures within a single organisation. This does seems like an awful lot of work and anyway Gartner has told us to go bimodal. Following orders has always been so much easier than thinking.

Coping with inertia. Change in an economic system caused by supply and demand competition is often resisted due to past success. There are 16 different forms of inertia to cope with and it's worth remembering that inertia is a killer. However, a bigger killer is rocking the boat prior to retirement, so if you can just hang on in there, keep things steady and learn a few good buzzwords - digital, ecosystem, platform, disruption - then why do you care what happens after you go?

These are my big five things that you absolutely should get to grips with but will ignore in 2016, replacing instead with meaningless buzzwords and tech gadgets. The good news is because most other companies will do exactly the same then you're likely to get away with it.