Enterprise of the Future

A new report just released by IBM titled Enterprise of the Future cites "in 2008 eight out of ten CEOs are expecting substantial or very substantial change."

This rising challenge may be difficult for companies to meet.  CEOs rate their ability to manage change 22 percent lower than their expected need for it – a change gap that has nearly tripled since 2006.  The number reporting limited or no success has risen by 60 percent.

CEOs are most concerned about the impact of external forces: market factors, people skills and technology.  CEOs rated insufficient talent as the top barrier to integration.  “We are making acquisitions for the people, not the assets,” says one CEO in the financial industry.

This is consistent with 2007 CEO Conference Board report that finding qualified managerial talent and top management succession ranked in the top 10 CEO challenges, right after execution.

The report states that "the successful organization sees change within the business as a permanent state.  The leader of the successful organization defines and manages change as robust programs." It highlighted a few differences between the top performing companies and those that fell short:

  • Financial outperformers anticipate more change, and manage it better.
  • Instead of merely responding to trends, outperformers shape and lead them.
  • Outperformers surprise customers with innovations
  • Outperformers disrupt the basis of competition.
  • Outperformers go beyond philanthropy and compliance; they show a genuine concern in all actions and decisions.
  • Outperformers connect everyone to the customer from the warehouse to the C-suite.
  • Outperformers recognize the value of the information it collects and actively mines it for insights and fast feedback cycles.
  • Outperformers create first-of-a-kind products, services and experiences that were never asked for – but are precisely what customers desire.


Ira S Wolfe