Platform-ecosystem thinking : the move to more networked organisations with Simone Cicero

Overwhelmed by the need to rethink your organisational models , service models and capabilities in your organisation.. ? Struggling to keep up with the speed of change in the constantly emerging market environment ?

Simone and I discuss the rapid shift to more platform based models and the interconnected thinking that goes with this shift. Designing new platforms, open business models and transitioning to interconnected thinking is vital for both businesses and society and brings with it a new and challenging landscape shaped by different ecosystems that are unpredictable and uncertain.

This puts new demands on organisations, and we explore how this thinking can translate for leaders in the C suite, for middle management and for the employee experience more holistically. The shift from institution based governance to network based governance is also key to our discussion, and what it means for organisational design and culture going forward.

Simone shares his models, research, and insights on this fast moving topic from working with corporates, start ups and institutions across the globe.

The main insights you will get from this episode :

  • Designing new platforms, open business models and transitioning to interconnected, i.e. boundaryless, thinking is vital for both businesses and society and brings with it a new and challenging landscape shaped by different ecosystems that are unpredictable and uncertain.
  • This scenario places three essential demands on organisations:
  • To build literacy and capacity; understand a new language, network effects and the market; enable interactions; understand how the Internet and technology have changed the rules of the game
  • To see an organisation as a system of elements; understand the different ecosystems and how they are facilitated; examine the question of shared technology versus proprietary hardware; look at performance critically and develop a portfolio perspective
  • To have ‘skin in the game’: do away with bureaucracy and hierarchy and replace them with small units supported internally by platforms; offer employees incentives to become more entrepreneurial; diversify and move away from silos
  • Tools and models for envisaging organisational evolution in three areas where change is required: technological innovation, ecological innovation and the culture of fear.
  • Macro changes in terms of new technology, such as AI and 5G, to enable new departments, new solutions, low-cost options, predictive services; and to empower users
  • Ecological changes, such as those embedded in the biosphere, new regulations and their impact on policies (e.g. zero carbon, circular economies), supply chains and business models (as we have seen with COVID)
  • Changing the culture of fear at geopolitical level; shifting from traditional governance to consensus, localism and regionalisation (e.g. vast differences between China, India, Russia, Brazil, US, Europe, etc.)
  • An adequate response to these changes requires different organisational models – regenerative ones that move away from the ‘steady state’, shift power, enable local autonomy and focus on the importance of context.
  • A digital market is well represented by ‘Cicero’s triangle’ of longtails (smaller players who can win big and fragment the fast-moving market for ‘big’ players); aggregators (such as Über, Airbnb, Amazon, etc., who allow the market to grow via third-party relationships); infrastructure (modular enablers, scale-dependent)
  • Leaders in large organisations must embrace cultural transformation, make the case for their existence, take responsibility for designing change/the system, relinquish control and look at re-embedding in context and communities [‘brands must solve’]
  • We must rethink our entire society, e.g. transport, food and energy supply and consumption, sustainability, accountability for wider issues, increase cooperation between organisations and citizen-led groups.
  • The future is between ‘no more’ and ‘not yet’ – we must create something different for and in this emergent space, embrace the nexus, accept radical change, be positive players and cease to defend the ‘no more’.
  • We must reframe our relationships and relationship systems, face uncertainty head-on systemically and take positive steps to shift from, for example, profits to resilience, growth to sustainability, transactions to emotions.
  • We must understand the new rules and engage in new conversations; question technology and assumptions; understand data; favour human development over machine development; experiment; play with ownership and autonomy; and distribute responsibility.

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Suzie Lewis

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