Exponential organizations are the future of business. However, if your company is to survive, you must adapt ExO thinking and practices. Therefore, whether you are founding a start-up or transforming an existing organization, outline a clear massive transformative purpose, get a ﬂexible team, and do not rely on linear planning.
The critical outcome when you access resources and information-enabled them is that your marginal costs drop to zero. The Exponential Organization has internal and external attributes (IDEAS and SCALE). Becoming an ExO is a new way of thinking.
Any organization hoping to become an ExO must have a massive transformative purpose (MTP). A good MTP is aspirational, constantly looking outward, which drives the organization to pursue enormous opportunities.
Now I would like to take a closer look at the outcomes of the exponential organizations.
We identified nine key features:
- Everything is accelerated by information
The fourth force is a digitization and global connection, which are two of the most common sources of disruption. Salim Ismail provides the example of a digital camera to illustrate the quick rate at which technology changes. In 1995, more than 710 million rolls of film were produced at hundreds of processing centers all over the world. The impact of digitalization on photography has been enormous. In just a few years, the way photographs are taken, edited, stored, and exhibited has evolved dramatically due to digitalization. This transformation was driven by several factors, including the proliferation of digital cameras, the development of photo-editing software, and the increasing availability of high-speed internet connections.
Today, web users upload almost one billion photographs per day to sites like Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram. This dramatic increase in photo sharing is a direct result of the proliferation of digital cameras and the convenience of being able to snap and share photos instantly. While some worry that this increased sharing will lead to a decrease in the quality. As we add trillions of sensors to every device, process, and person, the process will accelerate even faster to an almost unimaginable. (Nesdale, 2005)
2 – Drive to demonetization
Some industries most affected by this are publishing, transportation, music, travel, and real estate.
In a world of possibilities, we will choose access over ownership. It is because, with access, we can have the best of everything. We can visit new locations, try new things, and learn about different cultures. We can also stay in touch with the people we care about thanks to connectivity.
3 – Disruption is the new norm in the business world
Companies that cannot keep up with the latest changes will quickly fall behind. Those that embrace change and disruption will be the ones that succeed.
Salim Ismail cites Clayton M. Christensen, who writes in “The innovator’s dilemma” that innovation rarely comes from predictable sources. Christensen observes that successful companies are good at exploiting and defending their current businesses against disruptive threats. However, those same companies often struggle to create new businesses that could disrupt their industries.
The democratization of information and technology has leveled the playing field for businesses, giving outsiders the chance to bring massive disruption. It is especially true in industries ripe for technological innovation, such as transportation and logistics. Companies that do not embrace change and disruption will quickly fall behind, while those that do will thrive.
4 – “The expert is never more than three feet from his or her butt”
Innovation can come from outsiders that bring a fresh perspective to a project. Unfortunately, the two main categories of employees (the geeks that base their decisions on data) and the hippos (based on experience or feelings/opinions) will often conflict.
In the ExO, this relationship will evolve. The geeks will be able to learn from the hippos’ experience, and the hippos will be able to use the data-driven decisions of the geeks to make better decisions. This fresh perspective and expertise will lead to more innovative projects and a more productive company culture.
5 – The five-year plan
The five-year plan has become obsolete, and we need to develop a new project. Therefore, we need to come up with a new plan that is based on our current situation.
To make the most of whatever possibilities come our way, we must be adaptable and flexible. This is owing in part to the accelerated pace of change. The world is increasingly interconnected, with technology advancing at a breakneck speed.
The solution to effective strategic planning includes choosing a strong Massive Transformative Purpose. The execution overrides planning. Replacing the five-year plan is highly rewarding for those who want to do things differently.
6 – Small beats bigger
This statement is true in the business world. Small businesses can be more agile, which allows them to take more risks and test new ideas more accessible than their larger counterparts. They can also leverage their resources more effectively since they have less overhead. It makes them more competitive in today’s economy.
Businesses focused on scaling and expanding their footprint. Using the advances in technology, companies of any size can channel innovation. Adaptability and agility are the desired characteristics for the company of the future.
7 – Rent does not own
It is true; with the rise of technology, there is less need to own the physical assets used in running a business. Instead, get staff on-demand, and rent your office and research labs. In the ExO, accessing is better than owning. Your attention should be on increasing the company and developing values in your area of expertise.
8 – Trust is in the 1st place
That is a fact that is especially true for younger generations who have grown up with the internet. They are used to being able to see what is happening behind the scenes, and they value trust more than anything else does. The only way businesses can build trust and confidence is to be transparent and honest with their customers.
In our world, trust is essential in business. Control disrupts all sorts of working relationships. Zappos is a good example of a company that has built its success on providing excellent customer service, collaborating with its partners, and being open with its customers. This positive outcome was generated by the rise of online feedback platforms that make tracking employee performance and feedback much easier.
9 – Everything is knowable
Is it possible to measure and know everything in the Universe? Probably yes, at least to some extent. We are able to make predictions and influence our surroundings to certain degrees as a result of this knowledge.
We are heading towards an age where all aspects of our lives will be open and transparent, and we can use this information to improve our societies and ourselves.
Sensors, drones, and satellites are part of the technology that makes this possible. They allow us to collect data about our environment and surroundings. This data can be used to improve our understanding of the universe and ourselves. We are living in an age of exponential learning and growth.
Disruption and change have always been essential elements of a more just and balanced society. With the world rapidly changing, embracing these outcomes of the exponential organizations is more important than ever. By embracing disruption and change, we can create a community that is more just and balanced for all.