Future challenges outlined

by 11 Dec 2007

Organisations must approach the issues of change, collaboration, customers and talent management with a greater speed and sense of urgency over the next five years if they are to successfully respond to the rapid speed of globalisation and advances in technology, according to Edwin Boswell, global CEO of Forum Corporation.

Speaking at a recent breakfast briefing, Boswell presented some of the key findings of research conducted to explore key trends and challenges impacting organisations over the next five years and the way in which organisations are responding to them.

He said that nine out of 10 executives believe the challenges they face today are more complex than they were just five years ago. As such, navigating uncertainty and creating agility are two key ways for organisations in dealing with a rapidly and constantly changing business environment.

“It’s about whittling away at bureaucracy to create more agility so a company can respond faster to changes coming at them. Organisations should stop and ask themselves: ‘What 10 things can we stop doing today?’ It’s about eliminating the things that don’t add value. If you are buried under 80 reports it is hard to remain flexible and agile,” he said.

Using Web 2.0 as an interface with suppliers and customers in order to enhance communication and intimacy among employees and the marketplace will be imperative for organisations’ survival in the future. Social networking, knowledge management and integrated supply chains are examples of some of the applications that companies will have to use to remain competitive.

“If MySpace were a country it would be the 11th largest country in the world. So Web 2.0 is no longer just for technology-savvy teenagers. Seventy-nine per cent of organisations view the collaborative aspects of Web 2.0 as a way to increase corporate revenue and margins,” he said.

The creation of a corporate culture that fosters innovation is another key area in which companies will have to focus to deal with future challenges. While 74 per cent of executives say they plan to spend more in this area over the next five years, 44 per cent admit to being weak in this area.

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