Archive for category Future Management
Technology HAS CHANGED
We’re reaching a tipping point for technology in the talent management arena. It began with simple automation: take the paper processes and put them on a computer. Fine, but that left us with so many spreadsheets, Word templates, proprietary systems and disconnected point solutions that we were drowning in complexity and data overload. It also highlighted that many of the processes we were automating actually needed to be revised, simplified or eliminated altogether.
Baffled by the complexity we created, focus in recent years has been on process simplification, user-friendliness and redirecting attention to what actually matters. A good step forward, but we still suffer from too much data, too little meaningful information.
The “big data & analytics movement” has now really raised the bar – not just in terms of what data can be gathered, aggregated and analyzed but also how it is filtered and presented to audiences to provide immediate management insights. Activity lists are being replaced by composite dashboards, lengthy reports by simple performance heat maps – yes, pictures, literally replacing thousands of words.
Key Change for High Performance?
A shift in focus from process to outcomes. Burn the forms. With technology finally up to the task of producing meaningful information, managers can turn their attention to driving performance outcomes rather than being bogged down in laborious processes.
By Don Tapscott
Editor’s Note: Mr. Tapscott will take your questions in a live chat on Tuesday, July 12 at 4 p.m. London time, 11 a.m. ET. Ask your questions now.
In our 2006 book Wikinomics, Anthony D. Williams and I looked at dozens of companies that have used the Internet to transform their business models and achieve tremendous success.
However, in the five years since the book’s publication, we’ve noticed something striking: the rate of business model innovation has not accelerated. Yes, some individual companies have achieved competitive advantage by exploiting the web and networked business models. But overall the gains have been modest.
We’re beginning to understand the reason. Increasingly it’s becoming difficult or even impossible for companies to achieve breakthrough success without changing their entire industry’s modus operandi. From many examples let’s look at five:
1. Pharmaceuticals Can’t Fix What Ails Them One by One
Pharmaceutical companies are about to drop off what’s called “the patent cliff”. They will lose 25-40 percent of their revenue in the next 2 years as the patents for many blockbuster drugs expire. There is little individual companies can do to recover from this crisis and instead need an industry wide solution.
The global biomedical community is generating about 25 new medicines per year, but only a handful of these are “pioneer drugs” rather than “follow-on drugs”–variants, formulations or combinations of existing therapies.
Despite increased research spending the impact on the number of new medicines approved is negligible. Pioneer drugs address societal needs but also their discovery will allow pharmaceutical companies to grow because consumers are willing to pay for such innovation.
It is in everyone’s interest that those involved in the quest for pioneer drugs share rather than hoard information. Unfortunately, the current structure of drug research encourages the industry to protect its ideas and material with intellectual property rights or restrictive collaboration agreements. The public sector too has been encouraged to secure intellectual property on early-stage discoveries.
Nor is the clinical trial process as open as it could be. The outcomes of these trials, particularly if they fail, are not published until several years after the termination of the projects, if at all. A corollary is that the pharmaceutical industry is downsizing research and focusing on less risky activities.
Instead, the industry should share some of its clinical trial data, such as results from failed trials or from control groups. “This will not undermine the competitive advantage of companies,” says former Merck executive Stephen Friend, now a champion of the open source biology movement: “It will enable it, by changing the basis on which companies compete and setting a platform for a sustainable industry.”