The management problem of the 21st century


Technology used to be a manageable phenomenon. Nowadays technology seems to be a self-organising organism that touches and changes everything. Organizations should not underestimate this power. Resistance is futile. They should rather embrace new technology. Which is extremely difficult because it affects the organization at the core of its existence. Businessguru Clay Shirky once said, “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the problem". The rapidly changing environment constantly requires new solution. However, organizations are not used to deal with accelerated change that is caused by all these new technologies.


Technology changes exponentially

​According to Scott Brinker the above figure shows the management problem of the 21st century. Technology changes exponentially, while organizations absorb change logarithmically. Brinker calls this thinking Martec's Law, a law named after the blog where he shares his ideas. The exponential growth of technology is a direct derivative of Ray Kurzweil's Law of Accelerating Returns. For the logarithmic growth that an organization experiences, Brinker unfortunately has no evidence. It is based on empirical research. People and organizations simply need time change their thinking. So there is a limit to the speed at which an organization can change. As the exponential function is the inverse of the natural logarithm it becomes harder for an organization to transform at the same speed as technology changes as times passes by. The gap is getting bigger and bigger. At the end of the line it becomes even impossible.

Digital Darwinism

As in the current era exponentially growing technology is a fact, then organizations need a structure and a corresponding culture where accelerated change is the new normal. It requires an environment, a strategy in which experimentation and pioneering is the most common thing to do in order to be able to innovate. And that touches an organization in its core. It's digital Darwinism. It's adapt or die!

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