3 Beliefs Of NextGen Organizations

by Jay Deragon on 11/30/2012

NextGen organizations persistently reinvent their value proposition and take new things on. These organizations create a culture of collaborative innovation as key to engagement with all stakeholders.

Culture is the defining issue that will distinguish the most successful businesses from the rest of the pack. And strategic beliefs are more important than strategic planning when thinking about how organizations keep the long view. When asked ‘What’s your strategy?’, they say, ‘Ask me what I believe, first.’ That’s a far more enduring answer.”

In NextGen organizations innovations are not a function of size or even industry-specific strategies, but an embodiment of a set of beliefs. NextGen Organizations adopt philosophies that drive the organizations thinking opposite of previous strategic thinking. These include:

  1. Preserve Market Position vs. Cultivating the Ability to Adapt. While it’s true that size once created competitive barriers and correlated with market power, it no longer does. Research shows that what was once a sustainable competitive advantage has shifted from 30-40 year arcs to 12 years in most industries, and five years in the tech sector. Organizations must acknowledge that any advantages are short-lived, and the thriving business is one that figures out how to persistently reinvent their product lines, and business models.
  2. People as “Production Units” vs. Essential to the Success Equation. As many organizations continue to burn-n-churn people, they are signaling that people are cogs in the machine — dispensable and easily replaced. Imagine what that does to recruitment, let alone energetically to the people who work there? In the Social Era, the greatest asset isn’t the stuff you lock up — like the building or manufacturing capabilities — but the people who walk out the door each night still thinking of creative solutions and ideas that will make a difference.
  3. Open to New Ideas vs. Closed. A vast portion of our economy is now freelance (the US range is between 45-50%), which shows that “work is freed from jobs.”  By engaging with others — regardless of whether they work for or in our firms — NextGen organizations continuously engage new ideas.

Strategic beliefs are more important than strategic planning when thinking about how organizations adapt to the new marketplace.   The SocialEra is about collaboration based on common beliefs. The goal is not the end result rather the goal is the journey of creating and discovering how to continuously create more value than ever before by collaborating with others who believe the same thing.


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