The organizational structure that characterizes most modern government agencies and many commercial environments was built as an early 20th Century Industrial Era paradigm. Hierarchical, efficient and mechanized; this structure was designed less for creative problem solving and innovation, and more for rapid mass production. The historical context in which this model emerged demanded quantity, standardization and price minimization. Low cost, mass-produced goods propelled the consumer economy. Major global events like WWII required the rapid, consistent, and widespread mobilization of funds, people, natural resources, and military equipment.
Posted by Nina Martire
Jan 10, 2018 8:30:00 AM
How often do we hear about an organization that is going through, coming out of, or planning for a change? Constantly. The cycle is almost continuous. One change is barely implemented before a new disruption or opportunity presents itself and demands a response. Organizations capable of engaging a continuous process of identifying, planning for, and adapting to change are those with teams aligned around priorities and structures in place to act on decisions with process and focus.
Posted by Dave Baber
Dec 21, 2017 11:15:00 AM
Toffler Associates keeps an ever-present eye toward the future. An important step in the process of identifying and contextualizing predictions is taking the time to consider the current environment, past trends and events, and the ways that expectations proved out in reality.
Summarizing 2017, we see seven disruptions and impacts that we believe will shape business, infrastructure, economy, and societies in 2018. Some are inherently optimistic; others are risks to mitigate. In every case, these are big ideas and important considerations as you take a breath over the holidays and plan for the year to come.
Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, mixed reality (augmented and virtual reality), blockchain, and even cryptocurrencies are emerging as pillars of any enterprise transformation. This has resulted in hyper-automated processes, accelerated supply chain productivity, and growing customer loyalty. But, as organizations digitally transform to create and enhance their future value for their workforce, customers, and shareholders, they are exposing themselves to more cyber risk.
Organizations must anticipate future threats and take control of the risky environment. To start, organizations must understand the evolution of technology and cyber threats – past, present, and future – as they test new business models and adopt new technology.
Every day we wake up with headlines that describe the immense difficulties we face as a society. We hear about issues with infrastructure, health care, societal expectations, technological advancements, and more. It's not possible to address these challenges linearly. The ecosystem in which we live lacks sufficient controls to isolate the complexity of each issue. Gaining the perspective and understanding necessary to create real solutions requires a holistic, integrated approach that takes into account individual interests, social challenges, and active investment in a resilient future.
Posted by Tyler Sweatt
Nov 29, 2017 8:30:00 AM
Over the past couple of years, the focus of my work has been helping organizations wrestle with the promise and challenge of disruptive technologies. I’ve participated in, led, and observed countless presentations about viable emerging technologies and disruptive companies. As part of the discussions, we have examined potential threats and risks, and constructed scenarios and preparations. I’ve worked with clients to determine the investment and portfolio compositions necessary for robust, sustainable growth. I’ve helped to build and prepare teams to brief boards of directors, interviewed more than 300 leaders across industries, and done hundreds of hours of research. Through this work, I’ve come to a single, clear realization: we’re doing it wrong.
Posted by Hans Davies
Nov 16, 2017 8:45:00 AM
“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”
- Dr. Maya Angelou
In general, the world is in a relatively grim mood. Over cable news airwaves, on social media, in the local coffee shop, at the dinner table – everywhere people gather, there seems to be an undercurrent of pessimism. This sense that the world is worse than before isn’t without reason. There is turmoil in the Middle East and Asia, refugee crises, geopolitical tensions, an economic crisis in South America, and more. But the fact is, things aren’t worse; the world is continuing to improve.
Posted by Eric Chase
Nov 8, 2017 9:15:00 AM
Since the 2016 election, the news cycle offers up surprises on almost a daily basis. In situations like Brexit, Catalonia, and Kurdistan we see significant re-writes of long-held geography, politics, and history. Forces like North Korea and Iran continue to challenge long-held notions of global dominance and threat. ‘Fake news’ is created, spread, and adopted at nearly uncontrolled speeds because it’s often compelling and resonates with the potential of truth.
Posted by Caitlin Durkovich
Nov 1, 2017 9:30:00 AM
A slew of recent events has raised the question about the best ways for organizations to prepare for unexpected but inevitable events. Human nature – and therefore corporate nature, pushes us to rely heavily on the comfort of the absolutes that live in the rearview mirror. Even with the influence of sophisticated predictive analytics, planning for the future too often begins with a backward look and ends with the current state. Events throughout history remind us of the precariousness of such a shortsighted approach.
Posted by Dave Baber
Oct 25, 2017 11:30:00 AM
Go back with me for a moment to the 15th Century. It’s the Age of Enlightenment, a time marked by unprecedented progress and disruption. Information reached the masses through Gutenberg’s breakthrough printing press. Philosophers like Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau pondered the relationship between people and government. Leaders emerged from across society, asking questions of the religious, wealthy, and aristocratic ruling classes. Citizens questioned the idea of monarchies. Scientists debated the principles of the universe.