We live in a competitive world. That competition forces change. It has always forced change. Change is normal. The question is not whether our organisations will change, that’s a given, but can we see this change before it hits us, do we know where we’re heading or are we simply floating aimlessly being carried by a river? It certainly feels that way sometimes.
To answer the question we need to understand our landscape, the economic forces at play, the context we operate within and our situational awareness of this. Can we navigate the waters, can we see a storm coming or are we being battered by rocks because we refuse to look?
During this talk we will examine the level of situational awareness within business, why it matters and whether we can anticipate and exploit change before it hits us. We will explore how we can manage our economic environment by, as Deng Xiaoping would say, “crossing the river by feeling the stones”.
Simon Wardley is a researcher for the Leading Edge Forum focused on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies. Simon is a seasoned executive who has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), retail, and IT industries—from Canon’s early leadership in the cloud computing space to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the top cloud operating system. As a geneticist with a love of mathematics and a fascination for economics, Simon has always found himself dealing with complex systems, whether in behavioral patterns, the environmental risks of chemical pollution, developing novel computer systems, or managing companies. He’s a passionate advocate and researcher in the fields of open source, commoditization, innovation, organizational structure, and cybernetics. Simon’s most recent published research, “Clash of the Titans: Can China Dethrone Silicon Valley?” assesses the high-tech challenge from China and what this means to the future of global technology industry competition. His previous research covers topics including the nature of technological and business change over the next 20 years, value chain mapping, strategies for an increasingly open economy, Web 2.0, and a lifecycle approach to cloud computing. Simon is a regular presenter at conferences worldwide and has been voted one of the UK’s top 50 most influential people in IT in Computer Weekly’s 2011 and 2012 polls.
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