Posted by Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon (or Baldrige Geek this week)
According to a just released McKinsey study of 1,416 executives around the globe, there are four strategically important global developments that will be most important for business and company profits over the next five years. They are:
- an ongoing shift in economic acivity from developed to developing economies
- growth in the number of consumers in emerging markets
- a free flow of information worldwide, enabled by new technologies, and
- global labor markets.
Combine these developments with the finding that 63% of McKinsey respondents expect increased overall volatility to become a permanent feature of the global economy and another 23% (that’s 86% in total) expect sharply higher levels of volatility undermining the economy’s robustness, and agility will be the strategic watchword for the coming decade.
We will need to get out of the crisis mode and assume these characteristics will be a reflection of “business as usual.” We will need strategic planning processes that are senitive to early indications of major shifts in technology, markets, and customer preferences (globally). We will need a sensitive process for finding blind spots. Does this sound familiar? It is already embedded in the Strategy Development Item (2.1) of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.
In the language of a scientist, we will need quantum planning. As a matter of fact, this very idea is covered in a 2009 book by Gerald Harris, entitled The Art of Quantum Planning. Its basic premise is planning in an uncertain, change-laden, energy-rich environment is the mode of planning that will lead to success. It recognizes the organization as an ever-changing system with significant transfers that defy current practice. It is a layman’s adaptation of quantum physics to strategic planning. And I had to take two semesters of quantum physics in college to come to this realization in my mature-baby-boomer years! There you have it and you don’t need to be up on your calculus or physics.
Comments are welcomed from strategic planners and physicists, and anyone else willing to dive into my quantum well!