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Five Major Changes Will Impact the Managers of Tomorrow

Marc Halévy
Published on
19 June 2018

Our current economy is undergoing major evolutions in five fields: the environment, technology, organizations, economics and philosophy. Our future economic approach will have to overcome these changes in order to be successful. Five fundamental concepts can provide a foundation for the future of management and the economy.

Interview with Marc Halévy, a physicist, philosopher, futurologist and author of Les Mensonges des Lumières. He will be leading a conference on June 29th at GEM as part of the 10 year celebration of the Grenoble Ecole de Management Coach BADGE (*). The goal of this BADGE is to train key professionals to support individuals, teams and organizations as they evolve.

1 - You highlight five irreversible changes that will mark a profound evolution in our societal paradigm. Could you summarize these five points?

I express these five irreversible changes to our global economic logic in the form of five transformations:

  • In terms of life projects, a transformation from a philosophy of success to a philosophy of achievement.
  • In terms of economic models, a transformation from a paradigm of quantitative productivity to a paradigm of qualitative virtuosity.
  • In terms of natural resources, a transformation from global commerce between territories with abundant resources to continental war between territories facing shortages.
  • In terms of organizations, a transformation from poor hierarchic models to complex inter-connected models.
  • In terms of jobs, a transformation caused by the switch from mechanical technologies to digital technologies.

You have to understand that the economy doesn't work without a sufficient supply of resources. Our world is already facing a shortage of material resources, and due to our education system, we'll also be facing a shortage of intellectual resources.

2 - What are or will be the primary consequences, in particular for companies, of this evolution?

To ensure our transition from the old paradigm to the new one, companies have to implement five fundamental concepts:

  • Implement an approach based on economic frugality, which means doing less, but doing it better, and concentrating on the real utility of each activity. We are no longer rich and the poor have no time to lose.
  • Develop true technological intelligence in order to understand that the digital revolution has not increased productivity and doesn’t contribute to global economic growth. The digital industry is primarily fun-oriented.
  • Acquire collaborative excellence in order to handle the increasing complexity of the human universe (through reactivity, flexibility, agility, inventiveness and creativity).
  • Invest lots of time and energy (but little money) in increasing group virtuosity within a company in order to differentiate itself and increase margins (the less there is competition, the less there will be price wars).
  • Give meaning to the company, define its raison d’être and who it serves, create an elite ethical code that can lead it and embody its spirit.

3 - You underline "the silent and discreet appearance of networks and communities of little, fast and agile lemurs who are already preparing for the new paradigm." How are these communities emerging in the face of very authoritative and hierarchical management, in particular in France?

There is no scale effect for immaterial resources (intelligence, talent, skills, knowledge, information…), which have become the most strategic assets for every company. The concept of size does not play such an important role. We are no longer in an economy of mass production and low prices. Agility is winning over power. Niches are winning over markets. Usage is winning over ownership. This is what the little lemurs have understood when facing large dinosaurs that are going extinct.

4 - What new organizational models implemented by pioneering companies are illustrative of this evolution?

Pyramidal hierarchies are by definition the models that are most barren in terms of relationships. As a result, they are unable to answer the increasing demands of the external world. A path through hierarchy is much to slow and heavy when confronted with the increasing complexity of the world, its growing number of actors, and the incredible increase in the frequency and intensity of all interactions. When faced with this evolution, it's essential to grow entrepreneurial organizations in a manner that enables them to be more collaborative and network-based. The network model will be the model of tomorrow. But what is a network? It's a group of little, autonomous (but not independent) units that are united by a strong shared project and always interacting amongst themselves.

* The Coach BADGE celebrates its 10th anniversary at GEM

In 2008, Grenoble Ecole de Management launched a training program for coaches. The initiative was first led by Jocelyne Deglaine who was in charge of the program's educational content. The program earned the BADGE® label recognized by the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles, and more recently, it was recognized by the French National Commission for Professional Certification. The program has trained more than 150 professionals, including HR administrators, managers, trainers, consultants, directors and psychologists. The job of a coach, much like the coach training program, is to continuously evolve when faced with economic changes or the digital revolution. To celebrate the BADGE's 10 year anniversary, Grenoble Ecole de Management has organized a conference that will be led by Marc Halévy on the subject of "What is happening to us? Understanding how disruptive changes will impact the future management of companies". The conference will be followed by the graduation ceremony for the latest class of BADGE graduates as well as a cocktail party.

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