The NextGen RacePeriodical 16 // JULY 2017


Rail systems in Germany, universities in China, hospitals in England – a shiver ran down corporate and institutional spines in May. WannaCry was a well-coordinated ransomware attack and a wake-up call. Not that we haven’t already been alienated by Russia’s
meddling in the US presidential election…manipulation may come from many miles away? I am sure we all feel what the US military named VUCA already decades ago: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity.
The same is true of business. We have to act decisively in our world. Digitalization and the VUCA world demand fresh ideas on how to run a company. But how to do it? We have to look at everything. We want higher speed in decision-making, of course. Less bureaucracy and the elimination of functional silos. New career models and a complete overhaul of traditional hierarchies. In short, we need a dramatic rethinking of our entire organization. It is not enough to create a few satellites and leave the mothership
unchanged. Radical change demands radical action. I believe we need a NextGenCorp!
Our NextGenCorp will revolutionize how we govern, manage, and act. Our NextGenCorp has to combine an extremely flexible, entrepreneurial, autonomous organization with best practices, standards, and economies of scale. It means squaring the circle. To
do that, I believe, we first will have to – unscrupulously – split our entire organization into a platform and a project swarm!

The platform has to take the end-to-end process to a new level. Undoubtedly, we will digitize the platform over time and take part in the artificial intelligence ride.
The project swarm will take on a new dimension and will differentiate our company from the rest. But besides autonomy and freedom, we will create a framework with clear roles and mandates. And we will have to deal with what it means for our people. But most importantly, we will set up a new plexus, a nerve system. A plexus that gives purpose and meaning to our organization. A nerve system that holds together the perfect platform and our crazy swarm! I believe it’s our job to act decisively in VUCA. Think about it!
In this issue of the periodical, our authors are far from crying. They show us how to deal with digitalization and other VUCA tails.