By Manisha Bajaj, SIOP Blogger
What’s going on?
What contributes to the success of smartphones such as iPhones and Droid? Is it their product design or is it the applications (Apps) that you can buy on them? Or is it both? Putting this another way…
- Would you still buy an iPhone or Droid if the weight loss or online music Apps were not available on these devices?
- Also, would any of these Apps be available if there were no devices like the iPhone or Droid?
This approach that calls for a symbiotic relationship between businesses is fairly new. It requires businesses to support one another’s growth in the market just like the Apps support the iPhone or Droid and the iPhone or Droid support the Apps. This symbiosis is not restricted to innovative tech companies; Procter & Gamble (P&G), one of the largest FMCG companies, innovates by Connecting and Developing with experts outside P&G rather than relying only on internal Research and Development. This concept too calls for a symbiotic relationship – the experts provide ideas and solutions and P&G brings these ideas to life. Such business practices were unimaginable a few years ago; for instance, you would never have a Nintendo Machine that allowed you to play a Play Station video game. This competition based business model limits the organizations accessibility and restricts its growth (it creates a win – lose situation). The symbiotic relationship, on the other hand, not only helps benefit all members in the relationship, it also decreases competition and increases market accessibility (creates a win-win for all).
Emerging Business Trends and Globalization
The symbiotic relationship is just one example of emerging business trends. As more and more business leaders realize the limitations of the existing business models and practices, they move towards seeking business models that are revolutionary. Organizations sealed to new ideas are seeing more and more employees leave to take the entrepreneurial route in order to bring life to their ideas. This proliferation of start-ups in the market will continue to increase as more people are being pushed out of employment. Looking for ways to survive the current economic conditions is bringing out the creative best in people who are not only looking at creating innovative products and business concepts but also business models that are sustainable – based on social and not on financial success. Social entrepreneurships that are eco-friendly and that pay attention to social impact of their work, ensure mutually beneficial relationships with the environment are bringing in a new revolution in the market place. All these changes point towards a shift in the corporate world.
Increasing globalization adds to this evolving set of interesting circumstances. The world has become so integrated that failure to pay mortgage loans in one country has led to repercussions far and wide; wide enough to bring down one of the world’s strongest currency and lead to job losses across the world.
The changes in business models coupled with increasing globalization mandate a change in the way work has been carried out - the practices, policies, and the whole gamut.
Where are we – I-O Psychologists in all of this?
There is an existing work force that needs to cope with this change – are they prepared to cope with this change? There is an entire generation of students graduating – coming into the workforce equipped with knowledge and theories from the twentieth century. This generation of employees is entering the work arena with expectations set by the theories they have learnt – will their expectations be met? Are they prepared to handle the new world of work?
How prepared are we (I-O Psychologists) to endure this new business world?
A lot of research work in management sciences is being directed towards innovative management practices. There is a wide scope of interest ranging from management practices that spark creativity to employee centered management and management that supports and encourages radical business concepts. These changes necessitate support from our field to help support the revolution, facilitate the change and help prepare the people who are part of the revolution. There is a need to reassess the definition of success and performance in these businesses and there is a need to coach people to embrace change and move with it. It is imperative for us to develop a new way to look at people processes, probably a need for a new perspective and innovation on our part. Innovation is the way forward and promises exciting times ahead! Are we ready to innovate?