The saying goes that organisations need to change in order to survive, but the recession has prompted a sustained period of change that has forced a turning point in the way public and private enterprises operate that will profoundly alter organisational strategy over the next decade, says Ben Dowd, Business Sales Director, O2.

Ben Dowd As the communications partner to many of the UK’s largest employers, we have been working with The Future Laboratory, one of the UK’s leading consultancies for trend forecasting and business insight, on a cutting-edge report to better understand the forces driving this change.

It’s been many months in the making, but I’m pleased to announce that we’re publishing the first chapter today. We’re very excited by the findings as they’re based on expert interviews, research from 500 senior executives, and the report includes contributions from the ultimate in futurologists, academics and business bodies. These well-known names include the CBI, NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, NESTA and the Forum for the Future, to name but a few.

It reveals that the recession has forced senior leaders to develop a clearer picture of their own business strategy and the majority now prioritise future growth plans over short-term considerations.

Planning for the future can only be a good thing, but what does it actually mean in practice? The report shows that large organisations are starting to realise that change can and should be viewed as an opportunity for growth and are starting to re-think the way they operate.

In fact, the report has uncovered four big changes in the way large enterprises will do things post-recession:

Technology-driven transparency

Advancements in new technologies have a huge role to play, and those stealing a march in this new decade are already using the latest technology to become more transparent, agile and connected.

In touch with the public

Being in touch with the public isn’t about selling more product, but harnessing knowledge to develop new ways of thinking. In fact, 40 per cent of those we spoke to said that they’d actually turn to the public first and foremost when faced with change in the future.

Ethical rather than environmentally friendly

Ethical practices are now viewed far more highly by executives than being environmentally friendly, and it’s clear that organisations of the future will have to act within their communities and behave in a community minded way.

Feminine touch for success

The public and private sector now feels that either employing more women, or nurturing lateral mindedness in men, is key to survival. The research proves that it makes good business sense in an economic era that relies heavily on collaboration, communication and teamwork – all attributes associated more with our female colleagues.

These changes will challenge many, but the nature of a turbulent future, full of change and tension, will enforce this new organisational makeup.

Our challenge is to help all of our customers harness these opportunities. We believe we have already responded well by moving our services beyond mobile communications to embrace fixed-line and consultancy services.

At O2, we intend to be at the forefront of this change, and will continue to work with our customers to lead them into this new era fully equipped to adapt rapidly to an ever-changing world.

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