The World Agility Forum is a conference like no other. It is a conference about re-imagining the very concept of management for the digital age. Management that was successful in the 20th century is obsolete. It doesn't work anymore in the digital age.
It’s a new way of running a company. It’s not about what might happen. It is about what is actually happening. The most valuable firms on the planet are doing it. They are being managed radically differently from the other firms. They are worth around ten trillion dollars. They constitute 15% of the economy and they are growing faster than the other 85% of firms, in fact more than twice as fast. These firms are the future. This conference is a conference about those firms and their future. These firms are the vanguard of management in the 21st century.
Who should attend? This is a conference about how you and your organization can be part of that future and escape from the prison of the past, which is in fact steadily putting older companies out of business. In some ways, it's as simple as that. Whether you are a senior manager, or a mid level executive, or just starting out in your career, this conference will show what you need to succeed in the new digital economy.
In some ways, it’s about the advent of digital technology, but more important: it is about the change in management that is needed to be successful in using digital technology. If you want an analogy, it’s like the transition from steam to electricity. In one sense, that was simply a change from one technology to another. But in a deeper sense, to manage electricity, the way the firm managed everything else also had to change. Similarly, every firm now knows that they have to master digital technology, but most digital transformations are failing. What the laggards haven’t grasped is that you have to manage very differently in order to be successful with digital technology.
For big old industrial firms that have been successful for decades in managing the old way, this is a shock. Why should they change what has been so successful in the past
And what does it mean to manage differently? It means reimagining every aspect of management. It's not a little change. It's not a one part of management, like fixing strategy, or innovation, or HR, or the budget, or something. This is about changing every aspect of management, every aspect.
Everything is different. It is also a big change in part because it is a change in mindset. It's not about a new process or a new practice in some part of the firm. It is about rethinking everything. So people act differently, they think differently, they feel differently, they communicate differently from people in the old way. It means changing assumptions that are only half conscious about “the way we do things around here.” It's a shift from a managerialist, bureaucratic way of managing to an entrepreneurial way of management.
So the transition from the old way of managing to the new way typically takes large organizations five, seven, ten years to make the transition from the old way to the new way. It's a fundamentally different way of doing things. And that's what this conference is about. It’s about explaining it, and demonstrating it with people who are actually making it happen. And it’s about working with people who want to know more about it, so that they can adjust to the new future that is unfolding.
There is no other conference like this. There are conferences talking about pieces of the change. This is the only conference that puts all the pieces together in a coherent whole.