Published on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Business trend 2016: make your company more agile

Tell me, would you know the answer to the following question? How many people are freelancing in your country? In the Netherlands (my homeland) there are nearly one million freelancers. That’s roughly 14 % of the Dutch workforce. According to a survey conducted by the Freelancers Union in the US, almost 34% of the U.S. population is freelancing. It is a direct consequence of technology changes that offer ample opportunities for matching jobs to workers. A headline in the Economist says it all: "The future of work: there’s an app for that". Citing the article: "There’s large number of startups built around systems which match jobs with independent contractors on the fly, and thus supply labour and services on demand." Handy, Washio, Uber, Medicast, and a lot more. It’s no wonder my number one business trend for 2016 is about freelancing: "traditional" companies have to tap (more) into the pool of freelancers. Why? According to Fortune it will make your company more agile. Necessary to face the competition with start-ups (see also branch 'Competition') and with seemingly at first non-competitive industries (branch interindustry). Classic examples are Apple (started as personal computer Company revolutionizing e.g. the music publishing industry), Uber (revolutionizing the taxi industry) and Bunq (revolutionizing the baking sector). What is interesting about the last one is that this Dutch start-up got a formal banking license from DNB (the central bank of the Netherlands).

From dinosaurs to pumas

The most striking feature of the mind map of business trends 2016 is the significance of the agility factor. Three branches (tap into freelancers, flatten organization and lean organization model) refer to that. Agility refers to the "dynamic capability enabling an organization to respond in a timely, effective, and sustainable way when changing circumstances require it" (source: strategy + business). I have read somewhere that "dinosaurs must learn to become pumas." That is the essence of agility and is needed in a fast and continuously changing business environment. 

*Download this mind map from the following link: Business Trends 2016

Lets get visual

To write a blog like this I usually use the canvas of iMindQ to fill it with ideas and simultaneously with information I will find on the internet. Just as you would do with post-its on a whiteboard. Usually it takes no more than 30 to 35 minutes to finish the mind map to a level I have the confidence to start writing the blog. Arguably you could say this is - for such a short time - a pretty complete view and pretty easy and fast to digest. So it comes to no surprise that presenting data, information, results, strategy and so on in a more visual way is another business trend. Visual language makes it easier to share and digest information and to communicate about the actions which need to be taken. Visual language will help you in becoming a puma. What do you think?

About the author

Hans Buskes is a business consultant, marketing communications manager and mind mapper. He's author of several mind map books and mind map blogger on Mastermindmaps. 

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