Organisation Transformation - Thriving in the Future Economy

Recent developments and trends shared during a 2-day conference by the Institute of Policy Studies and the Committee on the Future Economy in Singapore suggest that organisations need to relook at how they can be relevant and continue to thrive in the Future Economy. Some of the developments/trends and challenges highlighted are:

  • Industries that define the future will not be the ones that dominate today, think of the impact of e.g. Uber and Airbnb on incumbents
  • The greater use of data and technology to predict consumer behaviour and even help shape policies
  • Increased focus on industries that transform other sectors, such as block-chain technology for online banking, or 3D printing
  • Concept of a manufacturing enterprise hub that would enable small businesses to make customised products, such as personal mobility devices
  • High technology and high touch not mutually exclusive but involves a rethink on what mindsets, skills and people behaviours are desirable


At the same time, the Singapore workforce is faced with the following challenges:

  • Low fertility rates and a rapidly ageing population
  • Quick and flexible adaptation to technological advancements e.g. in artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, the Internet of Things / Services, Big Data
  • Rapid upskilling / continued education to enable the economic shift the from value-adding to value creation i.e. lesser focus on being part of the value-chain of MNC operations in Singapore to greater emphasis on developing our own products and services and in my view, perhaps the most difficult of all…..
  • Cultural shift: Move towards a culture of risk-taking and innovation


If you are not already confused by the technology jargons and implications by now, here’s something more fundamental:

Assume we understand the trends and implications and develop our corresponding strategies well…

“The question is do we have the necessary leadership and culture to enable and motivate our people to navigate through this Organisation Transformation”

Perhaps we should learn from how:

  • previous industry leaders that were in the forefront of technology have fallen e.g. Nokia and
  • current incumbents like Samsung are responding to these challenges


In Nokia’s case, the great fall was not due to inferior technology per se but rather the culture of fear and complacency.  It is therefore not surprising that Samsung likens its growth and desired culture akin to that of a start-up’s: risk taking and innovation, amongst others,

aAdvantage partners client organisations in private, public and not-for-profit sectors to navigate organisation transformations and enable the right culture to implement the desired changes. We are also part of Barrett Values Centre’s global network of Culture Transformation Consultants here in Singapore and the region.

For insights on Culture Transformation, please access the complimentary report : Transforming Culture in Larger Organisations


Wong, S. (2016). Future Work.

De Meyer, A. (2016). Industries of the Future.

Powers, D. (2016). Thoughts on Innovative Ecosystems nd Evidence from the Future of the Economy Study under the Future of Cities Project.

Elms, D. (2016). The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement : Singapore Benefits.

Khew, E. (2016). Centre for Sustainability.