The business environment is now changing rapidly, but will change even more rapidly in the future. Only firms that can respond to these changes will survive. It is important to know, then, how business’s future landscape will look. George Huber’s new book, The Necessary Nature of Future Firms, describes this landscape clearly and credibly and makes explicit the organizational attributes and management practices firms must possess to be among the ranks of the “future firms.” The Necessary Nature of Future Firms is written for managers, especially those managing change. Professionals in a wide variety of organizational roles will find it a particularly useful reference for its foresight and as an invaluable tool in winning approval for projects and initiatives. Academics in change management, information systems, organizational science, strategy, and human resources management can draw on the book as a supplementary text or as a source for lecture materials.
Sensing and Interpreting the Environment
Given the forthcoming increases in environmental dynamism, complexity, and competitiveness, it seems clear that environmental sensing and interpreting will be more critical to a firm's survival in the future than in the past. But top management's sensing and interpreting of the firm's environment has always been critical. In this regard, it can be instructive to examine the sudden death of Facit AB, the established and highly successful firm described by New York University's Professor William Starbuck.
Founded in the 1920s, the Swedish multinational firm Facit AB, maker and seller of business machines and office furnishings, grew large and profitable during the 1960s.
Although Facit made many products, the top managers believed the key product line to be ...