Philip Evans has a bold prediction for the future of business strategy. Adapt or die is what his TED talk is about. Former business strategies are rapidly becoming obsolete. The value chain is no longer applicable. Vertical integration is moving into horizontal integration. New models in both public and private sectors need to embrace simultaneous competition and collaboration. Staff and customers have different motivations than previously. The concept of scale has changed.
Encyclopaedia Britannica and Kodak are only the beginning. Organizational and human structures that were optimal for decision making no longer apply. Michael Porter, of the Harvard Business School, had what Evans refers to as the Napoleonic idea of concentrating mass against weakness, of overwhelming the enemy. He recognised that, in the business world, there are many phenomena which are characterized by increasing returns such as scale and experience. He therefore he found a logic for investing in such kinds of overwhelming mass in order to achieve competitive advantage. This was the first introduction of essentially a military concept of strategy into the business world. Economies of scale worked. Now times have changed.