The Companies of the Future

By Yoram Yahav

On December 11th, 2011, I will be moderating a panel on “The Company of the Future” at The Globes Israel Business Conference, a yearly event which attracts many businessmen from around the world. I joined forces with three notable CEOs (Erez Vigodman of Agan Makhteshim, Gil Shwed of Check Point and Dominic Barton of McKinsey). I am excited not only because of these distinguished and highly respected individuals, but also due to the subject matter of the panel.


The fact that so many people around the world are starting to talk “the language of the unknown future,” excites and encourages me tremendously. It shows that what we have been proclaiming for so long, has a strong basis. We can’t build the future based on the past anymore. That era has ceased, finished, finito…

I want to challenge your intellect with a few questions. But beforehand, I must consider that readers of this newsletter come from more than forty countries worldwide, meaning the diversity of the cultures as well as the interpretations, may be very high. So allow me to steer my questions in a more general and cross-cultural manner.

  • The year is 2022. Can you describe your home, business, family, physical appearance, relationships with your spouse/partner/children? Can you describe them in clear and concise terms?
  • Ask yourself honestly if the process of generating the above descriptions was simple and without a trace of thought or concern relating to issues from past events in your life?
  • Now, look around yourself at your partners and colleagues, neighborhood, country, region, environment, security situation, employment, medical facilities, etc. Do the preceding affect your optimism or pessimism with regards to your earlier descriptions?

If you are having a hard time dealing with the above questions, I am welcoming you to the club! Most of us have a hard time relating to the future with a different “standard” than we relate to our past. When thinking of what the company of the future might look like, we quite naturally have a tendency to believe that our company will continue to be “as is” and in the future, it will only get better. It is a good and optimistic approach, however, it ignores current realities and the fact that only ONE “Fortune 100 Company” from 1900 (General Electric), is still active.

When contemplating on which company will survive deep into the future, we must look at the possible realities of that time. Will we use fuel or sun energy? Will we be structured in the same security/economic environment we are living in today? Will we have an abundance of food or scarcity like many claim? Since we are living in unprecedented times when it comes down to the speed of change and the levels of uncertainty, obviously, many questions like these may arise. Those companies which will consider as many scenarios as possible – in my opinion will be more ready for the future and will eventually outlast longer. The CEOs which are joining me during the panel represent companies which indeed consider the future in a different manner. To examine and study their philosophies should be helpful to all.

One Response to “The Companies of the Future”

  1. ianos says:

    how efficient is this way of thinking?
    is it micro-managing or macro-managing??
    i will answer first your conclusion in your opinion
    it is true those companies they will be ready for “their”
    future …we greeks say unarmed prophets have “failed” armed prophets
    have “succeeded” in a timeline of their own destiny…
    hypothetically speaking imagine , a place , a country lets say india
    the amazing india..if go back as timeline decades since you put
    the limit 10 years and focus on the last three decades we see
    a tremendous explosion in wealth, power,all things obey money.
    we cannot make a photocopy for india in 2012 for 2022 and
    see it we the “same” “eyes” as we see it now ,because we have
    a different perspective , or datas , but we can judge the theory
    by the is a means of is a means not an “end”
    therefor not the “last end” .the reason i make referance to india it is
    because faces such a big diversification , cultural , industrial,demografic,linguistic,honor,pleasure, health,virtue,polydeism,etc..etc.
    for me as a simple person imagine hindi ,i have to seekfor a reward for virtue, or sign that i have looked not only the sign, but what it signifies…
    the will to live requires a reason to live..a man can endure any”how”
    if only has a “why” so my resume for a utopian place like india
    has many reasons for living the “flow” of their destiny in a history of
    class conflict, for an unchanging truth.. they have face the challenge
    for all the above you refer in your “first” question.

    raising questions to me is more profitable and much more difficult
    than i think ,but finding my answers is much easier than i think.
    so has a trace of concern with my past indeed.

    i cannot choose between optimism, or pessimism because they are two sides of the same coin it is a fake contradiction, looks really bad in all aspects its not an uncopromising desire for honesty , but i have the hope that we may end in the same place with europe if we travel by very different roads from now. i think the richness and diversity of western
    culture can assimilate and use even its enemies …” us” for example
    it does not pay to loose faith in anybody …shalom

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