Today, as large organizations are facing continuous disruption, they’ve recognized that their existing strategy and organizational structures aren’t nimble enough to access and mobilize the innovative talent and technology they need to meet these challenges. These organizations know they need to change, but often the result has been a form of organizational whack-a-mole – a futile attempt at trying to swat at problems as they pop-up without understanding their root cause.
The Three Horizons allowed senior management to visualize what an ambidextrous organization would look like — the idea that companies and government agencies need to execute existing business models while simultaneously creating new capabilities — and helped to prioritize innovation products and programs. However, in the 21st century the Three Horizons model has a fatal flaw that risks making companies lag behind competitors — or even putting them out of business.
The last 40 years have seen an explosive adoption of new technologies (social media, telecom, life sciences, etc.) and the emergence of new industries, markets and customers. Not only are the number of new technologies and entrants growing, but also increasing is the rate at which technology is disrupting existing companies. As a result, while companies are facing continuous disruption, current corporate organizational strategies and structures have failed to keep pace with the rapid pace of innovation.