The extraordinary speed of the changes in our society, whether technological, socio-political or cultural, has an immediate effect on business. Companies and large organizations have long assumed that they live in a VUCA environment, i.e. an environment characterized by vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
In this context, a company can no longer be conceived as an isolated entity. Optimizing processes and improving efficiency is no longer synonymous with success. Medium- and long-term business sustainability requires a good understanding of the social environment, identifying stakeholders, being able to listen and dialogue, establishing a collaborative dynamic and promoting the generation of shared value. To summarise, sustained success requires a new business model to be developed: the relational company.
Since July 2016, Institut Cerdà has developed consulting projects in Social Innovation to help companies in relation to three specific objectives:
· To become aware of social change. Customers, consumers, prescribers, networks, citizens, governments, etc., have increasingly high expectations about companies. Business as usual no longer works. It is necessary to develop new management systems that ensure the transparency, dialogue, collaboration, integrity and social commitment of organizations. In sum, it is about moving towards a more sustainable and responsible (CSR) competitiveness model.
· To become active agents in the face of the main social challenges, transforming the risks into opportunities, weaving collaborations and building alliances. In line with the United Nations-led Sustainable Development Goals (ODS), which will mark the roadmap for corporate sustainability during the period 2015-2030.
· Promote strategic management of its intangible assets, especially reputation and brand. In a context in which capital, technology and knowledge are available to all, intangibles are the only elements capable of preserving the social license to operate, and building sustained differentiation from competitors.
The urban distribution of goods, food in particular, has to adapt to the social changes that demand new, better and reasonably priced services at a reasonable price. In urban areas these services must also be increasingly sustainable (friendly, peaceful, silent, healthy, environmentally friendly, etc.).
Whenever mobility related improvements are proposed in large cities, there is a debate on how to organise last mile distribution: improving mobility, efficiency, environmental impact and sustainability.
What are the trends in crisis management for the coming years?
Companies are going to focus more on culture than on protocols as the means to manage crisis situations. Culture that will be translated in three basic aspects: firstly prevention, the capacity to be prepared in front of any situation, regardless of whether or not it is new or unexpected; secondly, the ability to analyse, and to know how to analyse what has been done in past situations; and thirdly, and very importantly, the ability to relate permanently to all environments.