It’s no secret that organizations have been evolving for years. How we work is changing–but how? Where is the organization of the future headed?

I broke the evolution of the organization into 14 fundamental changes. Knowing where we’ve been and where we’re going can help future-focused organizations lead the charge.

Here are the first seven ways companies are evolving:

Teams. Companies used to focus on creating large teams in a central location. A massive office and centralized workforce were seen as signs of success. But many companies realized that large teams create red tape and slow things down. Modern organizations build smaller teams distributed around the globe to be more agile and inclusive.

Workforce. The future of work is about breaking down barriers between teams and geographies. The workforce used to be siloed, where each department would only work on its projects by itself. But today, the workforce is connected, and collaboration and communication happen without boundaries.

Operational model. We often think of large companies as bureaucratic and slow-moving because that’s how they’ve been for so long. The mark of success used to be working like a large company. But modern companies, no matter their size, now aim to work like a small company–agile, nimble, and innovative.

Organizational focus. Companies used to assume employees needed to work there. Today, companies need to focus on creating a place employees WANT to be. Employees aren’t just there to get a paycheck, so the best organizations create an experience where employees WANT, not NEED, to work.

Adaptation. In today’s world, “late adopter” means “out of business.” Companies can no longer be slow to adapt, or they run the risk of being replaced or left behind. Organizations must adapt quicker and more aggressively to thrive in the rapidly changing world of work.

Innovation. Innovation used to be done only by a specific department within the organization. If you weren’t in that group, your job was to stick to the status quo. Today, innovation is open to the entire company and can happen anywhere.

Ecosystems. Limited organizational ecosystems kept employees in a bubble that didn’t consider outside perspectives. Modern organizations are evolving to create open ecosystems that include employees, customers, partners, and competitors. Being open to new ideas and processes helps these organizations thrive.

This is just the beginning. Organizations will continue to evolve with new technology, trends, and ways of doing business.

How is your organization evolving?


Over the last 15 years, I’ve had the privilege of speaking and working with some of the world’s top leaders. Here are 15 of the best leadership lessons that I learned from the CEOs of organizations like Netflix, Honeywell, Volvo, Best Buy, The Home Depot, and others. I hope they inspire you and give you things you can try in your work and life. Get the PDF here.