Forces for change

The Indian Music Industry (IMI’s) losses have skyrocketed to Rs. 1800 crores over the last three years, owing to two major external factors, piracy and improper taxation. The IMI’s turnover has further plummeted from Rs. 1,000 crores in 1996-97 to Rs.450 crores in 2003-2004. The mounting losses heightened the IMI’s fears of loss of employment of half a million music artists, music company employees, authors, composers and singers; another two million employed at radio stations, television stations, and other content providers. Today CD’s have become a major context carrier or the IT, films, and music industries. Unfortunately, CD production capacity in most countries far exceeds their legitimate demand. For example, the CD production capacity in India is 800 million and legitimate demand is only 160 million. Pirates are channeling this excess supply to fire the rampant piracy.

More and more organizations today face a dynamic and changing environment. This, in turn, is requiring these organizations to adapt. “Change or die” is the rallying cry among today’s managers worldwide.

For instance, almost every organization has to adjust to a multicultural environment. Human resources and practices have to change to reflect the needs of the increasing number of women. And many companies have to spend large amounts of money on training to upgrade reading, math, computer, and other skills of employees.

Technology is changing jobs and organizations. For instance, computers are now common place in almost every organization; and cell phones and handheld PDA’s are increasingly being perceived as necessities by a large segment of the population. Computer networks are also reshaping entire industries. The music business, as a case in point, is now struggling to cope with the economic consequences of widespread online music sharing. For the longer term, recent breakthrough in deciphering the human genetic code offers the potential for pharmaceutical companies to produce drugs designed for specific individuals and creates serious ethical dilemmas for insurance companies as to who is insurable and who isn’t.

We live in an “age of discontinuity”. In the 1950s and 1960s the past was a pretty good prologue to the future. Tomorrow was essentially an extended trend line from yesterday. That’s no longer true. Beginning in the early 1970s, with the overnight quadrupling of world oil prices, economic shocks have continued to impose changes on organizations. In recent years, for instance, new dot-com businesses have been created, turned tens of thousands of investors into overnight millionaires, and then crashed. Stock markets are on an all time high. And record low interest rates have stimulated a rapid rise in real estate and infrastructure, helped sustain consumer spending and proven a spur to home builders and renovators, furniture retailers, mortgage bankers, and other home-related businesses.

Competition is changing. The global economy means that competitors are as likely to come from across the ocean as from as from across town. Heightened competition also makes it necessary for established organizations to defend themselves against both traditional competitors who develop new products and services and small, entrepreneurial firms with innovative offerings. Successful organizations will be the ones that can change in response to the competition. They’ll be fast on their feet capable of developing new products rapidly and getting them to market quickly. They’ll rely on short production runs, short product cycles, and an ongoing stream of new products. In other words, they’ll be flexible. They will require an equally flexible and responsive workforce that can adapt to rapidly and even radically changing conditions.