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...Quite simply because the climate in business has become very similar to the weather. The pace of change in our economy and our culture is accelerating - fuelled by global adoption of social, mobile, and other new technologies - and our visibility about the future is declining. [...] Predicting what will happen next has gotten exponentially harder. What was described in the article by Robert Safian in the American business magazine Fast Company a few years ago is truly no exaggeration. The pace of change in our world, especially in business, is breath-taking.  


As far back as 2013, British scientists Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne already warned in their study “The Future of Employment” (Fry; Osborne 2013) that 47% of the jobs existing in the USA at the time were at risk. The study caused a big stir. Economists from the ING-DiBa bank converted the results of that study according to the classification of occupations by using the employment statistics of the German Federal Employment Agency, i.e. the Bundesagentur für Arbeit – and came to even more dramatic conclusions (ING-DiBa AG 2015, p. 1): for Germany, it is estimated that in the coming 10 to 20 years 59% of all jobs will be at risk. 30 million jobs have been analysed and 18 million are in the at-risk category due to increasing digitalisation. In Germany automation has more potential for rationalisation than in the initial study carried out by Harvard economists in the Anglo-American world.

The German federal government and a new study performed by Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (Digitalisierung und Arbeitsmärkte, 3/2016) assume that ONLY roughly half of jobs in Germany will be affected. Nobody knows what the future holds. One thing for sure is that sectors and occupations will be hit to varying degrees. Moreover, there is no doubt that business, people and organisations worldwide are on the brink of a massive realignment. Business models will be lost; old jobs will disappear and new job profiles will emerge. Organisations will experiment with completely new forms of cooperation, management, learning and decision-making and jobs will be structured in a more flexible, individual way.

Chart: LBBW Digitalisierung und Arbeitsmärkte 3/2016


Safian, Robert (2012): "This is Generation Flux: Meet the Pioneers of the New (and Chaotic) Frontier of Business«, in: Fast Company, Issue 162, February 2012. Online:

Geschwill, Roland & Nieswandt, Martina, Laterales Management, Das Erfolgsprinzip für Unternehmen im digitalen Zeitalter, Springer 2016