The 21st Century Corporation

Fortune-1-November-2015Complementando la entrada anterior, nos referimos ahora a la revista Fortune, que con el llamativo titular Every aspect of your business is about to change (G. Colvin) y el subtítulo and what you need to know now) incluye el artículo Six fundamental truths about the 21st Century Corporation (A. Murray) en sintonía con el de portada. Añado además la necesaria lectura de la entrada del Profesor Sánchez Calero En torno a la sociedad cotizada.

La coincidencia de Fortune y The Economist no es solamente temporal, sino que bajo enfoque diferentes presenta ideas similares. El artículo de Alan Murray es breve y recoge con sus “seis verdades fundamentales” (en algún caso dejo su desarrollo) las claves del más extenso de Colvin.

It is our belief that the world is in the midst of a new industrial revolution, driven by technology that is connecting everyone and everything, everywhere and all the time, in a vast and intelligent network of interactive data that is creating an economic dynamic increasingly characterized by low or zero marginal costs, massive returns to scale and platform economics.
1) You don’t need a lot of physical capital. You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s true: Alibaba is the world’s most valuable retailer and holds no inventory; Airbnb is the largest provider of accommodations but owns no real estate; Uber is the world’s largest car service but owns no cars.
2) Human capital will matter more than ever.
3) The nature of employment will change. For the rest of your employees, gig work will grow. Former Cisco CEO John Chambers predicts: “soon you’ll see huge companies with just two employees – the CEO and the CIO.” An exaggeration, perhaps, but not by much.
4) Winners will win bigger, and the rest will fight harder for the remains.
5) Corporations will have shorter lives. The average life span of companies in the S&P 500 has already fallen from 61 years in 1958 to 20 years today. It will fall further.
6) Intellectual property knows no natural boundaries.
Por su parte, del artículo de Geoff Colvin, más extenso y con más ideas de las ya sintetizadas, me atrevo a reproducir un párrafo que invita a la reflexión:

It was obvious long ago that law firms consist almost entirely of human capital, so it’s illegal for them to sell stock to the public; outside stockholders couldn’t own anything of value. Are consulting firms and ad agencies any different? Even companies that own valuable patents or brands may still get most of their value from human capital. What if the hundred smartest people left Starbucks or Johnson & Johnson or Walt Disney, or what if a crazed CEO tried to destroy each company’s titanium-strength culture? In the 21st-century corporation, whether it’s acknowledged or not, employees own most of the assets because they are most of the assets. That reality is affecting corporate structure. The number of U.S. corporations increased only modestly and their revenues rose 150% from 1990 to 2008, says the IRS (using the most recent available data), while the number of proprietorships and partnerships, which are owned by their managers, increased far more, and their revenues rose 394%. The 21st-century corporation isn’t always a corporation.

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