At the extreme are hyperscale businesses that are pushing the new rules of digitization so radically that they are challenging conventional management intuition about scale and complexity. These businesses have users, customers, devices, or interactions numbered in the hundreds of millions, billions, or more. Billions of interactions and data points, in turn, mean that events with only a one-in-a-million probability are happening many times a day.
Taken individually, each of these businesses seems like a special case. After all, how many companies can be like Google, which processes around four billion searches a day; Twitter, handling 500 million tweets a day; or Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce market, which facilitated 254 million orders in one day?Reference: Competition at the digital edge: 'Hyperscale' business.
My intent in this article is neither to summarize it nor even comment on it. Rather, I mean to prompt CEOs and their leadership teams to pause and reflect on their business and industry, their market and competition, and their people and resources vis-a-vis the advent of hyperscale business.
- How do you understand what is going on within and outside your company, and what is your experience of it, both individually and collectively?
- What are gaps in your understanding, which require bridging, and what haven't you experienced, which require experiencing?
- What meaning can you draw from such reflection and understanding, that is, in relation to the vision, the purpose, and the values that are at the heart and soul of your business?
- Besides your analytic or rational thinking hat, what does your intuitive, creative or non-rational brain say about all of this?
- What diverse or critical points of view do you need to engage in this reflection, that is, from your people, networks, advisers, competitors, customers, and resources?
- What would you like to do about it, or more pointedly what do you need to do about it; that is, what is it that you aim to accomplish?
- How can you best accomplish what you want and need to accomplish, given the capability, motivation and energy in your current and prospective people?
- What other reflective questions do you need to ask yourselves?