Winfried Hagenhoff

Future Study 2021 on Disruptive Change in Companies

What strengths do companies need in a changing world?
AAA Advisor Gerd Bovensiepen on the Advisory Board for Future Study 2021

Acceleration and change create opportunities and hope - but also uncertainty and sometimes fear. 2020 has shaken up markets across all industries in unprecedented ways, and 2021 has begun just as disruptively.

The Future Study (see examined how companies are adapting to the change. In doing so, the team led by Prof. Tim Bruysten (richtwert GmbH - an AAA-Advisors Business Alliance Partner) also addressed effects of the global pandemic. But most importantly, they examined how change driven by dynamic societal, regulatory and technological trends and its societal impacts - even if partially masked by the pandemic - are being assessed.

So how are companies adapting to change? And what strengths do they need in a world undergoing disruptively accelerated change?

Over 300 company representatives gave their detailed assessments - with a focus on Germany and France and with qualitative sample supplements from 10 other European countries and 5 non-European markets (North America, New Zealand, UAE). Over 70% of respondents were board members, owners, senior management and department heads, and all company sizes are represented.

Our AAA Advisor Gerd Bovensiepen co-advised this study with Dominique Bourqui, Ph.D, Chief Academic Officer (CAO) at the Business School Lausanne. Here are some of the insights:

  • A good two-thirds of all respondents say that their business model is currently undergoing change.

  • 84% say that the market has changed irreversibly.

  • Far beyond the pandemic, many different trends are perceived as very disruptive. Foremost among them: artificial intelligence and regulation.

  • Still, despite major challenges and numerous disruptions, companies are confident and optimistic about the future (76%)

  • Trust-building with a focused view to the various stakeholders is seen as one of the most important success factors for the coming years. To successfully face change, trust is one of the most essential, even indipensable requirements. However, 41% of companies do not even measure the success of their trust-building measures. Moreover, executives trust no one less than internal departments.

  • In an economy that continues to change in a very dynamic and pronounced way, it is becoming increasingly important to have the greatest possible clarity about what a company really stands for and what the elements of its culture, brand and strategy are that cannot be copied. The CEO and the HR department are seen as the main drivers of this required uniqueness.

The study can be ordered via the website

About the author
Winfried Hagenhoff

Winfried - formerly at Lufthansa, TNS and WPP’s Kantar- is an experienced Senior Executive Advisor. He loves to advise on innovative products and services based on empirical data, and to transform advice into strategy for brands and customer experience. As a former CTO/COO, he is passionate about tech-driven innovations, especially regarding mobility (Auto, Travel, Transport, Sharing), communication, health, public services, and production.

Beside his activities as a Board Member (Verwaltungsrat) in the Swiss based  Bochmann Consulting AG, he has been for some years -and still is- supporting young tech firms and helped social institutions with pro-bono advice.