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Uncertainty stemming from the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the growing threat of an economic recession pose challenges to leaders of companies like never before. Businesses can adopt some of the features of an open enterprise —that is, breaking free from bureaucracy, constraining structures and being driven by closeness to customers and entrepreneurial thinking—to adapt and prosper in an era of uncertainty.

company transformed itself by integrating e-commerce, logistics, and retail into an open platform in Southeast Asia. PUSH BEYOND TRADITIONAL BOUNDARIES Rather than sticking to their industries of origin, open enterprises aremore dynamic, pushing and crossing industry boundaries. For these companies, exploring adjacencies is an organizing principle; one that results in enterprises that resemble loosely linked businesses that are less reliant on a few core competences.

DIFFUSE KNOWLEDGE Open enterprises are able to keep upwith rapid changes in themacro environment by exchangingmore knowledgewith their partners, and by absorbing such knowledge through acquisitions of other companies. They enable their employees to exchange knowledge freely. Many open enterprises reap because they operate in a highly diverse, international business environment. Consider Indonesia’s biggest startupGoTo, a tech group that offers everything fromonline shopping to ride-hailing. The more benefits from their interactions with partners


Open enterprises keep up with rapid changes in the macro environment by spreading knowledge, pushing boundaries, limiting complexity, and harnessing digital technology.

MARK GREEVEN Professor of Innovation and Strategy

PATRICK REINMOELLER Professor of Strategy and Innovation



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