Is your organization future relevant?

The 6 next practices to get you there


Published on: March 2024

Written by: Kelsey Raymond, Kendra Okposo, Emily Crowe, Michael Tapia

From Best Practices to Next Practices – What it Takes to be Future Relevant

In 1998, Netflix introduced its DVD delivery service, taking the video rental industry onto the web and simplifying the customer experience. Access to the Internet provided a new connection to the customer, streamlining video rental services through a more centralized distribution strategy and reducing the need for store front business models. Passed over by Blockbuster for acquisition, Netflix went on to roll out its streaming services nearly a decade later, and while it was not the first to do so, the success of the venture shifted an entire industry to pursue the web-based distribution model. In addition, the company’s use of data to inform content decisions, as well as improve the customer experience, has been a model for leveraging the power of big data.

Netflix took emerging technologies, recognized customer needs, and slowly adapted to become the online service provider for over 240 million subscribers as of 2023. During its rise to streaming dominance, Netflix also challenged HR norms and implemented a new set of talent policies focused on creating a culture of excellence and transparency, elevating the expectations for managers and leaders of teams. The PowerPoint on talent management released by CEO Reed Hastings and his team went viral and influenced some of the modern policies used by businesses to attract and retain talent.

Although an extreme example of business achievement, Netflix is a case study for the impact of future relevant business strategies. The organization remained quick on its feet, adapted ahead of its competitors, elevated talent strategies, and capitalized on opportunities to leverage technological advancements. In doing so, Netflix challenged industry norms and created a dramatic change in how customers interact with video content.

So, what does it mean to be future relevant and why is it important to consider, now?

At a high level, future relevant organizations recognize that their current success does not ensure future success in an ever-changing business environment. Instead, future relevant organizations continuously reevaluate and establish internal strategies for adapting and elevating internal capabilities to ensure future success is achievable in the face of change and uncertainty.

This is especially important in today’s world of constant change. We know from our client conversations, what we see in the news, and challenges expressed in annual reports – disruption across all industries is top of mind for CEOs. The disruption is coming from many fronts, all at once: technological innovations, geopolitical upheaval, economic uncertainty, to name a few. Some we’ve been talking about for years, such as AI (although only recently hitting the mainstream), while others are emerging, such as remote work. CEOs and their leadership teams are faced which an ongoing need to plan, pivot, adapt, and determine the best way to respond to position their companies for future success.

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