Michael Bayler’s new book The Liquid Enterprise

It is, according to visionary business thinker Michael Bayler. ‘We know everything’, he says, in his trailblazing book, The Liquid Enterprise: How The Network is transforming value, the implications for business, and what leadership needs to do about it, ‘and it tells us nothing.’ Businesses everywhere are reeling as strategists continue to pursue certainty based on evidence as the platform for planning. But by the time there is enough evidence that a strategy will work it is likely to be already long out of date.

Strategic planning as it is taught on MBA courses and enacted in the boardroom comes from history. Our business leaders are like ageing generals who assume that a new battle should be fought in the same way as the last one. Now, Bayler shows, there are very few certainties. The new leadership is about experimenting, constantly changing direction and mining mistakes rather than evidence to plot the course. Leaders of socalled ‘liquid enterprises’ are more likely to succeed than those who insist on holding fast to a non-existent ‘reality’.

A decade ago Uber and Airbnb didn’t exist. Yet in 2016 they and other model-shredding businesses are changing the way we live, work and socialise. These businesses disrupted markets fundamentally and their competitors must fight to innovate or risk oblivion. The Internet of Things makes it easier than ever before for consumers to be in control and to demand what they want from businesses.

‘The Liquid Enterprise is the first work to take an unflinching look at the unenviable job of transformation leadership, through the eyes of the leader,’ writes Richard Mosley, Global Vice President of Strategy at Universum and author of Employer Brand Management. ‘Taking us far beyond the usual digital platitudes, Michael Bayler once again challenges his readers to discard everything they know, in exchange for an entirely fresh view of strategy that, finally, is fit for today’s and tomorrow’s purpose.’ The Liquid Enterprise is a user’s manual for the new world of business, where strategists are struggling to keep their brands relevant.

Bayler suggests that ‘we need to challenge and replace many of the beliefs, models and behaviours that may have served us well until recently, and prepare ourselves to think in a very different way.’ This book will give you the tools to assess how to use what you know in an effective and streamlined way,
providing a framework from which to build your own thinking and strategy that will enhance your business in a constantly developing Network.

Michael Bayler is a renowned business thinker, speaker, consultant and leadership mentor, inspiring strategic transformation across enterprise, technology and marketing. He has ignited change programmes for many of the world’s largest brands. His clients have included Coca-Cola, the BBC, Unilever, Diageo, Telefonica, Egg, FremantleMedia, PayPal, Bacardi Global Brands, Warner Bros., BSkyB, SABMiller, British Telecom, Sony Music, Robbie Williams and Simon Cowell.

Michael is the co-author of Promiscuous Customers: Invisible Brands – Delivering Value in Digital Markets (Capstone, Oxford, 2002).