Organisations should adopt an evolutionary approach to change
In this connected age, and the ones still to come, there is no single successful business model, no single successful process and no single successful product. Incumbents across all industries are seeing their competitiveness challenged on all fronts by an ever-widening pool of startups, corporations, joint ventures, ecosystems and individuals.
The chosen solution for many of these organisations is to transform their business through acquiring new digital products and services via capital intensive programmes. Whether this involves acquiring a disruptive startup, launching an ecommerce offering or investing in a new technology platform, organisations can often be sold the illusion that a single large transformation will make them competitive again.
However, really successful companies have figured out that this is old-world thinking. Being sustainably competitive in the connected age can only be achieved through an ongoing process of evolution, delivered within and by the business, rather than a one-off transformation delivered in parallel to normal business. And that this evolution needs to be rooted in a clear purpose, rather than focusing on a method, system or market opportunity, no matter how exciting they seem at the time.
Both Purpose and evolution speak to the ability to stay continually relevant in an ever more rapidly changing market, driven by shifting customer demands in a hyperconnected world. This is the “big truth” behind sustainable success in the digital world, and it is the truth that Veriteer’s unique proposition is based on.
Evolution requires a focus on business fundamentals rather than tactical benefits
Accepted management science states that programmes should deliver tangible, quantifiable benefits that are defined in advance and measured after the fact. For anybody who has been involved in any change project of any scale this sounds obvious, but it not as simple to do as it sounds.
The reason it’s hard is that this approach is grounded in transformation methodologies, with a fixed start date and fixed end date...and as such, it is old-world thinking. Consumer business is no longer predictable enough that we can accurately predict the outcome of a 3-year project.
Evolution needs a different approach. It still expects that tangible benefits can be measured for each change, but regards these as purely tactical benefits. In the evolutionary approach, a set of 3 fundamentals require strategic attention rather than these tactical benefits:
- Purpose: know who you are, know your mission and live this in every interaction.
- Capabilities: know what you are doing, be the one that is driving your innovation rather than 3rd parties...and have the skills to deliver.
- Talent: know your people, be confident in their abilities and invest in your talent pipeline.
Addressing these 3 fundamentals properly provides the business with the tools to achieve the desired tactical outcomes much more easily on a “business as usual” basis. This is how an organisation can go beyond transformation to deliver sustainable competitiveness and growth.
Addressing the 3 fundamentals
The good news is that addressing the 3 fundamentals is not a complex, cross-departmental, multi-million programme. It is however, a task that requires clear sponsorship from the very top of the organisation, and a commitment from those responsible that it will be maintained, curated and evangelised in the years to come.
Everything starts with purpose. Unfortunately it is an almost universal truth that organisations misinterpret what ‘purpose’ is, and end up trying to answer the wrong questions. An individual’s or organisation’s purpose is simply: the net impact that they desire to have in their universe. Many of the things that organisations can mistakenly focus on, such as strategy, profitability, products, organisational structures and target markets, are actually the means, measures and enablers of purpose, and unless these things are all united behind a clear and simple purpose, business change initiatives can lack focus, elegance and impact.
Achieving its purpose requires an organisation to have the right capabilities. This will be different for every organisation, but it is inevitably a combination of the existing capabilities that made the organisation successful, combined with some “new-world thinking” that will help provide the ability to evolve in the digital age. Adding product thinking, experiential design, analytical excellence, cyber security and agile delivery into an organisation's core competence provides a modern foundation for effective innovation.
Capabilities are dependent on having the right talent. Unfortunately it’s not easy to find or develop: new-world thinkers are coveted assets in every industry, in every market, and every organisation is competing with the likes of Google, Apple, Amazon, etc. for these hires. There are simply not enough skilled people, and if organisations cannot access talent, they will not be able to deliver their purpose. The good news is that there is a way for organisations to build a sustainable talent pipeline, based on getting conditions right, catalyst hiring and a robust talent development process.
Veriteer has been designed to help organisations overcome this problem
Veriteer exists to help organisations address these three fundamentals, bringing together a unique blend of skills, experiences and solutions to kick-start evolution and put organisations in control of their journey into the digital age, and of the legacy that they will leave behind.