“In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. the only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it”
— Jeff Bezos, Amazon.
Are you future ready?
Many of us have seen the meme suggesting that what led companies to transform digitally was not their CEO or CTO, but was in fact, coronavirus.
Undoubtedly the 2020 pandemic has further amplified stark differences between old and new. Slow moving companies increasingly face disruption from innovative startups. Customers are now more demanding and expect better experiences from products and services. Immediacy is key. Customers expect to get a taxi, watch a film, or receive a meal almost instantaneously all via an app. The message to business is clear – transform or become irrelevant and get left behind.
Innovation is often more difficult in an older organisation relying on outdated technologies, structures and working methods. Startups are essentially inventing and defining the future. To match their entrepreneurial innovation power, established organisations must learn how to do the same.
How can such organisations redesign themselves to face the future, and what features would we expect to commonly see?
- A focus on continuous innovation – digital transformation is not just getting access to the technology of tomorrow, it’s about having a forward-thinking mindset and company culture which doesn’t stand still but is always looking to the next stage of development.
- Innovation aligned with strategy – organisations need an understanding of what is happening in relevant sectors of the economy, how that will impact the future and how they are going to respond innovatively. You can’t align innovation strategy with business strategy if no one knows what the business strategy or vision for the future is. This is innovation with purpose.
- Cross-functional agile teams – managed well, they spark innovation, overcome boundaries and add value to the software development life cycle by granting a more collaborative environment providing on-time delivery of high-quality solutions. A cross-functional team eliminates conflicting priorities because everyone on the team has the same goal.
- A collaborative culture – in future facing organisations, employees are empowered to take full ownership, confident they will drive the organisation toward fulfilling its purpose and vision, creating value quickly, collaboratively, and effectively. Collaboration is integrated into all aspects of work, organisation wide.
The challenges organisations face over the coming months and years are considerable, and will require fundamental changes to behaviours and business models. For some companies that were already digitally agile, there will be small adaptations or increased efforts in areas that were already a focus. For others, it will fundamentally transform what business as usual looks like.
Is your organisation ready to face the future confidently?