We base our work on ten fundamental insights, based on our own business experiences as well as proven research. Feel free to contact us for more information and sources.
The Ten Insights
1. The average lifespan of organizations is decreasing
Research shows that the average lifespan of an organization has decreased from 58 years in the end of the 1950ies till approximately 15 years today. Why? Increased complexity, technological development and general pace of change seem to have force organizations to move faster through their individual life cycles – reaching their peak earlier, and becoming irrelevant and outdated faster than ever before as new technologies and competitors replace their solutions with something better and more relevant.
2. Today’s success may be your biggest enemy
Nothing lasts forever. Even a very successful company run the risk of becoming irrelevant if it doesn’t continually challenge and renew itself. Think Kodak, Nokia, Sony Ericson – and much more. What researchers call the “success syndrome” shows that being successful today may be the biggest hinder for future success, meaning that when you are successful you don’t have a compelling reason to change what you already do so well. Till it is too late…
3. A market and customer perspective helps you stay on your toes
There is strong evidence that understanding your ecosystem and staying close to your relevant markets and customers will help you understand and act on the changes in your environment. An environment developing faster than what your organization is able to keep up with means trouble. Hence, a market orientation with an outside-in perspective is more likely to help your organization survive and thrive in the long run than an inside-out perspective. Also, the best organizations are known to be the best aligned – in relation to both external and internal forces. The trick is to stay open to – and act on – ongoing change and stay dynamic.
4. Consumer driven innovation is key to ongoing renewal
There is strong evidence that in order to stay in business, an organization needs to continue to add value to its customers, consumers, and ecosystem as those evolve and change over time. Here, customer and/or consumer centricity and innovation are a key renewal tool for organizations – from business model innovation to customer/consumer experience innovation, product and services innovation. But also innovation in relation to strategy, management systems, people, competencies, structures, processes, and rewards. Remember however that complexity kills. Simplifying things makes all the difference.
5. A dual organization helps you play your cards right
Exploring new business opportunities is fundamentally different compared to optimizing a mature business. There is a need for different tools and competencies as well as different structures and ways of doing things for new businesses to hatch and prosper, especially if it is in the shadow of a mature and protective mother. There is however also strong evidence that today’s and tomorrows senior leaders will need to master both exploitations of their current business AND exploration of new business opportunities – in parallel – to help their organizations survive in the long run. In parallel, the challenge is to keep things simple.
6. There are many great tools available to help you on your quest
Some of the worlds greatest thinkers behind Strategic Thinking, Market Orientation, Customer Centricity, Design Thinking, Business Model Innovation, Value Proposition Design and the Lean Start Up movement provide great tools to navigate into a future unknown and to rapidly explore and test future opportunities with reduced risk.
7. A growth mindset is key
A growth mindset is key, and people are ultimately what make things happen. Having a growth mindset means believing in continuous learning, embracing change and challenges, to be persistent in the face of setbacks and seeing the effort as the path to mastery. Also, it means realizing that learning is lifelong and never ends.
8. The world is a place of infinite possibilities
There is strong evidence that even in times of turbulence and accelerating change the world presents infinite possibilities to be identified and unlocked. The challenge is to find time for ideation, experiments, learning, reflection and strategic thinking and to focus on what matters most, in parallel to get people involved, engaged and on board to successfully accomplish the envisioned transformation.
9. It starts with you…
There is strong evidence that the change and transformation of an organization start with you as a leader. As a leader, you will need to upgrade your competencies and behaviors to cope with an environment and organization in accelerating change. And to be clear on your overall vision. You also need to help your organization reduce complexity and simplify things. A change means hard work – every day – and real change only happens outside of your comfort zone. Hence, as a leader, you will need to dedicate time to develop yourself, not only your team, on an ongoing basis.
10. … but a dynamic system is needed to survive!
Finally, experience and research show that culture really does eat strategy for breakfast. “The way we act and do things around here” often suffocate any attempts to change status quo. The dynamic system needed to survive in a rapidly changing world is however far more than a culture. It spans from mission, vision, and strategy, to leadership, people, competencies, culture, organizational structure, processes and reward systems – all the way down to dealing with everyday situations on all levels of the company.
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