A major buzz-word in society today is Transformation. It comes in many varieties, Organizational Transformation, Personal Transformation, Digital Transformation, Strategic Transformation, etc.. But what does Transformation really mean. Does it mean doing things slightly better than today? Or potentially worse, expending significant time and effort to be slightly better tomorrow, but then quickly backslide to old practices.
At HBSC, we believe that Transformation, in whatever form you consider, is truly about dramatically improving your business or personal life, and then never being the same again. Transformation requires not only a whole new vision, strategy and action plan. It also requires the proper structures, tools, and acquired habits (cultural changes) to ensure that once it is achieved, reversion back to the mean is not an option. This type of burn the ships mentality along with building a thriving adaptive culture and developing new capabilities is key to maintaining and extending hard-won gains.
Transformation, from a business or organizational perspective, must address four major strategic components to enhance competitive positioning or radically disrupt an entire marketplace. The four critical areas include: 1) re-thinking the business model, 2) transforming the customer experience, 3) aligning all supporting internal processes to support the new business model and customer experience, and 4) effectuating transformative cultural changes to ensure on-going innovation. By disruptively innovating in these four areas, businesses have a massive opportunity to create and then dominate across a newly formed value network.
For many companies, Digital Transformation is viewed as both a threat as well as an opportunity. Well-established dominant companies are typically threatened by a potential complete market disruption. By far, asymmetric competition, meaning threats from outside the existing industry are the most feared. Companies like Amazon and Uber are notoriously creating such threats to adjacent industries. Competition from these new players often comes swiftly and is unrelenting. Frequently, these type of market disruptors completely change the value dynamics in terms of revenue streams, cost structures and provide radical new customer experiences. The end-game is complete domination over incumbent players and unexpectedly rapid exits.
There are significant parallels between digital disruption and human evolution. If we look at mid-term Human history, approximately 100,000 years ago, we see that Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens lived during the same time period. We also see that Neanderthals were frequently in contention for the same territory and food resources as Home Sapiens. While the Neanderthals were much larger than their Homo Sapiens counter-parts, it was not the size that determine the victor. Frequently, Neanderthals would win initial physical contests with bands of Homo Sapiens, however Homo Sapiens had the ability to devise new strategies, image new tactics, adapt to new situations and organize themselves in cooperative networks. This ability to image and then organize themselves differently ultimately caused Homo Sapiens to dominate and then genocide the Neanderthals.
This is exactly what is happening in businesses across the world. New competition that is frequently smaller and less resourced, but more nimble, adaptive and networked, are disrupting larger and stronger incumbent businesses daily. Similarly, because of this, business genocide is right around the corner for many incumbents.
Transient Competitive Advantage
The need to change and adapt is driven by the fact that most competitive advantages are short-lived. This is also known as the transient competitive advantage theory. In order to cope with this new reality, business strategies need to adapt and continually focus on innovation that identify and build new competitive advantages. At the core of this continuous metamorphosis philosophy, instead of building a competitive advantage and defending it, companies need to focus on the velocity of creating new competitive advantages. This typically comes in the form of businesses continually adapting the existing value proposition. The ability to focus beyond the current business model and leverage new technologies to enable value creation opportunities is essential.
At HBSC Strategic Services, we help clients create a compelling digital future by exploring numerous opportunities and enabling new cutting-edge technology solutions. Our Digital Transformation toolkit assist clients with ideation, evaluation, prioritization, planning and execution. Our goal is to help clients generate new value creation opportunities, design outstanding user interfaces and provide clients the tools, planning and expertise necessary to dominate existing and new marketplaces. If you would like more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.