Business Improvement
Crisis Ahead
Constant change is the new normal

Business is becoming ever more complex and according to several major studies less than half the global CEO population feel their organisations are able and prepared to handle the level of complexity they are facing – let alone the level they expect to face in the future.

Many industries have had some tough years with recession, increased competition, changing consumer behavior, rapidly shifting technologies and emerging disruptive business models.

What does it take to respond to these challenges?

True transformation starts with a deep understanding of the severity of the problem.

There are still some executives who are waiting for things to return to “normal.” It’s not going to happen. Constant change is the new normal. Success now requires not just doing it better, but mastering the ability to do it differently.

If you don’t recognize the severity of the problem, it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you are making progress when you really aren’t, or to convince yourself that all you have to do is wait for the economy to bounce back and your company will bounce back as well.

Transformation requires being outside-in, not inside-out.

Transformation requires a relentless outside-in focus. That focus should first be applied to identifying opportunities for growth. Then companies need to determine which of their capabilities they can borrow to seize that opportunity, which new capabilities they need to create, and which capabilities exist on the open market to be acquired or sourced through some kind of partnership.

In an interview with Innosight last year, Jeff Bezos from Amazon summed up this point nicely:

It is much easier for us, and I suspect for many companies, to start with your skills and work outwards. But that doesn’t allow you to do certain kinds of things. If you want to really continually revitalize the service you provide the customer you can’t stop at what are we good at. You have to ask what do our customers need and want. And no matter how hard it is, you better get good at those things

More agile and robust

Why can some companies take advantage of any change the market brings, while others struggle with the even the smallest internal or market-necessitated modification? The reasons why will differ for each organization, but the question is definitely worth asking – especially in light of the fact that the pace of change is accelerating at the fastest rate in recorded history.

Many of the new changes and occurrences are both new and difficult to forecast which was not the case in the past, so businesses have to become more agile and robust to be able to succeed in the new environment. This too will become normal.

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Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland View full profile

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