We have recently attended a two day workshop by Singularity University. Some people argue that it may be an odd name for an organization that does more of challenging status quo than academic traditions. But it matches the goal of our article, as it maps very well onto issues that we see in many businesses and business leaders these days. They usually focus on traditional ways to conduct business: Create a business strategy, assemble and grow the organization, implement technology to support operations and business, have a product or service that appeals to the customer and grow around the world looking to enhance revenue baseline.
But how fast can they do this? Will they take years to reach the summit? Not anymore. Your competition is growing exponentially and doing this at a pace you cannot imagine (and probably spending fractions compared to your budget), skipping “traditional methods”. At the same time, your best product or service is showing some age, and keeping customers loyal requires effort and money beyond control.
Which are some of the buttons to push?
Most products and services are created to serve a market that managers can imagine. What if we could create products or services for the next market nobody sees coming? Hold. Look behind you. Would you have imagined 5 years ago that someone could jump from a parachute 24 miles above us and still make it to the exact landing spot? That someone creating a funny video would, in the span of weeks, reach 1.5 billion views and make a mass a fortune in the process? What about sequencing your DNA for less than U$ 100 and being able to prevent diseases that less than a decade ago could cost lives or thousands of dollars?
Technology barriers are lessening by the minute. People anywhere, at any level can now access any data 24/7. Less and less costs – bigger audiences reached. So next time you think of an idea, try to rephrase it in a manner that will impact billions, not hundreds.
We live in the era of technology, and yet we find most companies using technology to fix basic operational issues. They suffer just to implement an ERP. They have their IT departments reporting to the Admin group. Technology is getting cheaper by the day. It requires fewer experts. It is smaller and more reliable. So why not fully benefit from it?
We strongly believe technology should aim outwards and not the other way round / inwards. . This means technology should be mainly used by your customers, not your employees. If you think this way, you will have a better connection with your customers, get faster feedback and merge products or services with your organization instead of viewing them as mere outputs.
How do you manage innovation in your company? Where is your next customer based? Where is your best provider? How do you inject true innovation cycles in your organization? Simple questions, but many possible answers. We live in an interconnected world, the real and the virtual. Are you fully leveraging that to make your organization cheaper, smarter, faster, larger and resilient to unexpected local changes?
Look to your customers to get innovative ideas. Motivate and reward them to participate in your product lifecycle. Get used to sharing and collaborating. Break your rigid organization by hiring people from around the world. Don’t waste money hiring and teaching support people. Outsource those tasks using short term contracts and look for vendors anywhere in the world. Don’t be afraid, great things do not happen within company walls anymore.
We conduct globalization seminars in which we always find great stories that most people don’t tell to others. Or big questions that were already answered elsewhere but whose answers managers didn’t look for. It is necessary to raise the comfort level so your people can look behind the corporation wall. And that requires a mix of culture, processes and vibrant teams.
Powerful companies are the ones that can explain their value proposition in one short sentence. And that find ways to keep attracting customers over time. They are not the ones with the largest structure. Or the most expensive sales team. Today, through technology and smart idea-reaching strategies, you should focus on a simple idea and create value in the fastest possible way. Replace assets with technology that will help you multiply with the lowest cost. Outsource as much as you can so you can be more flexible. Focus on fewer steps in all processes in your business. Learn quickly what others do better. Cut the middle man.
At MVD Consulting we feel some of these ideas will define the next generation of successful business. We also believe advisory services are now embedded in day to day activities. The time for a great presentation and good luck wishes is over. Consulting firms need to evolve under these same four ideas. And we aim to work with you to find ways to grow business much faster.
How can we help you? This is a complex endeavor and a team effort. MVD Consulting has a “do it together” approach in which our experienced partners work in much focused teams to tackle process, organization, globalization and innovation issues. We would start with a Globalization and Innovation workshop. Then assess if your central functions are enablers of an agile company. Work with you on streamlining processes from sales to finance. Review your support structure: strategic providers, sales channel organization, global reach. And carefully draft an executable plan. We would also work together to find new business focused ways to use IT. And help you implement them. If needed, we will be able to provide interim management so you don’t lose a second looking for suitable candidates while implementing changes.
We will be glad to discuss this matter with you. Please contact Mario Tucci: firstname.lastname@example.org