IDEAS to Start?
Disrupt or be disrupted.
Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). These are the factors driving the disruption of companies – startups and corporations alike. Disruption occurs as a combination of liquid societal values, hyper-competitive market, exponential technology advancement, environmental degradation, and political bureaucracy. In an era where change is constant. Technology is accelerating at an exponential pace. Consumers shift expectations like changing clothes. Organizations logarithmically are pressured to operate exponentially, emulating the growth rate of tech unicorns. Never before, organizations must continuously re-imagine what future could be possible and adapt their business model. Welcome to the fourth industrial revolution.
HOW TO WIN?
Transient competitive advantage.
There are three ways to win. Either operating as a low-cost leader, or a small niche market, or being different. Since there can only be one true low-cost winner in every market, and the niche market may be too small, the winning option is to differentiate. To differentiate, organizations must innovate in order to gain a competitive advantage. Since competitive advantage is transient, it erodes over time. Me-too brands copying hoping to replicate similar success. As technology and consumer preferences evolve, what was new will be old. What was different will become the same. What created impacted will become the status quo. Hence, the necessity to build the capacity to continuously innovate.
What is wrong with the current practices?
Design thinking, lean startup, strategic foresight, business modeling, innovation management, business strategy, and agile development. These are some well-known disciplines that create impact. However, have you ever met practitioners who claim that (insert one discipline) is the “key” to business success? If you have a hammer, you see every business problem as a nail to knock. Single-minded practitioners claim that their practicing discipline is the missing link to the organization’s success.
This is far from the truth. Every discipline provides a specific value at different stages of a business, but never all. For example, design thinking is a great front-end innovation approach to generate new solutions, but lacks the continuity to business operations. Lean startup is suitable for entrepreneurs who cannot wait to get their ideas off-the-ground and validated, but lacks the creative idea generation. Likewise, a branding guru can not solve every business problem as a brand challenge.
This is where single-lens mindset is falling short as practitioners fail to see the big picture, unable to draw connections how one discipline is connected to each other, and how they overlap in a system. After all, an organization is a system with interdependent components that impact one another when one part changes. Hence, organizations should consider all disciplines and apply their right methods according to the type and stage of the business challenge.