There are many reasons why some businesses need transformation. Sometimes the market is moving faster than the normal pace of business evolution, sometimes a new market entrant will shift the entire playing field, and sometimes a sudden jolt is the only way to change an outdated approach to the market.
But transformation is usually difficult to achieve. It can require enormous change programmes that are as much about communication as they are focused on actually changing the business. It can also involve hiring new partners to undertake tasks because the internal team is not ready. However it happens, there is usually a shock to the established way of doing business, which is no surprise as business as usual would not be transformative.
But I saw an interesting strategic approach detailed in a recent Forbes article that takes a different approach.
We all know about how new technologies or innovations are adopted, both in the enterprise and in our daily lives. There are a few innovators who are constantly exploring new ideas. There are early adopters who are using new tools and ideas long before most people. There is the early majority that will use any new technology once it is proven. There is the late majority who require encouragement to make a change, and finally there are the laggards who struggle to adopt any new ideas.
The Forbes article suggests that you build a forward thinking corporate strategy focused on creating a culture that encourages individuals and departments inside your business to focus on innovation and early adoption.
By encouraging this type of culture and behaviour, business transformation can naturally flow, as it will be started internally within teams rather than just requiring a top down edict from the board.
This is a very interesting approach to transformation. Instead of considering the distinct steps to achieve a future state, focus on creating a culture in which new ideas can thrive and you will naturally see transformation.
I believe that this type of thinking can be applied easily to the customer experience strategy of most companies, especially now that more technological understanding and departmental coordination is necessary to deliver what the customer is expecting. We are reaching a situation where some customer expectations are far ahead of what corporate strategy teams are thinking of, yet if teams can be encouraged to think just like the customer then these ideas should bubble up from across the business rather than needing to be defined, mapped, then enforced in a formal transformation programme.
What do you think about this idea of creating transformation by encouraging an innovation culture? Leave a comment below.