The 2020 pandemic brought about lasting change in the business eco-system, accelerating innovation, new processes being fast tracked, the rapid implementation of new channels and new ways of connecting with customers. These in turn have set new customer expectations which include an insistence on ethical practices, convenience, and purpose.
As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau observed at Davos 2018, the pace of change has never been this fast, nor will it be this slow again. This brings both enormous opportunity and potential.1
The ability to realize the “enormous opportunity” sits with those companies who have inbuilt, inherent, flexibility. These are companies that have the ability to reconfigure organizational capabilities on the fly into new more relevant operating models in response to market shifts. Success is being defined by the ability to react, innovate, and recalibrate business models in real time.
In short, the companies that are future-ready are not held back by a structural commitment to a particular strategy, but an inbuilt flexibility towards opportunities.
Time is of the essence when tapping market opportunities. We have to be agile, to learn from the market swiftly, and see where we can add more value to customers, hence turning ‘disruption’ or ‘challenge’ into ‘opportunity’.
But what does it mean to be future-ready? Being future-ready requires a flexible operating model — an enhanced combination of multidisciplinary teams and technologies on demand that work across a broad ecosystem of partners. The goal is to deliver exceptional business and customer outcomes at scale, from anywhere, anytime.
At a basic level, it means being cost efficient and cost-effective, removing friction from customer interactions while designing for, building, and nurturing customer loyalty into the business model, and increasing flexibility and responsiveness through the adoption of agile working practices.
At a more sophisticated level, it requires orchestrating the ability to coordinate abilities, capabilities, and resources across disciplines in an efficient and productive manner, where each resource is selected for its strength and contribution to a common goal.
Without the ability to orchestrate, firms rarely realize ROI and fail to maximize the benefits of digital transformation.