When I was writing this blog, one of my favourite songs from the 90s, and even still, came up on my playlist – The Future of the Future by Deep Dish, featuring Everything but the Girl. I am not sure if the lyrics
about unrequited love have much to do with rapidly changing technology and keeping pace with it, but they made me think even harder about the disruptive times we live in and how organisations can cope.
Humming along to the tune, it was obvious that while the track is timeless, one thing is for certain: technology definitely is NOT. Its shelf-life is extremely time-limited and worryingly so for managers and frontline staff alike. New technology and IT solutions are emerging every minute of every day, ad infinitum, and organisations that pay attention to these changes are more adaptable to the markets and their customers. In one word, they are successful.
Keeping up with technology, though, is only part of the equation. Ensuring your workforce integrates it into their day-to-day work is vital. This may seem obvious, but how many companies actually make continuous improvement or, better still, continuous change a priority? How many invest in training their workforce on
even the simplest change approach? In my experience, very few do. Vision is in short supply and short-termism is rife, especially when it comes to planning and allocation of resources and job and organisational design.
And yet, the revolution came yesterday, yesteryear. The ability to master continuous change is a prerequisite to compete in the marketplace. This is not simply nice to be able to do. Adaptability is crucial – with technologies, with new approaches to design and with people development, because trying to make them fit into old ways of thinking and structures simply will not cut it.
Ask yourself these questions:
- In a world where strategy and targets are constantly being redefined each day, how do you manage planning, fiscal control, and forecasting?
- How can better management of activities and operational systems provide greater control, and in some cases, eliminate costs?
- What skills does your organisation need to develop internally in order to respond to disruptive forces?
- Are they continuously improving, continuously changing?
When reflecting on your answers, consider Lloyd Parry’s 3Ts Model – Technology, Transition and
Transformation, as featured in our book Sense and Respond: The Journey to Customer Purpose. While the model does not offer precise science, it is extremely useful in gaining an appreciation of the
implementation effort needed in an IT transformation. The model will also help with those difficult conversations about effort and resourcing.
This takes 20% of the project effort.
The second T is transition. Points to consider are:
- Demand analysis
- Channel strategy
- Business requirements
- Process definition and transfer
- Service-level agreements
The project effort is equal to 30%.
The result of the new technology and the transition will simply result in business as usual, done better, but it does not have to be this way. New technologies that are brought in to transform a business can often be a catalyst for creating new products and services, and this calls for a transformation programme in order for staff to exploit the features of them. And this is where the most important T comes in.
The third T is transformation.
It should not be underestimated. It involves:
- Developing new end-to-end measurements
- Exploiting new tools and systems
- Systematically collecting and acting on intelligence data.
The project effort is 50%.
This is the element that produces the most valuable and lasting improvements to the business. The transformation will allow your organisation as a whole to continuously improve, continuously change -- in other words, to be adaptive.
"Give up on the quest for closure" is often the advice given to those on the wrong end of unrequited love. Although I am not sure whether or not I agree with this, I would say it is a pretty sound recommendation for businesses trying to keep pace with technology. There is no closure and this should not be a frightening prospect. Organisations must always be improving and adapting, because the future is always coming.
For some tips on how to make your organisation adaptive, download our free guide.
If you have any questions about the guide or would like to learn more about how we can help with your business transformation, book a free one-to-one discovery call with Stephen Parry. CLICK HERE