It does not matter which geography, vertical or business sector / segment, there is a fundamental unifying truth that business enterprises will need to understand and adapt. Business Enterprises will need to transform themselves to a completely new orientation with respect to Culture, Leadership and Strategy and become more creative with respect to both; “Mind to Market” and “Time to Market”. Those enterprises that realize and become adaptive to this reality will be market leaders in 2010 and beyond. Here is the prescribed Top 5 priorities for such transformation that should occupy the focus of attention of the business enterprise:
- Renew the leadership team of the enterprise to reflect a progressive thinking and acting mindset that de-constructs the existing business model and re-constructs to meet the challenges of a future that is interactive with its customers and consumers in the context of a converged Content, Communications and Computing environment.
- Create and / or Renew an Enterprise Architecture framework that will work as the structure for building and sustaining the enterprise of the future.
- Build global cross-functional business processes that clearly define roles and customer outcomes (both internal and external) and outlines an Operational Score Card from Operations to Customer.
- Create a Program for enhancing the capabilities prioritized against the growth goals of the enterprise through a Learning and Experiencing environment.
- Start renewing the infrastructure that supports the above and enables collaboration, secure networking and communications across the customer universe of the enterprise and facilitates real-time exchange.
I can say it with almost a degree of certainty that those enterprises that ignore the above five priorities are not setting themselves up for growth. Again, it does not matter how successful or unsuccessful you have been as an enterprise until now. It is important to forget and unlearn the buzzwords and make me look good approaches. The market is becoming very sharp and sensitive and is looking for winners who can view their business choices as an “and / or” more that “either / or” perspective. Despite the repeated revelations, business enterprises don’t seem to learn that often, it is the “senior management” that brings down the business and ruins millions of lives with their ability or inability to follow the discipline of a decision-making process. It is fundamental that every business enterprise must conduct a “Leadership Audit” through an independent source and the boards of these companies must dispassionately look at the merit and strength of the leadership to carry out the growth agenda of the enterprise.
The Transformation Agenda needs to be Cultural and Strategic with a Program Office instituted to Map, Monitor and Measure the Program for Business results. The mantra of “Unique Customer Experience at every single interaction made possible by the Best available Talent” must become an obsessive practice in the enterprise. Business Enterprises must brace themselves to this creative destruction during 2010 to see results not just at the end of 2012 or 2015 but starting progressively beginning at the end of 2010 itself. It does not matter how large or small the business enterprise might be, each one of them has this necessity including the likes of Apple, Sony, Nokia, GE, Boeing, Airbus and others who are often counted as innovative and therefore above any criticism or care for renewal.
It is my prediction that the world will a see a revival of the old-fashioned Wealth Creation as the driving force behind the successful business enterprise of the future. And that in itself will be the first antidote to many of the social evils we face today starting from Terrorism at the global level to drug and sexual abuse at the personal level. Whether this will be achieved to create a better society in 5 or 50 years will depend upon the Vision and Will of the business leaders. The financial doom that has followed since early 2008 is not a result of being not innovative; to the contrary such innovation in products has led to the destruction of wealth and societal well-being. This is needed to get innovation right. It needs to be understood from this time-tested perspective than tweaking old products and putting a marketing spin to them.
There has never been a more opportune time than this one for venture capitalists to fund young and aspiring businesses and crush the monopoly of the behemoths who have grown sloth and insensitive to the fundamental principles of business. Government must stop worrying about who is taking how much pay and start creating the framework for the governance that will institutionalize governance over greed.
People expect transformation and the young are increasingly looking for role models and credible governance. They are willing to take the risks of being the torchbearers for the generations to come. It is time that we contributed to that Social Responsibility more than just being symbolic in our attitude; whether it is carbon emissions or poverty. The world needs to be galvanized to this new renaissance and the cultures melded to co-exist and co-create a new world order.
Welcome to the next decade where we will together sow the hope for a new dawn; a dawn that is visualized and actualized exponentially better than the one we have to live in. May each one of you see 2010 as the beginning of both a personal and societal transformation.