Open Season On The Status Quo

 In Executive Strategy, Global Trends, Innovation, Musings, Uncategorized

The pace of change is daunting! Organizations are moving forward with anxious uncertainty. Transformations of all types are necessary: digital, business model, new products …etc.  Our list of priorities is growing faster than we can execute.

A Few Stats and Questions:

67% of Global CEO’s  plan to leverage new technologies to develop new relationships with customers….Innovation drives growth.” according to recent PWC survey

“U.S. CEOs plan to connect with new and existing customers by developing new offerings.  63% said they plan to launch a new product or service in the next 12 months, compared with 56% of CEOs globally.”  

The challenge? Current priorities are taking precedence over new initiatives.Let’s look at a key assumption potentially stalling efforts; and unwittingly stuck in the Status Quo.   

MIT article, Digital Transformation After The Pandemic

  • Assumption: It’s prudent to be a “fast follower.” Reality: Evaluating others’ innovation efforts before taking action on your own wasn’t an option during COVID-19, and isn’t a good idea going forward. Companies operating from this playbook during COVID-19 were more likely to lag behind competitors and miss opportunities, putting them at higher risk for business closures.

What other assumptions are potentially holding back?  One example we hear often is: “our customers love and will not leave us” assumption! Your customers like your products and are currently happy.  This may be true current today! However, what are they planning for in the future? Are your products and your company in their future plans? How will their changes impact the changes you should be focused on today to prepare for tomorrow? Are they under review with other companies to explore scenarios for their own future health? 

Write down 3 other assumptions you feel your organization is making.  Unraveling assumptions is one of the building blocks to creating new strategies. Action is critical.  

Maybe you feel “change fatigue”. Maybe you are tired of the buzzwords; innovation, digital transformation, entrepreneurship… etc.  Good then don’t use them in your planning! Instead of innovation use ingenious creations, instead of transformation consider evolution or we are going through a metamorphosis. Use motivating and inspiring language to incite creativity, curiosity and imagination; the cornerstone pillars taking aim at the status quo. 

Here are 5 additional steps you can take:

  1. Assess Fully Your Current State- what is your current organizations mindset, your cultural foundation, your current vision & mission? Inventory your current assets? Where is your data, what value does your data possibly have? What other unrealized assets exist in your organization? What are your organizations knowledge and technical competencies? 
  2. Get future focused in new ways today.  Scenario planning can be a strategic tool for this effort. Future focused planning is one that puts your most creative and innovative minds at work in the organization.  Taking into account key trends in technology and new innovations that are possible, how customers may act in the future, what our desires may be in the future… it’s a visioning exercise like no other. For example (and an exercise) take space travel + human powered wearable tech+living robots (hybrid robot using stem cells): what could you imagine as a possible scenario in combining these innovations?  How might these impact your company? Sound crazy? It’s not at all.  Creating the future today will help you drive the changes and shift organizational culture to be ready for what is to come.
  3. Engage Engage Engage In Very New Ways– with your current customers, with your employees, with potential customers and outside thinkers.  Explore deeply collaborative creating, more engaging partnerships, critical thinking around the most challenging needs of the world today and how these changing needs may impact everyone. Food supply shortages, energy shortages due to natural  disasters, water wastage, ending our plastic addiction.  And on the desire side, explore together peoples desire for control in their lives, providing safety from natural disaster, from fraudulent activities, from identity safety…etc.  These are real. Consider how Amazon, Google, Facebook, Uber+,  leadership may be talking about these areas.
  4. Re-Vision Your Vision & Mission – it’s a great time to re-evaluate who you want to be in the future. After initiating the first 3 steps then take some time to reshape your sights of the future.
  5. Act In Tandem: This is not a “stop everything” you are currently doing and wait to reassess!  Work with partners, outside in supports to work in tandem with your team. You can stay focused on day to day by leveraging experienced organizations to help you. 

Plazabridge Group has worked for 15 years helping companies invent new products, create new business models, as well as, stealthy scouting for new investments, acquisition targets and new technology partners. We build ecosystems that drive growth. Here are a few tools we’ve developed along the way that may help you in your efforts:

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