THE FUTURE A Short Guide to Getting There in One Piece
Ready for A Digital Future
Operations are under real pressure to make their services digital – both quickly and at scale. They have to do this to meet customer expectations and take advantage of the revenue channels. Operations will succeed by understanding what matters – creating processes to get insight out of the information/data. Once they have that insight, they can turn them into plans – through analytics and creativity. (Strategies)
The entire operation becomes involved at that point – cultures will change. Some will struggle and others thrive. Although this gets called innovation. In fact, it’s really the fundamental rhythm and routine.
What was called agile will soon become ‘composable’ – an intelligent operation. Reinvention. Digital micro-capabilities composed as needed – made up of existing applications – using APIs, rather than building anything from scratch.
This is the battleground now. Perpetual Reinvention.
Cracking the Code Of Perpetual Reinvention
Strategy – Now there’s a word that’s been doing damage – and for decades. A whole lot of nonsense built up around it – much of it designed to defend innumerable charlatans. Their camouflage is a set of opaque methods and models built to over-complicate the aim of it. Perpetual reinvention demands adaptive strategies and leadership mindsets that know how to bypass all this and every prior definition of strategy.
Interconnection – One objective of the strategy is to optimize the achievement of objectives and minimize chances for competitors. In every respect strategy must define the best path between ’where we are’ and ’where we want to be’. Too often the idea of strategy has been dislocated from the operation and therefore the system it is intended to guide. Now that degree of intelligently shifting connectivity has to be constant and continuous. Perpetual reinvention demands wholesale interdependence across the system as it moves inexorability to an uncertain future. Everything talks to everything else.
Ownership – I prefer to think of a strategy in terms of blueprints and an agenda built on principles developed by the team that needs to deliver it. I’ve witnessed what happens when a business outsources the task of ‘making strategy’. It’s like watching a highway traffic accident. Everyone backs away in horror and shock. Fixed plans with the impression that they aren’t. Words like agile to propose that the system reconfigures itself in the way that we know it won’t. The workforce bewildered and immune from successive and very familiar/similar attempts. Perpetual reinvention is only possible through ownership – accountability, responsibility, and deep intimacy of what matters and how it works.
Creativity – In its real form – the application of imagination and action – not a job title. Creativity applied to the situation as it appears – making the new connections as required – closing gaps between the flows required in the system – doing the constant correction. Dangerous though it is to believe that marketing is in some way disconnected from manufacturing, communication isn’t distinct from the leadership of the business either. And so it goes for every function of every individual, so-called department, system and every business process. Perpetual reinvention demands creativity from everyone – this is ingenuity at scale – the intersection of ideation, innovation and creativity – always on. Every connection and every interconnection shifting like sand – 24×7.
Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising.’” – Jef I. Richards
To me creativity is the most important of all human capabilities – the capacity to solve. I believe it to be undeniable for any human – creativity is at the core of everything. We are all born with it, yet the majority of people I meet tell me they aren’t creative. As a species, it is our salvation.