I’ve been privileged to work with organisations where substantial (step) changes have had to be achieved either from a product/service offering or from a business model perspective. Therefore it has been fantastic to sit in on the Step Change Commercialisation Group and these blogs will summarise their findings and my perspectives on these findings.
Why step change?
Organisations get fat and happy looking in the rear view mirror and being naturally proud of what they have achieved. As we all know from driving a car, this rear focus is not conducive to being aware of changing market conditions ahead, the changing nature of our customer base and the opportunities that arise that market incumbents typically miss but provide the opportunity for new entrants to come in and almost overnight change the way things are. There are loads of examples and let me raise but two:
On line shopping vs bricks and mortar traditional shopping
Think back to when Dell and Amazon first came out with this business model and how rapidly we have adjusted to our concerns re credit card security/not being able to touch and feel the product (although we still utilise bricks and mortar for this and then come back on line for price).
For those of us who can remember, we were more than happy with a Motorola Analogue Phone until Nokia (a forestry/cable manufacturer) came along with digital. They had minimal idea as to what the SMS function would be utilised for and believed that the technology had levelled out, so started forming alliances with service providers that the phone could be utilised for. A computer company (Apple) used their consumer insight knowledge and competency and turned the phone market on its head with the smart phone.
I could go on with other examples but the point I’m making is that those that deliver real step change/disruptive concepts are typically not the incumbents because the incumbent has too much invested in the present offering/solution and see it as being too risky to cannibalise this and be truly disruptive in their own backyard.
Step Change deliverers turn the market upside down and make substantial impacts to their top line growth which delivers bottom line profits that enable further step changes to be funded. Too many organisations are preoccupied with incremental easy to do stuff, meeting today’s numbers without an understanding as to what’s required to be sustainable in the future. The organisations that last through the decades are those that reinvent themselves, move into different technologies/services and with different customers. They also typically understand the intangible reason as to what their customers are looking for and are prepared to put their hand in their pocket and pay a premium for, leaving their competitors to wonder why their customer research (which typically delivers the quantifiable tangible reasons for purchase) has not delivered the success it promised.
These are the issues/impediments that the Commercialisation Group are addressing (they have identified ten areas) and the first of these will be covered in my next blog Creating and Selecting Good Projects.
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