2 – An organisational transformation model
Welcome to the second post in the Biz 4.0 series. In the previous post, I set the scene in respect of how the world is changing and how we need to raise / transform our game to stay in play. In this post I am going to outline the Biz 4.0 organisational transformation model, which I use to support my clients’ transition from their industrial era model to one optimised for the volatility and uncertainty of the digital age. The model has been pressure tested across the world and many business leaders have been exposed to it and kicked the tyres so to speak over the last few years.
More than digitisation
As you will recall from my earlier post, digital transformation, or more accurately organisational transformation, is not simply an IT, or digitisation exercise, but a complete overhaul of the business in terms of the role of people, the attitude to risk, harnessing data and the ramp up in innovation velocity. That said, it is not a ‘drains up’ exercise that will threaten your existing cash flows and foment unrest amongst your people. But we will address that in a later post.
And it is great news if you are talented and great news if the term artistry might be applied to your work.
The 3 tenets
The Biz 4.0 model is underpinned by three tenets:
- Smart organisations focus on growing assets, rather than making profits.
- Humans have certain anthropological drivers. Smart organisations recognise that to fully engage their people at work, they need to meet cater for these drivers.
- The most successful business model of all time is that of the tribe. Modern day humans are still wired to be tribal. Smart organisations will harness this innate ability to create organisations that are adaptable to whatever is macroeconomically thrown at them.
Each of these tenets has a set of associated elements that need to be implemented for organisational success. Anthropology lies at the core of the Biz 4.0 model.
The elements associated with asset growth are called Value Creators (VC). The elements that make up our human drivers are called Anthro Drivers (AD). The elements associated with being more tribal are called Success Factors (SF). There are 19 in total.
We will explore these in more detail in subsequent posts.
Customers are overrated
On the face of it, the Biz 4.0 model might seem a little inward looking. Shouldn’t there be a tenet focused on the customer? My view is that customers are overrated. The inordinate focus on the customer experience often comes at a price in respect of the attention given to those that provide that experience. I believe that if you focus on creating a great workplace that enables great people to do great work together, the customers will flock to your organisation. I am advocating that the priority needs to be your people and then the customer. Much in the same way as the airline recommending that in the event of a drop in cabin pressure, you should fix on your own breathing mask before doing so for your children. This is not an act of selfishness, merely a recognition that their health depends on your health and so your health must come first.
Much of the ‘digital work’ that I am witnessing today boils down to superficial attempts at making the customer happier using new technology. Mobile-responsive website and apps come to mind. Some overlay their existing data architecture with software that provides a joined-up view of the customer journey. That’s great, but only if it is underpinned by a culture that turns efficiently turns cognitive capacity into your differentiating customer experiences that command a high margin / volume. Beautiful apps and omni-channel experiences fuelled by ho-hum offerings can not be considered a transformation. There may be some cost efficiency gains that might help the organisation give the pretence of being profitable, when in fact it is in a tailspin.
It’s about talent..
If your business is going to be robust enough to survive the challenging conditions of the digital age, you will need to ensure your talent management endeavours reflect an understanding of:
- What constitutes post-industrial age talent.
- What will cause it to join your organisation.
- What will cause it to stay.
- What it needs to create and deliver jaw-dropping products, services and experiences.
- Think in terms of a people-driven innovation engine.
The aforementioned AD elements of the Biz 4.0 model provide the answer.
We need to build processes that ensure that we understand what is happening in our markets and in turn adapt with the changes that occur. Our ability to pick up on weak signals will increasingly be correlated to our survivability. The SF elements of the Biz 4.0 model provide the answer.
The question we all need to ask ourselves each day at work is to what extent is the activity we are working on either creating, maintaining or growing an asset. Because if your role does not involve some form of asset management then there is a question mark over the value you bring to your organisation. Such assets include:
- Intellectual property.
This is not an exhaustive list. When we explore the VC elements in a subsequent post we will also discover the importance of Data Capital.
Pull up the floorboards?
The Biz 4.0 model is designed to ensure minimal disruption to your existing business model. Traditional approaches to transformation promise a bright future, but can only guarantee disruption to cash flows and unsettled staff. Later, you will learn about the importance of running a polymodal business model.
Digital age organisations do not see innovation as a department. That would be to suggest the rest of the business is devoid of creative thought and thus in some capacity neutrally damaged. People are inherently creative if the right conditions are cultivated. This abundant cognitive capacity can be converted into great value through the creation of an Innovation Engine (IE). The Biz 4.0 model provides guidance on the structures, technology and processes need to set this up.
This post provides an overview of the Biz 4.0 model and subsequent posts in this series will provide more detail. You might ask why Biz 4.0, and not Biz 2.0. Is this to ride the popularity of the term Industry 4.0? For me the 4 represents the 4th major business model of all time. The previous three being:
- Tribal hunter-gatherer.
What we are witnessing is much more profound than so called Industry 4.0. The digital age represents not just another economic step change, but possibly an anthropological one too. Increasing augmentation, through new technology and increasingly biology, will redefine what it means to be both talented, from an employment perspective, and a consumer. This is having profound implications on the nature of employment and careers. We need to create workplaces that facilitate the convergence of artistry and technology. The future awaits.