March 21, 2023


In this era of pervasive and persistent transformation in the landscape of business competition, business executives must develop frameworks, not just for building strategies to deal with identifiable “piecemeal” competitive situations but for enhancing the capacity of their organizations to deal with significantly compressed change cycles in virtually every business function.

From talent management to business strategy, many fundamental assumptions supporting the growth of national and multinational enterprises have fallen to new realities. These new realities are marked by the increasing commoditization of products and services, the complexity of incoming management data, increased international competition, disruptive technologies, and disruptive new business designs.

Here are a few strategies for dealing with the increasing change and complexity in a way that systematically generates breakthroughs for your organization.

1. Uncertainty Management

Historically, Business Days have had an adversarial relationship with risk and uncertainty. However, that is no longer an option in today’s hyper-competitive business environment. Companies that make uncertainty management an organizational competency can better adjust to new trends and exploit emerging opportunities.

Some dimensions in uncertainty management include flexible (opposable) mind thinking and training, incorporating future management and scenario planning and implementing human resources frameworks that incorporate the principles of the learning organization, design thinking (with visual communication training), and communication training for rapid execution.

2. Profitability Scanning And Tracking

One of the core strategic competencies for a new world of business competition is that leaders learn how to observe the migration of profitability in their business and in markets outside their business. By continuous scanning, leaders can develop what some consultants have termed “strategic foresight.”

You should know (through continuous communication) what the silent priorities of your customers are. You should know when those priorities shift due to demographic, technological, cultural, or regulatory changes. It would help if you were prepared to develop business model innovation and change management as a core competency of your highest leadership team.

3. Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean strategy is a strategic framework for developing an entirely new market space in which you are the only provider for the market you have defined. Blue Ocean companies include Cirque Du Soleil, Gillette, and Casella wines (makers of Yellow Tail).

The foundational concept of the blue ocean strategy is value innovation – simultaneously achieving differentiation and low cost by clearly identifying factors of customer loyalty and designing your business around them so that both seemingly conflicting strategic aims are achieved.

4. Build An Execution Culture

An organizational culture of execution is best achieved by installing a system of constant, consistent, and rigorous communication around strategic, operational, and administrative assumptions, goal-setting, decision-making, and accountability.

A culture designed to execute has many mechanisms for determining the realities of the business. In these contexts, people develop an “obsession with knowing and communicating reality” that enables faster and more profitable action-taking.

5. Enable an Adaptive Organization

The mentality of the expert could be better for adaptability. People must be trained explicitly with the flexibility of expertise and practice in mind. It must be embedded in the culture that your organization is willing (and able) to follow the customers wherever they go and however they evolve.

An adaptive organization also must have an execution culture as a prerequisite. It must have a robust learning organization where leaders are trained to generate multiple futures in their scenario planning and solve problems with the creativity and empathy of designers.

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