Next time you are in the business section of your favourite bookshop, count the titles that shout out to you how digital has transformed forever how we do business. There are lots. Or pull up on-line your favourite business journal and scan the content for articles describing how digital innovation is reshaping your industry. There will be many more again.
We cannot help but realise that we live in a world of terrific change and fantastic business opportunity, with industries evolving at a pace never seen before. This is the age of digital! And this means new demands on businesses to excel in leveraging and organising their assets for competitive advantage.
How surprising it is then that despite industry transformation, the approaches used to design organisation operating models have adapted so little. Most organisations (and their hired advisors) still deploy design methods that have not fundamentally changed for a decade or more. They are distinctly pre-digital.
Demand a new approach.
For three key reasons:
Need for speed.
Businesses are subject to increasing pressure to respond to market opportunities at pace. No longer can they afford to spend many months designing how to organise capabilities, pause to consider recommendations, then go back and do expensive rework before finally mobilising. Being able to move at speed, seize competitive advantage and access benefits quickly are now fundamental requirements.
Need for adaption.
In today’s world of many new possibilities, things are rarely clear and complexity is high. Experimentation is needed to shape possible answers and refine solutions through fast cycles of testing and learning. Organisations also now need to reconfigure on an on-going basis, not just periodically. This means that the traditional linear (step by step) approach to solution design needs to evolve to a far more dynamic, iterative and continuous design cycle approach.
Need for engagement.
Today’s organisations leverage the capabilities of networks and ecosystems and success is highly dependant on solid engagement of widespread stakeholders. Their involvement throughout the design process is critical to building the very best solutions and achieving commitment to implementation. Innovative ways of demonstrating solutions are also fundamental to achieving common understanding of future operations and setting momentum for change.
A different approach.
Building Better Organisations approaches design differently. Our approach is faster, it produces a more robust design and enables earlier realisation of benefits.
Five critical features that make the difference:
1. Concurrent design.
We take a total architecture approach to the design of solutions. This means that capabilities, organisation structures and delivery processes are defined and configured in unison, rather than in separate streams of design activity that are later brought together. This ensures that all the parts of the target operating model work together as they should do, in a fully integrated way. And because this approach is taken right from the start, potential costly rework is avoided as issues and design problems are surfaced and resolved early.
The approach we take is highly iterative. Rather than design a solution in its entirety before testing with expert stakeholders, design and testing cycles are frequent (even daily). We always work together with our clients as one project team in order to pool our expertise to come to the very best solutions. This collaborative way of designing is essential to stakeholders owning the solution, which is fundamental to successful implementation. Early on, we identify the most critical areas of the design and focus depth of attention to ensure these cornerstones of the solution work flawlessly.
Throughout the design approach proposed solutions are tested in workshops. The aim is to refine the design to no more than an 80% complete stage before broader scenario testing in a larger scale collaborative event involving senior leaders and key experts. These events are deeply immersive in the key issues and challenging of the status quo. Critically they generate innovation, accelerate stakeholder alignment and commitment to implementation.
We complete final design together with the team that will deliver the solution. Focused on key scenarios, this final tune-up deploys rapid cycles of detailed improvement to make sure everything works as it should in practice. This approach greatly accelerates sustainable implementation because it irons out any potential operational issues and, at the same time, builds new skills and behaviours. Often achieved in a controlled live environment, it also negates the need for piloting, which enables benefits to be achieved far earlier.
Achieving a common understanding of how solutions will work in practice is essential to mobilising the business as ‘one team’. This is why we build dynamic visual models of target designs, enabling stakeholders to explore how it delivers the most important business scenarios. For example this can include the use of engaging interactive graphics on digital devices to enable navigation and exploration of key processes and scenarios.
Unlock the potential of digital! Demand a better approach by design.