I have been struggling with a fair amount on a repositioning within my business offering. I think firstly, that innovation has become digital innovation and that is one space I need to keep going towards. Not only in understanding all of the implications of this shift but in my own capability building, to deliver more support to this significant change we are undergoing, through so much technology connecting up all of the innovation “pieces,” from insight triggering, to final delivery of the finished design.
The other focus area is continuing to extend out my approach and understanding of the growing importance of platforms and ecosystems within a business. They form the future approach to build a thriving and sustainable business.
My questions recently have been where is my fit in this thinking or supporting platforms and ecosystems, beyond what I am presently doing?
The visual shown above is attempting to frame this for me. There are four critical aspects of platforms and ecosystems that need to be shaped. Let me explain:
Focal Point One: The first is the powerful one of “orchestrating”.
We need to integrate and sync so many transaction and stand-alone systems that have been allowed to proliferate over the years to meet specific business needs. We need to draw them into an integrated system of innovation design.
I loved this comparison, provided by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation. They took orchestration and compared it to an Orchestrator design we know for organizing our Musical sections
They commented “Orchestras are normally comprised of four sections: 1) strings (such as violins and cellos); 2) brass (such as French horns, trombones, and trumpets); 3) woodwinds (such as clarinets, bassoons, and oboes); and 4) percussion (such as the timpani and xylophone).”
Then they made this distinction In the Digital Orchestra framework, “these sections correspond to four groupings of operating-model elements that must be orchestrated to execute the company’s digital business transformation. Within each section are “instruments” that must join forces seamlessly. Many organizations with which we have worked blame abortive transformation attempts on “siloed” initiatives across the company’s operating model – projects either not aligned to a unified strategic direction, or one that duplicates other efforts and does not align”.
Platform toolkits are one essential place to start any redesign
Today we have two really great Platform Business model canvases on offer that do really help all organizations begin to work through their platform journey
We have Simone Cicero and his team under the Platform Design Toolkit where you can download the toolkit and learn about his methodology. Simone is on a real odyssey in pursuit of platform and ecosystem understanding.
The other is Matthias Walter and his team in their offering of the Platform Innovation Kit. Again you can download his toolkit and user guides. Matthias recently left T-Systems to focus exclusively on the Platform Innovation Kit and has linked up with @Factor10, as their Head of Platform Innovation. This evolution, firstly by Matthias giving this toolkit 100% of his focus and his joining up with @Factor10 makes a very significant and positive shift in the Platform Business model canvas market. This new force is out to “build robust, successful digital ventures and platforms while limiting investment risk”.
So where do I fit when you have two really good practitioners and their teams working on platform business models? When executing any digital transformation, be it adapting to new technology, shifting from closed to open, more collaborative models, there is this much broader need to relate, evaluate and assess options. Companies need to answer many complex key questions about how to change every aspect of their business.
I think the platforms canvas toolkits offer some of the mechanism by which transformation takes place but it needs a broader orchestration and this is where I feel a better fit. You need to deal across an entire operating model and these need that asset management orchestration. That is my space I feel
Focal Point Two: Dynamic Capability Building
I’ve been chasing “dynamics” or it chasing me for years. I have always been convinced that we need a more dynamic innovation environment. I have a dedicated posting site on this, one that is based on innovation fitness dynamics
That has become my reference site and work-in-progress on capability building. I regret I was never able to translate this into a working business model, yet for me it builds out our the need of making our capabilities more dynamic by giving them a higher level of focus. I designed a nine-step process or journey we need to go on to understand the building of capabilities. This applies to any digital transformation journey as well.
On any transforming journey the following thought are based far more on agility
- How can we map a new pathway for shifting current practices so as to transform them?
- How can we bring increased agility into our work, that requires both stable and dynamic moments to deliver better outcomes?
- Where do we focus, what do we recognize as organizational practices, that can begin to transform the organization and re-equip it for a different future?
It is building your resource capital for these changing times makes the dynamic capability building do central to Asset Management for Ecosystems and Platforms. We need to build them in radically different “modes of operation” and thinking, to leverage the new Business Model designs.
Focal Point Three: Organizational Design and Evolution
I have a “sister” company structured to be more forward-looking in its offering; HOCA International where the emphasis is placed on work-to-be-done as well as the focus on the intangibles we need to recognize provide significant contributions for future connection and value-relating.
The broad aims of this focus on organization design and evolution are
- We look at the Roots of an Organizations Values, what needs to change
- We look to accelerate the interactions needed in a growing networked economy
- We seek to build value into those networks and relationships in novel and emerging practice ways, that can contribute into new designs and opportunities
- We look to build Enterprise Capabilities that places Innovation and Knowledge as the new beating heart of your organization’s transformation
From this work, we look to change perceptions and provide different more impactful outcomes
- We aim to deliver impact for future competitive performance as the result
- We provide solutions to the new Work-to-be-done in organizations
- The future of work is through exploiting the systems of engagement
- We align the work to the critical imperative of Innovation
- Building progressively knowledge attainment and translation for new growth, future wealth, and prosperity.
It is this really exciting focus on the Work-to-be-done as connecting to the emerging areas of Organizational need being faced, in today’s rapidly changing markets and diminishing resources they have available. How can you “open” these us?
We require Adaptive Organizations to deal with increasing complexity in today’s world, The Adaptive Organization requires nurturing, not directing. Today and in the future, the growing value of our connections within our networks are where knowledge will be ‘freely’ exchanged and the understanding will be translated into new value. It is this really important need is to account for and leverage the growing “Network Effects” for Asset Management to be realized and that will come from your Ecosystem designs.
Focal Point Four: Emerging and New Business Model Design
The really exciting prospects of embracing the platform and ecosystem thinking as you open yourself up to so many new possibilities provide multiple new business model design.
Today, the complexity of product design, building integrated service models, aligning the customer from their need to delivery of that need needs very different thinking. It needs radically redesigning processes, structures, people into more collaborative environments where you go way beyond the confines of one organization, you work alongside others who share in new business model designs as collectively they can all achieve a better value than going it alone. The eventual outcome becomes increasingly the “lockout” for others to effectively compete against.
Presently we are in that period that organizations are sensing a “winner takes all” from this participation in platforms. This is often not the case but it does favor the incumbent, in the more you design a unique ecosystem of partners and collaborators and how you bring the customer into its center, the more you build a powerful business model. Through good platform and ecosystem partnering you can build defensible positions that have economies of scale, scope and depth of expertise that can raise barriers of entry for others. Ecosystem engagement and design is becoming a critical factor in the new business designs.
Today, we are under a lot of pressure. This comes from customers expecting more connected solutions and the growing competition of the rise of many insurgents, keen to knock your business model down. They do not have legacy to content with, they are more digitally savvy, lean in operation and work on designing new business models on a very iterative process of a pilot, experiment and extend out from their learning. They do this in fast and very disruptive ways to your business model and are far more reliant on others to provide parts of the final solution. They are more atuned to the network effect and leverage this accordingly. They are constantly accessing hardware, software and tools to develop and expolore new ideas and concepts to explore the potential for a new business model By the time you, the incumbant business react, they have most likely already moved on and improved their business model even further. They are highly adaptive and agile and are disrupting many of the established business leaders by their awareness of the value of technology and open connectivity and what it does bring.
The emphasis today is about a constant evolution of the business model. It is not static anymore, it is in constant change. This thinking is driven by a need for new products and services and building solutions that offer new connected experiences and value. If you do not see this, then in my view your customers will continue to turn away from discrete, disconnected products and services increasingly.
Unless there is this recognition of this ‘power of the connected, highly collaborative world’ available to us now, to build new, more exciting innovation business model solutions then your assets get continually undermined, eroded and not being responsive, leads to business decay and customer abandonment at alarming rates when they can see the connecting alternative offered by others emerging. We all need to change the dynamics within Industry and our Business Designs
We all need to re-design. We have to respond.
My shift has been taking place, now it needs to accelerate.
Shaping and introducing new innovation ecosystems is not easy but it has enormous potential to transform competition and deliver on this ‘seamless experience’ that will be valued and recognized for its unique set of offerings. It can become the unique competitive positioning due to this connected ecosystem of collaborators, it offers the advantage to all engaged in its potential as it has diversity, dynamics, differentiation and distinctiveness in its design and delivery.
We require this understanding of structuring, constructing, bundling and leveraging, all those assets needed in a world increasingly recognizing the platform and ecosystem adoption is essential, not just to survive but to thrive. The need is to bring these together and the space I see needs external help to help in any transition.