Almost all SMEs directors agree that the companies’ digital transformation has become crucial. Reality shows however that SMEs act as rabbits in front of a truck: they freeze!
When McKinsey’s research on acceleration towards digital maturity shows a 20% reduction in the number of operations for the companies that did not manage to adapt to digitization and an increase by 40% for those that did, it’s more than obvious that choosing sides becomes the no. 1 priority.
The common mistake is not to ask when, because everybody has already understood it has to be immediately, but to say: “Quick, I need a website, a shop, we need a Facebook page, etc.”. The term “digital” can be very confusing in this transformation message. What we have to do is organize a transformation process for a new business model where technologies will bring (great) benefits. So, rethinking a new business model to meet our clients’ (they change really fast), collaborators’ (they change as fast as the clients’) and providers’ (in the end, everyone changes) needs must come first.
How to take the lead? How to remain / (re)-become the market leader? Obviously, the answer is not standard but very context-adapted. Transformation remains, however, a priority.
A new business model
The organization, management, recruitment, sales, client service, marketing, purchases, the transformation takes place both indoor and outdoor, globally but not immediately. To know how to react, the teams must be ready for Change (with a capital C) and for the unforeseen.
Innovation should also be at the heart of practices but for this to happen, we need an organization capable to quickly disseminate ideas. This is not very simple when there are so many hierarchical levels and egos running at full speed. Experiment (fast, based on little means, of a short duration) must become a way of expressing ideas. It’s the experiment results that convince people to change.
I like to say that we have to become barbarians. We must not limit ourselves to the already implemented practices as they slow up evolution. This term, “Barbarians”, must be interpreted in the good way. It’s about migrators searching for new resources as the existing system no longer allows them to “survive”. To discover new markets, innovate with new products, we need a team that knows how to change the rules of the game.
Where does strategy lie in this transformation process?
This transformation should not be seen as a simple adjustment of the organization as it has an impact on both company and strategy. In periods of great change, deploying a strategy every 5 years is rather foolish unless one is able to tell the future. However, we must offer a vision, a direction for the teams to follow: a new positioning, targeted objectives (sales figure, net margin,…) where the operational teams can have enough room for maneuver.
It is difficult for one’s strategy to integrate intangible elements such as “Reinforcing the corporate culture” or “(Re)placing people at the core of the operations”, but they are however important topics for ensuring a sustainable transformation. And where does technology lie in this process? Naturally, it will follow. Let’s not start with it!
Are you seeking to accelerate your transformation or launch a new transformation project? Feel free to contact me so we can assist you with it. As long as nothing happens, the truck is getting closer.