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Building Transformation Capability for Competitive Advantage

The arrival of Covid-19, the delta variant, and the Omicron variant have posed major challenges to many institutions, but also created huge opportunities.  Even as I write this in the early weeks of 2022, there is a surge in Covid-19 cases globally due to the outbreak of Omicron variant.  Still, I’m observing organizations, communities, and individuals are learning to live with the virus. 

To a certain degree, acceleration in adoption of Digital processes and tools has been forced on us by the pandemic. Companies are quickly embracing many technologies to become more agile and develop new business opportunities.  In the last two years, global rapid penetration of digital technologies, cloud computing, AI/ML models, social media, data and analytics, and mobile computing has allowed new and established companies in many industries to launch new business models that are causing disruption.

The once superior operating environments are becoming legacy burdens for large established organizations as they try to capitalize on new technologies.  Product and service offerings are becoming obsolete faster and getting commoditized due to lack of strategic differentiation.

It’s time to rip up the old carpet and lay down new hard wood floors that provide the transparency and friction free environment for change.  Organizations can only sustain their competitive edge through constant innovation, operational superiority, and strategic differentiation.

Competitive Advantage = Innovation + Operational Superiority + Strategic Differentiation

Organizations conceive and execute transformation initiatives to drive innovation by setting up portfolios and programs to build superior scalable operational infrastructures. Separately, they are embarking on transforming customer-facing functions (e.g., sales, marketing, products) and back-office functions (e.g., supply chain, technology, finance) that allow for the integration and alignment of the key domains needed for transformation initiatives to succeed:

  1. Strategy: Align transformation to organization strategy and objectives to be achieved.
  2. People: Manage human capital and encourage the workforce to embrace changes.
  3. Process: Redesign current business processes and implement the new processes.
  4. Technology: Develop and integrate the ever-changing technology landscape.
  5. Structure: Assess and restructure organizational model for improved performance.
  6. Measurement: Gauge success by evaluating actual value delivered by transformation.

High-performing organizations have developed strong transformation capability.  The ability to plan and execute transformation in a holistic, structured way can elevate transformation capability to a strategic capability.  In my experience, organizations are more successful in their transformation endeavors if their transformation capability maturity is high.

Transformation capability building includes investing in domain knowledge, closing the gaps where identified and embracing an agile product approach that can incorporate changing conditions quickly and efficiently.  This capability requires talent with deep expertise in initiative planning, designing, executing, and governing.  See TALENTvision by Jeremy Overaker to learn more about how you can capitalize on the trends in attracting, acquiring and retaining the best and the brightest to guide your enterprise through the turbulent waters of change.

Organizations that can build and continuously improve their transformation capability will be the innovators of tomorrow, allowing them to differentiate and stay ahead of the competition.  Those that fail to embrace the rapidly changing consumer demographics and the global economic and trade finance trends will disappear into oblivion!

Satish Subramanian, an Executive Director at GSG, has created value for financial, health care and high-tech companies through his 30+ years of consulting leadership, practitioner, and solutioning experiences.  He leads the Transformation and Marketing practice areas, oversees clients’ strategic initiatives, mentors experienced consultants, and cultivates trusted advisory relationships.