Open Innovation. The Circular Economy. The Sharing Economy. The Gig Economy. Networking. Collaborating. The Future of Work. It’s a sign of the times – businesses are gearing up for a new economy – and stemming out of this is a drive to create new, be new and deliver new, in order to survive. But when it comes to future-proofing your organisation against the symptoms of change and unexpected downturns, just how do you do that effectively if you don’t know what you’re future-proofing your business against?
Simple. You make sure you have an organisational culture that embraces change, is agile enough to think and act on its feet, and delivers against a strategy that is forward-focused and based on growth.
Here are 4 things that executive leadership teams are doing to future-proof their business, and experience long-term success.
They welcome change and nurture change-friendly business cultures
Most CEOs know that change is inevitable – but surprisingly many are simply not doing enough to prepare their organisation for what lies ahead. There is a distinctive division between those who are ready for change, those who know they should be, but don’t know how to prepare themselves, and those who simply think change will never affect them, or their businesses. Planning a strategy for something in particular is far easier than planning a strategy for an unknown – so just how are CEOs mastering that art? Instead of fearing change, they’re grabbing the opportunity by the scruff of the neck, developing their workforces to embrace, not fear, change, and becoming agile and responsive to whatever challenge rears it’s head. They are reviewing their back-office systems and moving away from clunky, hardcopy processes towards cloud-based, efficient, ready-anytime systems, they are hiring teams based on skill and talent, not on the need to fill a role, they’re developing their functions to deliver value back into the organisation as opposed to simply relying on the Business Development Teams to dictate the success, or failure, of an organisation. They are fluid, they are engaged, they are aware. They may not be anywhere further ahead than you are, but when challenge strikes, they’ll far outplay those who have not dedicated enough time to becoming change-ready.
They understand the growth lifecycle of their organisation and how their own personal strategy fits into that.
For many organsiations, they probably have a good handle on their own industry cycles – buying behaviours and habits, market demand, seasonal ups and downs. They probably also know how their technology performs against the competition, and probably have a pretty good idea in which direction their products and services will be developing. And that’s great, if you have that lifecycle mapped out. But if you don’t, then, Houston – we have a problem. Granted – it’s difficult to map out a lifecycle for a business if you don’t know what lies around the next corner – in which case, your focus should be on developing a business that successfully crosses over – regardless of connectivity and ability – and a big part of that is becoming digital. Added to this, CEO’s that are outrunning the race, understand their own value within an organisation. They have the ability to see themselves not as the father of the organisation, but as an equal value-add as every other part of the workforce. And because they can, they are able to understand their own long-term personal strategy within the framework of that organisation. They are aware of ways in which their position may change, they are aware of their strengths, and they are aware of what their leadership teams require. And within that, they build a long-term strategy that could see them exit at some point, or they build a strategy which sees develop more of a council role – whatever it is – they are thinking ahead, with the needs of their organisation at heart.
They launch new ideas to market quickly and effectively
For many executives, getting an idea to market quicker than the next person, is fundamental to owning a substantial market-share. Which means that innovation sits at the heart of every discussion, every decision and every strategy. But not innovation just to create something new – innovation that is centered around the needs of their customers. Effective innovators are people who are constantly on the lookout at new ideas, new trends, new thought-processes. Leaders instill a sense of innovation within their organisations and encourage innovation throughout every function, every level, every business division. Sitting hand-in-hand with business agility. For many organisations, however, trying to harvest innovation from within their organisation may be one of the toughest challenges they face. And that’s tough. We understand that. But it doesn’t mean they face a brick wall. By introducing some very basic cultural changes, leadership teams are transforming the way their teams think about problem-solving, and creation – and it’s demonstrating huge influences on their business strategies.
They know where and how to secure the best growth funding for their business
Failing to fund sufficiently, and at the right time, and with the right investment partner, is one of the biggest risks to business longevity. Not knowing when to invest and who to seek funding council from, could be the difference between an IPO and a P45. As the economic climate tightens its belt, and funding seems appears to slow down, getting it right first time is absolutely critical. Getting it right doesn’t mean having the best presentation, or giving the right pitch – it starts long before that. It starts with understanding whether your business, and you, are viably ready for investment. Do you have the necessary operational strength in place that gives prospective investors confidence? Do you have the right pipeline and growth plan that will see their return on investment? Do you have the right leadership team in place and a strong workforce that can sustain post-investment activity spikes? There are so many things to consider – that many who apply for funding, and fail, simply become disheartened – but not because they failed, because they simply weren’t prepared. For many who are, they know that they need to right business support and resource, that will help to propel their business forward, and connect them with the right investors, at the right time. A step further, many seek guidance from businesses, like ours, that have a track record of getting organisations ready, and successfully funded – so that they are assured of a successful outcome.
Ready to get your business ready for innovation? We’d love to help. Get in touch with us today.