Abstract from http://www.digitaltonto.com/2017/this-is-how-your-business-will-be-disrupted/?ct=t%28How_Your_Business_Will_Be_Disrupted5_14_2017%29
The principles of running a business seem fairly straightforward. You create clear objectives, achieve them efficiently and try to get better as you go. The problem comes when you find yourself running a square-peg business in a round-hole world.
That’s why good companies fail. Not because they somehow become stupid and lazy all of a sudden, but because the world changes and they lose relevance.
We need to learn to prepare for a future we cannot yet see.
Have a mission
Every great business is guided by its mission. A clear mission determines your objectives and how you will set out to achieve them. It’s what attracts talented people to come to work for you and keeps them motivated. It’s also what allows you to coordinate the work of hundreds or even thousands of ambitious, hard driving professionals with a wide diversity of experience, expertise and outlooks.
So it’s should be no surprise that so many business gurus preach the gospel of mission. A clear mission creates stability and prevents everything from spinning wildly out of control. A strong organizational culture is, in the final analysis, simply how an enterprise honors its mission and everything else flows from that.
Honing your core competencies
To be effective, a mission needs to form the basis for making decisions. It must reflect deeply held values and values, if they are truly and honestly held, always end up costing you something. Without that, it is just a bunch of pretty words that are pinned up in conference rooms for employees to snicker at.
If you invest resources into achieving your mission over an extended period of time, you will develop core competencies that differentiate you in the marketplace. Honing these will make it difficult, if not impossible, for competitors to copy you, because competencies reflect not only choices, but a unique combination of people, process and technology.
A clear mission gives your enterprise purpose. Core competencies provide the means to compete. However, it is profits that provide the resources for you to extend success. That’s why every business strives to increase volume and widen margins. Without profits, you will be unable to invest in developing the core competencies you need to achieve your mission.
A truly great square-peg business spawns a virtuous cycle in which value creation produces profits and those profits, in turn, are used to create more value. That’s what makes a successful business model so powerful, everything is so intricately intertwined and mutually reinforcing that it almost seems like a perpetual motion machine for making money.
Unfortunately, none of this amounts to much when you find yourself competing in a round-hole world, because nobody has any use for square pegs anymore.
Moving beyond strategic planning to innovation planning
The truth is that no business model lasts forever. Changes in technology, culture and competitive landscape make the need to shift to a round-hole world inevitable. The only variable in the equation is whether you do it sooner or later. And make no mistake, it is always better to prepare than adapt. When you find yourself adapting you are already losing.
That’s why we desperately need to shift from strategic planning to innovation planning.
Strategic planning is based on prediction and there is very little we can predict anymore. Today, it’s more important to explore than predict, because it is only through exploration that we can learn to operate in a round-hole world in which square pegs have become irrelevant.
As it is explained in this book, Mapping innovation, the best way to do this is not to focus on ideas or trends, but problems. A good point to think about is that great innovators have a disciplined and systematic way of uncovering new problems to solve.
And that’s how you prepare your square-peg business for a round-hole world. You plan and manage not for stability, but for disruption. You constantly explore and learn about new technologies and approaches that can help you solve unresolved problems in the marketplace. Anything less is just counting the days to your own obsolescence.