General thoughts

Designing Your Business For Perpetual Success

Given the current global economic crisis that has been sparked from a health pandemic, the notion or idea that change is the only constant has never been more apt. In fact, the changes that are occurring are so rapid it's like walking on shifting sands. It is our response to how we deal with such change that will make all the difference and determine our failure or survival. Ultimately, success is about how much we change and adapt whilst failure is about how much we resist and don’t change. This analogy is distilled succinctly in the proverb that “some build a wall whilst others build a windmill”.

Despite the seismic changes that are happening right now, on a daily basis it is not all doom and gloom. The time is ripe for innovation, transformation, reinvention and using the changes that are occurring as a fuelling mechanism. Opportunity always exists in challenging times if we are willing to look for it and explore alternatives. Organisations that fail to adequately respond to change risk becoming redundant. There are many examples of this, with some of the most well known including Blackberry, Blockbuster and Kodak.  

Disintermediation, democratisation and disruption represent three of the biggest transformative changes. Many organisations are currently ill-equipped to deal with these. This has been clearly demonstrated in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to millions of job losses and large numbers of business closures. The reality is that many of the top businesses may not survive. However, their chances of success would be greatly heightened if they started to look at how they could change what they are doing and respond differently.

To enable this to happen, I have taken the cutting-edge methodologies of business performance and enhancement found within my bestselling book 'Powered By Change', and translated them into an advanced business modelling tool that enables organisations to be designed for perpetual success. The Powered By Change (PBC) solution exists to empower companies to understand how effective they can be in adapting and responding to change, and indeed, use change as a catalyst for innovation and growth. The entire ethos is to provide a framework to design your business for perpetual success.

PBC is for companies and people in business who are going through uncertain times and, given that pressure of change, have the desire to do just that. Quite frankly, there has never been a better time to be powered by change and to utilise those changing forces to super-charge your business. The PBC solution is based on the principle of how we can use change as a fuelling mechanism rather than something to resist. This requires a framework to do this successfully.

In our perpetually transient business environment, it is widely considered (and predicted by consultants like McKinsey) that only one-third of transformational business strategies actually succeed. It can be very difficult to see accurately what is happening and how to efficiently interpret this and develop effective strategies that are executed successfully. This requires a “satellite navigation” system to undertake this effectively which is what PBC provides in the form of The Windmill Theory.

The Windmill Theory comprises four interconnected and interoperable blades, which are each composed of three sub-blades. The blades are:

  1. Purpose - is about understanding the business you are truly in and establishing deeply resonant purpose.
  2. People - is concerned with the curation of the most advantageous mindset and ensuring there is a willingness to test, learn and improve.
  3. Product - is aimed at the creation of the most powerful ideas and relevant product offerings that solve real-world problems and reflect the company’s elevated purpose.
  4. Process - is about the development of the most rapid and flexible processes and underlies every single part of the infrastructure.

For a company to optimally design the business for perpetual success, all of the windmill blades need to be operating effectively. It is possible to be succeeding in some aspects or blades whilst simultaneously being suboptimal in others. There can be significant impacts to the business and its bottom line, competitiveness and ultimately viability in instances where there is suboptimal performance.

As an example, approximately ⅔ of all employees are not engaged or actively disengaged, according to a Gallup Poll. In the US alone, lost productivity is about $350 billion per year. Whilst employees that are engaged and talented are a third-more profitable, create significantly higher customer loyalty and retention and are twice as productive. Although these figures relate to people, the engagement/disengagement conundrum is directly linked to how well the company’s purpose is specified and integrated. That is, how well employees align with, believe in and/or understand purpose. Ensuring purpose is specified and integrated throughout an organisation is vitally important and has significant strategic and commercial implications.

Likewise, if you have employees who possess both skill and will they should be either in a position of leadership or given leadership opportunities. Failure to do this will see these people turn into leavers. More than likely they will go to a competitor where they are given leadership opportunities, which has financial ramifications for the company in addition to knowledge loss. Furthermore, if there is an imbalance within the company in regard to the skill and will levels of team members this leads to productivity losses. If there is a lack of innovation, no product or a product with a poor market fit (i.e. it doesn’t solve a mess), or the product isn’t highly resonant in terms of purpose; the outcomes include lack of revenue and even potentially bankruptcy. Finally, if processes are inflexible and difficult or the effort needed to achieve something exceeds the value received this creates inefficiency which costs companies money.

The Windmill Theory and underlying principles provide a playbook to ensure that companies are established in the most optimal way to ensure they can embrace the opportunities offered when the winds of change are blowing. Whilst also assisting with ensuring the business reaps the strategic, commercial and competitive advantages of having the capabilities of purpose, people, product and process working effectively and avoiding the issues related to sub-optimal performance or one or more of these.

Change is constant. With the right tools, you can use the power of change to unlock perpetual success. The PBC Solution provides a blueprint for companies to design their business for continuous success by enabling systems to be more effective by embracing and leveraging change as an enabler to supercharge performance. This provides the fundamentals to manifest into real-time tangible benefits for your company. This type of enhancement and enablement toolkit is needed now more than ever before.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Our response to change is the difference between success and failure. We can choose to build a wall and ignore change, or build a windmill and embrace change.
  2. Even in times of immense uncertainty and change the ability to desire your business for ongoing success exists. It simply requires a willingness and an approach or process to do this.
  3. The PBC solution is really an A to Z of how a company can be enabled and improved in times of uncertainty and change.

For more information on how the PBC solution can help your business feel free to get in touch, we would love to talk with you, at:

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