I agree in principle with the analysis that BCG have done and which they conclude in what they call the Digital Imperative. They have also developed a nice animated presentation that explain it visually.
It is when I reach the end of their animation I suddenly see all five fundamental changes that a company needs to address I start to laugh and shake my head. I suddenly visualize something like a Larson cartoon where a bunch of dinosaurs are sitting in a conference listening to a presenter that shows PPT-slides which tells them to evolve into mammals.
– “A developed reproduction system known as a womb and a new and more advanced temperature regulation system is the core tricks here. We call this strategy the Mammal Imperative!”
It is very clear that all organizations that sustainable thrives in the new digital ecosystems are younger than 30 years of age and belongs to a different species. It is also clear the number of organizations that have changed and survived through disruptive business environment transformations are almost zero.
The BCG line of reasoning assumes that a single organism or system can have the ability to fundamentally redesign itself. Nature have so far for the last billion or so years taken a different path:
- every individual organism tries to utilize their inherited capabilities, use it economically and efficient in order to survive until it can breed
- change occurs between generations by the means of mutation
Isn’t it the same pattern we see in organizations as well? Organizations don’t seem to have very good capacities to change, but people are creative. When they start a new organization, their knowledge and capabilities of finding out how to create value in the current ecosystem results in that next generation of organizations have different capabilities.
I know this is a tall order to grasp. Could it really be so that my organization don’t have the capacity to change and adapt to the emerging digital world? Yes, and if we are looking at statistics so far it is even very likely so.