Business Design : simple approach for a complex world

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John Chambers, Cisco’s CEO of 20 years, says more than 40% of businesses today will not survive the next 10 years. In 2015, we are half way through and 52% of S&P 500 have disappeared.


John Chambers’ prediction may be too conservative as the momentum is ramping up.

More and more voices and experts stress the big shift era we are in, where growth model that fueled companies until the digital revolution are no longer as efficient as they use to.

Traditional Growth models can no longer sustain competition, rapid changing competitive landscape and market configuration to ensure organization future. Environmental and social challenges request new framework to foster efficiency and economic return.

But, as much as companies are aware of these challenges, as much as C-suite are taking into account these phenomena into their strategic thinking. Not much change for the day-to-day operation nor the overall organization to tackle the new imperative of switching to new models of organization.

We usually facing 3 situations where companies struggle to seize the challenges and opportunities of switching model.

Most of the time, these companies have in common a powerful and rigid organization

1. Siloed departments

2. Rigid structure

3. Enduring processes

4. Top down culture

5. Multi-year strategic plan

6. Heavy investment plan

Today’s champions show quite opposite qualities agility, opened organization, iterative investment, customer focused instead of organization focused, rapid execution, 6-month plan to name the most discriminating.

These business successes, rather than coexisting with the former, tend to eventually replace them by being more relevant to customers and employees, more efficient to adapt and innovate, less risky to execute and manage.

The creative destruction of Joseph Schumpeter has never been more obvious and quicker to unfold. The pace of destruction has never been faster.

In that context, Business consulting has to reform itself to be more relevant in assisting companies in their transformation. Consulting companies adapt their approaches and strategies to this new environment and provide quicker and more relevant strategies. But as for their clients, some struggle to shift from their legacy framework and embrace new ways of approaching business consulting.

We observed that the industry is currently moving on 3 fronts

1. Insight was considered as at best a mean to inform consultants to ground recommendations, it is now become the heart of the business consulting value proposition. The capacity of scanning what are the relevant data, analyze and draw from a mass of information the right insight to help the organization moves forward.

2. Customer first, while the tailored organization schemes were a paramount, structure and process were essential objectives of a successful consulting project. We assist to a complete turn around of the perspective, from an analytical logic to an effectual logic centered on customers and employees. The organization is now considered as a living organism where fuzzy logic is accepted.

3. Short-term planning, concrete transformative impact. Business cycle and burning challenges request to have a much more pragmatic approach to deliver impactful results.

Businesses needs to effectively transform themselves to survive and prosper. They can’t settle for fixing here and there their operating model or strategy.

This why Business Design is for. Challenging the reason why business operates, how it functions and brings to the customers and employees what they expect.

Business design is a bottom up management consulting approach. By focusing of the effect not the process, by putting at the center the customer and transform the organization to serve it better, by acting fast with lasting result in mind. By being pragmatic with test&learn method.

Business Design proves to be

By challenging the business, the market it is in, customers’ expectations Business Design address the reason why the company is operating.

Analyzing the organization, employee empowerment, and way of product is delivered, Business Design is addressing how the company operates.

Assessing what the customers perceive of the final outcome of the business activity to setting up an improvement loop between what is done for the client and what he gets, Business Design provide real outcome of the transformation.

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