How to keep performing while transforming?

How do you keep performing while transforming? Why do businesses succeed in their transformation?

Olivier Van Duüren, Founder of The Dualarity, observed that those that find the balance between performing and transforming were able to do 3 things extremely well:

  • SEE the trends (Digital, Consumer, Demographics, IR4.0, Future of Work) around them and determine its implications.
  • RESPOND to those trends with the right principles and strategies to build future proof organizations by putting the Customer @ the heart, value People as the soul and drive digital as the Oxygen of the organization.
  • Find BALANCE between PERFORMING = operational excellence = profit and customer of TODAY and TRANSFORMING = innovation excellence = profit and customer of TOMORROW.

In this age of change, you have to test, you can either win or learn, but one of the most fundamental principles is:

'If you want to transform others, start by transforming yourself'

Those that sparkle find the balance between performing and transforming. Performing in the short-term and transforming on the long-term. To better understand how it looks like, we can focus on the Energizing and Seeing map. Every quarter has its behavior and risks.

  • Mature: they see a lot and have high energy. These are high performing companies, often with operational excellence. They have a digital strategy, maybe it isn’t fully embraced but they have digital as one of their pillars in the company. One of the risks in performing companies is compliance and see: why would we change if everything is going well?
  • Healthy: They haven’t seen everything maybe because of age of experience or they are willing not to see everything because nowadays with all the changes that are happening so fast, they can’t see everything. So they are willing to take risks, startups and entrepreneurs are in there. There are also traditional companies that will have divisions that will do transformational things. So the healthy quadrant, are the transformation people and businesses.
  • Injured: These are people or businesses that have seen a lot but are tired. They don’t know why they exist, they probably have leadership for the past, not for the future. They are “no but however” people, they understand digital as important but they don’t know how to deal with it, they don’t have a right purpose.
  • Scared: They don’t see anything, they don’t have the right energy, principles and strategies. They might lose customers, shareholders, your talent, and even in the long term, they may be disrupting their selves and bankrupt. So they have to sell parts of their business.

Perform and Transform

Performing is basically delivering on your commitments, what people expect you to do. Transforming, however, is believing in your future. People, employees, shareholders and stakeholders will join you if they believe in your future, if they believe you can transform yourself.

To succeed in transformation, you have to do three things:

  • Put the customer at the heart: what do I need to have a frictionless experience? Don’t think about customers, think like them. How do I remove the friction in the experience when they buy my products or my services? How do I even move from satisfied customers to fans? Because in the sense, a satisfied customer just says he is not dissatisfied, a fan is loyal. If you add real-time insights, analytics and predictive modeling, many customers would argue if you know so much about me, surprise me.
  • Value people as the soul: it is about culture, having an open mindset, not a fixed mindset. It’s about having a millennial mindset, dynamic hierarchies, the agility, the creativity to get away the traditional way you are operating and mix those the performance and transformation in the best way.
  • Drive digital as the oxygen: build connected systems of intelligence where the leadership has to set the conditions to succeed. You can innovate in the business models and business processes to support your strategy. But those three will only succeed if you have a clear why: the purpose of your transformation, the purpose of your company and what the ambition of your company is.

Having a purpose is very crucial. If you want to succeed, you have to see in sense around you, energize and response to it. Then you will find the balance between performing and transforming.

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