The decade leading up to the pandemic witnessed the rise of platform business models. The pandemic has cemented their dominance. Large, well-funded platforms are driving massive shifts in industry structures, power and value dynamics.
Leaders at incumbent organisations now have the dual challenge of creating new businesses while simultaneously staving off never-ending attacks on existing operations, which provide cash flow and capabilities to invest in growth. No easy task!
So how do leaders navigate when the problems are known but the solutions aren't?
Many are kicking off “digital transformation” programmes. Yet simply adding a digital component to an existing business does not fundamentally transform it.
The disruptive change we are going through is more complex, ambiguous and multi-faceted.
Before kicking off any transformation initiative, leaders must be clear about intent. There’s a huge difference between an aspiration to improve and an aspiration to transform.
In the latter case, leaders need to consider the intersection of new business models, new technologies, new behaviours and new consumers. They need to reflect on what makes them meaningful, in order to create new relevance. Above all, they need to believe that the pain of transformation is less than the pain of continuing as is.
Because the biggest barrier to change is usually internal. And the more extreme the change, the more strongly it is opposed.
Design thinking offers a framework for innovation that is being applied to every industry, every size of company to tackle a range of problems.
Key ingredients needed for it to work:
- Identifying white spaces: The term white space has been used before to mean unchartered territory or an underserved market. However, it could also refer to the range of potential activities not defined or addressed by the company’s current business model; that require a different business model to exploit.
- Small, multi-disciplinary, empowered teams: Teams who can ask the right questions, bring new insights and raise the ‘elephant in the room’ which could be issues relating to major industry shifts, toxic cultures, legacy structures or systems.
- Sprints: Are a rapid yet structured approach to problem solving. It includes an explicit framework and a manageable process to reduce the uncertainty and risk of venturing into the unknown. When well-designed and well-run, they can spark creativity and innovation; foster collaboration, align stakeholders and mobilize teams around a common vision and set of priorities.
At Studio Jigsaw, we love problems that have no easy answers. We believe we can help leaders and their teams make smarter decisions, set aside limiting assumptions and bring surprising new thinking to problems.
We’ve spent time building our own proprietary Sprints and frameworks, which incorporate practices from systems thinking, design, ethnography and brand/ innovation strategy.
We partner with clients to set visions for their future offerings at the intersection of technology, brand purpose, and human behaviour. And design bespoke, actionable outputs – business models, brand identity systems, prototypes, and pilot programmes – that accelerate their transformation and path to commercial success.
We may be new. However, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king!
Let's have a conversation.