Driving Change and Transformation in 2023

Driving Change and Transformation in 2023

For our Coaches’ Corner, Ron Slee returns to his favorite role – Coach – with “Driving Change and Transformation in 2023.”

We have seen a lot of change over the past thirty-six months. From January 2020 as the starting point the world has seen remarkable, generational, challenges. The Pandemic. Virtual Learning. Supply Change Disruptions. Wars. And much more. It really does cause a serious reflection and review of everything that we had become accustomed to in our lives.

It is really hard to put in into any kind of perspective. What is the comparison point? And now we are in another period of uncertainty. Recession or not? The consensus is predicting a recession in 2023. How do you plan for that? In the past we have become turtles We pull our head into the shell and hope everything is ok when we reappear. I don’t think that, by itself, it is a very good strategy at all. 

In the midst of this we are all going through the usual planning for the coming year. Imagine that? With all this uncertainty we are making plans. It reminds me of an old expression “Life is what happens when you are planning other things.”  I think that is even more pertinent now.

I was reading a study put out by a very large consulting company recently. They were addressing professional service leaders and what they were looking at in 2023 and beyond. This is the consulting worldview. They were pointing at a series of things.

  • Setting Sights on Growth
  • Taking on Efficiency Drivers
  • Viewing Risk in a New Light
  • Fueling Digital Transformation Progress

Setting Sights on Growth.

This is an interesting area to consider at this point in time. GDP growth is under serious challenge in the developed world. The US, Canada and Mexico are dependent, to a very large degree, on consumer spending. The recent numbers show that consumer spending, excepting the upper 5% demographic, will be constrained. European growth with the challenges of fuel as a result of the Russia/Ukraine conflict and dependence on Russian fossil fuels will be seriously impacted. What the professional service companies are focused on is rather interesting

  • Increasing Sustainability in products and services
  • Improving brand recognition and reputation
  • Increasing sales to existing customers
  • Introducing new products or services
  • Expanding to new market segments

With the spending forecasts so gloomy I suppose we have to find work somehow. Right?

Taking On Efficiency Drivers

From my perspective this is something that should be a constant. But it isn’t. We were so caught up in our sales growth and profit growth that we just sat on our hands. Total Quality Management from the Deming days is not a generational activity. It should be constant. We lost sight of the fact that Kaizen means daily improvements. Not occasional. When it suits us.

  • What are your top priorities for improving efficiency?
  • Which operational process are sustainable
  • Allow employees to choose their preferred work environment
  • Increase automation in processes
  • Increase emphasis on supplier and partner networks

Is there anything that you see on that list that should not be a part of each years’ activities?

Viewing Risk Differently

This is a different time. This is not the risk of a new competitor or a new product. No, it is much more serious than that. Isn’t it? Cybersecurity. Data security in the cloud. Payment processes being hacked. There are a lot of risks out there now that didn’t exist ten years ago.

What are your top three priorities to reduce risk?

  • Protect against cybersecurity
  • Avoid damages to your brand reputation
  • Prevent internal talent shortages
  • Strengthen supply chain reliability
  • Reduce reliance on scarce resources

Further as very high-level items

  • Watch economic stagnation
  • Employment and Livelihood crises
  • Climate Change
  • Natural Resource Shortages

Sounding more like consultants here, aren’t they?

Digital Transformation

Finally, we get to digital transformation. The real elephant in the room. The world of today and tomorrow is driven by data analytics. Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Cloud Computing are going to change everything that we currently think we know. Facts will drive us into the future with powerful computing leading the way. We have to make some serious determinations to go into this world without too much danger and damage. Market Coverage. Predictive Analytics based on purchasing patterns. We need to be alert more than ever before. 

  • Which technologies are critical for improvement
  • Which processes need the mot upgrading
  • How do we ensure employee collaborating
  • How important is cloud computing to us
  • Can we automate business intelligence dashboards
  • Improve business process intelligence
  • What new applications are necessary

The key takeaway from surveys of mid-sized and large businesses is that innovation will be the most critical item for them.

I would submit to you that this list is one that we could use every year. We have relaxed too much in the past forty years. We have been sitting in a rocking chair enjoying our successes. Not everyone has realized that that chapter is over. Those predictable patterns are now dead and being replaced as we speak. The businesses that can adapt to this NEXT reality will be the only ones left standing this time around. Will you be one of them?

The Time is Now.

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