The Future of Strategies: Fusion

The Future of Strategies: Fusion

This week, our Founder Ron Slee is writing about “The Future of Strategies: Fusion,” inspired by his ongoing reading and research into the methods AI might bring to our workforce.

For many of us strategy is a nice word but doesn’t really apply to us. As more time passes and technology continues to advance at a pace that seems incomprehensible, I am seriously changing my mind.

Consider if you will the following examples of disruptions in the marketplace.

Uber analyzes data on more than twenty-five billion rides. Taxi companies don’t.

Netflix tracks people’s viewing preferences by the second. Cable and TV don’t.

Airbnb tracks where, when, and how long travelers stay and what they do and prefer. Hotels don’t.

What about you?

You have telematics and sensors. You have purchase data on what your customers buy and what they don’t buy. You know at what rate your customer stops buying from you. You have customer buying habits. Frequencies and dollar values. So, what do you do with all that data? Do you have employees who analyze and report back their findings? Do you act on those findings? 

The change here is not in the equipment anymore. We have seen unbelievably rapid changes in the capital goods industries, in the machines, over the past two decades. Now, however, it is not about the machine. It is about merging all the data you own in your business with AI. By itself this is aa monumental shift. And this is only the beginning. The competitive advantage is changing. The rewards are going to businesses that have real-time analytics not those that have the most valuable physical assets. 

This is where fusion comes into play. This is what is going to change the business models we have depended on for the past fifty years. The change in the business model will accelerate strategic thinking. It will allow you to evaluate the relationships that you have with each customer. After all we are in a relationship business. My changing my mind reflects my belief that companies will either adapt and adjust to this way of thinking and achieve incredible growth in value. Of they will be left behind and, in many cases, simply disappear.

In a recent book I read, “Fusion Strategy,” they introduce a thing called “Datagraphs.”

A Datagraph captures the relationships, the links, and the interrelationships between the supplier and the consumer. They are the basic building blocks of the fusion strategy. The concept of a datagraph came from social networks and graph theory but it required Artifical Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) before it could become widely used. The datagraph gets smarter over time. It becomes better as the data becomes more widespread and better defined. This creates an advantage that I think you can see. That datagraph advantage redefines scale and scope. The very foundation of strategy.

Many of you are familiar with my belief that most people are linear thinkers. They proceed through life with a “if this is done this happens.” The world requires us to be geometric thinkers, there is more than one option in every situation. In the linear world business expanded their scale of operations by increasing sales. It was based on the company’s ability to access physical and human and financial capital. Essentially the barrier to entry into any market was financial. 

Datagraph leaders are not concerned with absolute numbers, they want details. There lies the difference. You must accept that you don’t know what you don’t know. You won’t know until you get details at every level.

This presents us with a rather clear warning. Datagraph insights allow datagraph businesses to expand and grow. It is time for our capital goods industries to recognize this and adapt.

This is the challenge of AI. We can find out many things. However, you must know what question to ask. There is the sticking point. Who knows what questions to ask? Who knows what Datagraphs you need to develop? Let’s start at the beginning.

With Datagraphs we can understand what happened. So that is the WHAT. Next, we must figure out the more puzzling question. WHY. 

This is a brief overview of what is coming to you. It is here now for many. We are confronted with the arrival of a new business model. That alone will be a rather large challenge. We are going to have to be much “smarter” in how we look at our businesses. It is no longer about improving the process and making more money. It is about serious analyses – descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive. We will be covering this more in the coming months.

The Time is Now.

Did you enjoy this blog? Read more great blog posts here.
For our course lists, please click here.