Power of small and continuous improvements

Power of small and continuous improvements is much higher than a sudden, surgical transformation. It is natural. It is sustainable. Any ill effect can be rectified quickly. Reversal is cheaper. Starting all over isn’t much difficult. When allowed and practiced over a period of time, resulting transformation seems magical.

Be it improving your walking pace, writing speed, workouts, team meeting effectiveness, line precision, anything that routinely matters can be transformed to its best performance level. Identify those small and regular activities that require improvement and be at it continuously in small portions that matter. To reach the 10000 step-a-day benchmark from your current 2000 mark, 20 additional steps everyday is a good plan. You’ll be surprised how quickly you gain momentum, reach the mark and maintain. Same is true with everything you work with.

In the quest of huge transformations, do not ignore continuous improvements. They form the basis for sustainable long journey. Keeping tools sharpened and staying relevant is essential for every intrapreneur/ entrepreneur. Make the best use of the power of small and continuous improvements.

Be a #dreamerdoer

ABCs for leading digital transformations

Transformations are those irreversible changes you wish will help your business traverse to next-generation of performance.  Digital transformations are business transformations with digital technologies as a lever. When pushed to transformations due to peer-pressure and customer-demands, it becomes a necessity. You are never ready for transformations unless it is inevitable, life-threatening. Only very few pack-leaders jump ahead of the curve and set the path for others to learn, and follow. When they fall, they gather momentum back again and move-ahead with double speed. That makes a big difference.

Though several factors contribute to successful transformations, time and again, three things stand-out-tall. The approach, Belief-System, and Consistency.

Approach, the strategy of transformation – as detail as possible describing fully-well a way of dealing with any situation or problem that comes along the route of transformation becomes the basis. The playbook of transformation is important to build and follow-through. What layers will be covered when and how they get interlaced with the rest, keeping intact the task of running the current business is a very important design element. It should cover all aspects of people, process, product/solution, plant/infrastructure, technology, and partners. Embedding learning and unlearning as part of the migration to new ways-of-working should cover – employees, customers, and collaborators; Suppliers’ supplier to customers’ customer. The strength of weakest ties decides the pace and fragility of your transformation journey.

Belief-system – the very fabric of the company to face and lead changes to remain relevant and significant in the marketplace. An acceptance of the need for change, the toughness of the process and agility to move forward. This is influenced by the leader of the organization. If you are the leader, your belief-system becomes that of the system – the organization. If you are tentative and believe it is going to be a tough journey, same belief gets translated to every step in the process. When you are courageous and show the confidence in the system and people, same gets translated into action at every step. Build a strong participatory leadership style and reinforce it with actions across the transformation journey. When you outsource thinking and ownership of transformation to someone else in the organization or outside, you may be running a risk beyond measure. It is fine to take expert help. But do lead it from the front.

Consistency – keeping the momentum and focus on the quality of transformation is what binds the layers together and accelerate success. You will encounter several occasions forcing you to take decisions to slow-the-process, dodge a few areas of coverage and face resistance from a few key people. How you manage the same and maintain the consistency of implementation across different layers of the organization and external interfaces decides the success of the transformation. Else, you will end-up creating anomalies that require more resources and time for running-the-business. They may also introduce inefficiencies in the system and slow-down the entire business. If you decide to be a hybrid organization, do design so and implement it from the beginning. Let that not be an accidental creation. It is simpler to arrest issues at the design than through the process of building the craft.  It is your new craft – exercise every possible action to make it remarkable.

Address these ABCs as quick as possible to make the digital transformation journey itself remarkable.

be a #dreamerdoer

Real innovation happens when people do it for fun

There is a growing urgency to innovation these days. When it is triggered by necessity to differentiate the offering, to find and fill unoccupied spaces in the market and to keep up with competition, the stress levels are higher. Companies force themselves to innovate faster and faster.

Fundamental discoveries and innovations happened due to the exploration of individuals who were either frustrated with status-quo or just for fun. Take cases of origin of WWW and Linux operating system.  Most of the real innovations didn’t start with the profit motive.

A bunch of enthusiastic people smart enough to make technology do what they intended, started with interesting problems. They exercised technology to its fullest extent because exploring new ideas was fun.

With innovation playing a larger role in business success, companies are striving to find ways to get more effective innovation per dollar spent. This puts lot more pressure on leaders and the system. Leaders starting out in the innovation drive, focus most of their energy, time and money on creativity. Major gaps show-up is the capacity of the system to implement ideas rapidly and cost-effectively. Implementation requires intrapreneurs to transform the concepts into reality. Leaders have to create working intrapreneurs – those who enjoy pursuing ideas and convert them to reality.

If you are an intrapreneur, don’t follow money while building the craft. Follow the excitement. Let the craft build its own freewheel. Let the system take care of finding ways to monetizing the innovation. Decouple money from the process of innovation. As a leader, let people invent the future because it’s fun. Real innovation happens when people pursue it for the fun of it.

be a #dreamerdoer

Power of small ideas as catalyst for a big transformation

Transformation is a pursuit of many corporations. The reason may be the business necessity, change in business environment, technology disruption or new and innovative players. Changing permanently from the current state to an irreversible and unknown state is not easy. Many seek external hand-holding. A few will leave it to time. Some focus on customer push. Irrespective of the method, they tend to postpone or dodge. But winners in the market embrace change routinely. More head-on than the rest. How do they do it?

Transformation can be achieved through a series of irreversible changes progressively feeding to the next step to keep the momentum. While you are searching for a big winning idea, you may be missing valuable small nuggets that might help you build a remarkable craft. Winners create a catchment for ideas. They catch all ideas without measuring the impact of the same or classification into big or small when they are found.

Routinely reviewing ideas and harvesting based on the available bandwidth but in-line with the overall progress path helps them make use of the power of every idea, however small it is. Since every idea to improve performance, change experience and create value requires different competencies, winners create a pool of enthusiasts to pick-up what they can deliver and allow them to create small wins. Allowing input, selection, and execution responsibilities with many people make the journey of change democratic.

Democratizing innovation helps improve engagement, effectiveness due to closer feedback cycles and builds a performing company. Changing for good becomes a culture. Culture, the shared value of the corporation makes it easy to embark big transformation, mostly ahead of time.

Build the culture by participating and allowing participation. Small wins build the foundation for a big transformation. Make use of democratisation of innovation to stay ahead of the competition and enjoy market defining leadership.

be a #dreamerdoer