Organisations around the world have faced new challenges in 2018, giving rise to exciting new opportunities. As an innovation and transformation consultancy that believes in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world, we’re at the forefront of seizing those opportunities. And that gives us unique insights into the space where strategy, technology and innovation collide – where opportunity appears.
So, here’s a selection of our essential reads from 2018. They share the insights and expertise that business leaders need if they’re going to be ingenious and thrive in our fast-changing world.
People or profit? Traditional business thinking says you must sacrifice one for the other, so which do you put first?
For us, it’s both – or neither. We believe great organisations improve the experience of their customers and people simultaneously, delivering market-leading results. And we believe the way to do it is through organisational agility – taking the concepts of IT delivery and scaling them throughout organisations.
When we asked 500 senior business leaders whether their experiences matched ours, we found they did. The top 10 per cent of businesses by financial performance are 30 per cent more agile.
Digital assets now drive more value than physical ones. Just compare Marriott Hotels and Airbnb – Marriott has over 5,700 hotels and a value per employee of around $300,000, while Airbnb has one website and a value of $3.9m per employee.
To match that sort of value, organisations need to make digital a part of everything they do, not just a sales channel or team. We call this Total Digital. Of course, making the switch to Total Digital isn’t straight forward, but there are ways to make it happen.
Take, make, use, dispose. That’s the traditional model for our global economy. But that model sees 95 per cent of the value put into making things thrown away. Such a resource-intensive system isn’t sustainable.
The alternative is the circular economy, where value stays in the system through reuse, refurbishing or recycling. We’re not talking about classic ‘individual responsibility’ thinking – we’re talking about organisations recovering value to drive growth and resilience.
With this year’s revelations about Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, privacy is a focus for consumers around the world. And with the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we have just one question: should individual privacy be a board-level priority?
By shifting business models to put privacy at their heart, organisations will win the trust of customers and use data more effectively, driving growth. So, there’s an opportunity in privacy that goes far beyond simple compliance.
In 2018, the EU GDPR drove a rush to change how organisations handle people’s data. With Brexit just around the corner, and uncertainty still surrounding the final UK-EU relationship, business leaders need to think about every eventuality.
Currently, more than 75 per cent of UK data exports travel effortlessly to the EU. If Brexit happens without a deal, all that could change.[JS1]
Artificial intelligence and automation have reshaped entire sectors and the day-to-day operations of organisations through 2018. Planning, communicating and driving an AI transformation vision is key to continued success.
To help business leaders navigate this transformative technology, we’ve put together a short guide on what to consider and where to start.
If you thought AI was the most sci-fi technology disrupting the business world in 2018, you were wrong. Advances in quantum computing have turned the technology from fantasy to innovation test-bed this year.
But if business leaders are going to get ahead of the competition and experiment with quantum computing, they’ll need a basic understanding of what it is, what it can do and how it will evolve.
You might know blockchains as the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But they’re so much more. These distributed ledgers provide unrivalled trust, unlocking opportunities in a range of areas. In fact, our assessment shows how blockchains can help seize the $12 trillion opportunity of meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
What does it take to build the right team of leaders in an organisation? In our experience, it takes much more than finding a great team of doers. Promoting someone who can do a job and assuming they can lead a team is dangerous. Organisations need to support new leaders with the right resources to give them the right skills.