Organisations no longer have a choice when it comes to whether or not their organisation will experience transformation – the only option left is whether their transformation is an intentional and purposeful initiative or a disruptive series of reactions imposed by a transforming environment.

We have seen this effect with the impact of digital technology – the growth of which has led to a transformation of the business landscape. Now we have two groups of organisations, those that have embraced the need to transform and those that are instead being transformed by their environment.

What gives?

Organisations that do not embrace digital transformation will find themselves unable to compete in the new business landscape due to three impacts.

  • Competition: as the competitor’s transformations drive improved profitability, customer satisfaction, and speed to market the stagnant organisation will see relative declines.
  • Disruption: as the business landscape changes the opportunities for disruption will grow and affect stagnant organisations disproportionately.
  • Erosion: the new environment will begin to erode and transform the stagnant organisation’s existing strategic and operational design independently of the organisation’s intent.

The resultant situation of one of these impacts, let alone three, would be potentially disastrous for any organisation – meaning that leaders should be prioritising their transformation efforts to not only be timely but effective.

A post-transformation world?

Arguably, the real impact of digital technology is that it will no longer be enough to simply run a digital transformation initiative in order to guarantee success. In fact, the business landscape now calls for continuous transformation – digital transformation only sets a baseline. This means that any transformation roadmap needs to have a focus on continuous improvement and transformation at its core.

This doesn’t mean this will be your last transformation – but it does mean that your organisation will have a better chance of still being in business when that transformation is needed. In essence, the business landscape is now at a point that organisations have to ‘plan’ as if they are operating in a post-transformation world.

Long term strategic visions or plans won’t (and shouldn’t) disappear but business structures and systems have to be transformed to be adaptive, cultures should be aligned to value continuous improvement, iteration and experimentation.

So what next?

Step back and consider the world, your business landscape, your organisation and do a review – is your organisation ready for a post-transformation world – or are you willing to risk being transformed by the business landscape?