In a recent editorial from Chief Executive (“Going on the Offense in an Uncertain World”), Ram Charan provides seven steps to help companies survive and flourish in this age of technology renaissance. He points out that the most successful companies are not the ones that merely adapt to fast-paced changes, but the ones that create change by immersing themselves in uncertainties. Charan mentions: “As CEO, you have to be able to change course, and more than once, yet without zigzagging so much that consumers and investors become confused about who you are.” The following are his seven key steps in summary:
- Hone your perceptual acuity. Spot potentially significant anomalies, contradictions, and oddities in the external landscape, ahead of others.
- Be a born-again. Legacy companies who were not digital from their first breath must experience a digital rebirth to provide better information about the consumer and to create new improved experiences.
- Learn the power of math. Companies that embrace algorithms possess a huge advantage over those that don’t. These companies are using the algorithms to help shape the industry transformation rather than becoming victims of it.
- Remember that the consumer holds the key. Don’t rely only on the most sophisticated data mining software to understand your consumers. Know your consumers and pay attention to the intuitive feel for what they really want.
- Get comfortable with uncertainty. Remain on the offense in the outside world. This will help you see the opportunities to build a business based on something new, and put the company onto a new trajectory ahead of others.
- Remove the blockages. Be flexible and willing to forgo business practices, products, and even individuals that are hampering your company’s potential for success in the digital world.
- Don’t be a wimp. Be willing and able to make the necessary changes that will benefit your company.