It is almost the end of June and time for leaders at technology and service providers to take stock of the first 6 months, see what worked and plan any adjustments for the remainder of the year. I wanted to add a few questions to help you evaluate how you have addressed the impact of digital business and technologies. A wave of these technologies call into question industry boundaries, their products or substitutes, the competitors and their business models. Hence we need to review this broadly beyond tactical measures. While companies attempt to make goals tangible, measurable and ones that could be cascaded to teams, it is important to assess how well you are preparing for the long-term.
- Markets – Has your definition of the markets you serve improved to address fluidity across industries? If the industry you serve experiences entrants from other industries or start-ups, what is your strategy for this transforming market? Alternatively, if the industry you serve is expanding beyond its boundaries, have you decided if this creates market opportunities and how to address it?
- Customers – What have you done to improve your relationship with non-IT buyers? If you plan to serve new entrants to the industries you serve, do you have a clearer image today of their needs, priorities and constraints?
- Products – Do you have a better idea on how digital technologies can affect the products or services of your customers and hence what impact it will have on your offerings and/or operations? Also, do you have a better picture of new substitute products that you might have to compete with?
- People – How much of the above has led to preparing and equipping your people? Do you have a better idea of what your remaining gaps in skills and capabilities are and are you working actively enough to address them?
These 4 questions are broad and quick, but more than a static check. The idea is to help you think more along those dimensions that could lead you to add activities to your plans. Can you share how you incorporate such planning for the future in your goals and reviews, especially when future, by definition, is not known? What are some ways that have worked well?
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