Transform Your Business Now

by Patrick Liew on August 16, 2019

Transform Your Business Now

Traditional borders between markets, industries and businesses are not only blurring, they are constantly being redefined.

Conventional frameworks for leading a company in the new normal will become increasingly irrelevant and will go the way of the dinosaurs.

As they say, what works today may not work tomorrow.

We must never take our position and future for granted.

While it is important to predict the future, it may be a tough call.

The landscape will be shaped by imponderables such as new discoveries, black swans, and technological disruptions.

How the future unfolds will depend on choices of different individuals and groups.

They are operating in an increasingly interconnected and at the same time multipolar world.

The future is going to be characterized by a faster rate of change.

It has been described as being volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA).

It can make or break you, and also make the most out of your life or a mess out of it.

That’s why notwithstanding the challenges in predicting the future, you need to be prepared for all plausible scenarios.

The questions that beg to be answered are:

Are you ready for it?

Have you future-proof yourself for success?

Do you have the attitude, knowledge, skills, and behavior to make the most of the increasing levels of unpredictability and change?

Although the future cannot be predicted with certainty and we need to expect the unexpected, that does not mean we cannot plan to stay ahead of the change curve.

Whether the future is an extrapolation of the past or a series of discontinuities, we can be certain it must begin from somewhere.

We must therefore build open, digital and dynamic systems that will help us evaluate impact of new and emerging developments, interpret the trends, and think systematically about the future.

By doing so, we can become more resilient in overcoming the harsh winds of change.

Entrepreneurs in the new age will operate in a market that is at the same time local and global, competitive and collaborative, permanent and transient.

It is within this paradox that we will have to find the optimal equilibrium and craft the appropriate direction.

F. Scott Fitzgerald phrased it eloquently when he commented, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposite ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

We will have to live with and manage these discordant forces which may not necessarily be contradictory.

To manage the future, we must anticipate, embrace and exploit the kaleidoscopic pace of change.

We must never see it as a problem but as an opportunity to learn, grow, and advance our worthwhile mission.

The greatest obstacle to change is not out there but within ourselves.

The test of a winner is how we can remove the impediments so that we can evolve with, adapt to, or better still, influence the new realities.

As the shelf life of business models and operational differentials are shortening, we must continue to learn new ideas and cultivate new competencies and practices.

We need to discipline ourselves to let go of the past and creatively “destroy” our business and ourselves.

Only by doing so can we reinvent our business so that we will continue to do what we should do and do it in a “cheaper, better and faster way.”

The key focus is not just to find ways to respond to every challenge but to build a more resilient organisation that will rise above every situation.

Establish an adaptable organisation with an able and agile team to not only survive turbulence, but also to exploit the silver lining in every storm and to develop more advantages for stronger growth.

In the new landscape, even the way to manage the workforce has to be transformed.

The traditional way of managing organisations on the basis of command and control will become obsolete.

New models must be developed to respond more effectively to the complex environment.

The organisation of the future will become more organic than hierarchical, neural than linear, and virtual than mechanistic.

To achieve best practices, every one of us must become what Warren Bennis call a “leader of leaders.”

We have to position ourselves as network managers, leading and harnessing the strengths of every employee, including the most talented people to move up the learning curves and cycles of life.

In the words of Rosabeth Moss Kanter, we must constantly be “pooling, allying and linking” different organisations and individuals to help promote our brands and deliver our solutions and services.

Ultimately, the mark of true leadership is the ability to seize destiny and create our own future.

To use the words of Charles Handy, winners will be those who “invent the world”.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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