In my last post, I described a Sense and Respond model that sits at the heart of several activities, including scenario, opportunity, and risk analysis. As complexity and pace continue to intensify, uncertainty increases. To survive in this Emerging Future, we must embrace a framework for future thinking, and an organization that can adapt as it shifts. In essence, we must see the future, rehearse it, continuously monitor for shifts, and adapt as the shifts occur. A sense and respond model sits at the core of the framework – but represents the biggest cultural challenge.
My ongoing work on emerging future scenarios has driven a renewed focus on experience. Several factors are converging to shift the experience end game; specifically, the evolution of Ecosystems and the transformation of Interaction. These two forces – themselves the result of combinatorial innovation – are converging. While the way we interact continues to shift, a parallel evolution towards ecosystems is occurring. This ecosystem evolution introduces systemic complexity and combines with a shifting interaction paradigm to alter the way we think about experience.
Figure 1: Phase One of a pending shift in interaction paradigms
Back in 2013, as Smartphone use was growing, I wrote about Next Generation Experiences; viewing customer experience through a lens of constant change, where failure to address foundational elements meant falling further behind. Since then, our mode of interaction witnessed a third transformation, as touch became a critical piece of our everyday experiences. Now, we find ourselves approaching the next significant change in interaction paradigms: the Fourth Transformation driven by mixed reality.
On Wednesday December 16th, I will participate in another Game Changers radio program with host Bonnie D. Graham. She will be joined by 16 guests that will share their predictions for 2016. To prepare for the show, I pulled together my predictions across six broad categories. These predictions are a mixture of leading indicators and hope. Here it goes…
Digital today has a bolt-on feel to it. Dominated by Marketing, the initial focus was channel oriented, isolated in nature, and layered on top of that which existed. It expanded to support a narrow customer experience and efficiency agenda. I say narrow, because digital is primarily applied to existing process, as opposed to leveraged to re-imagine process. As the main digital forces converge (Social, Mobil, Big Data, Analytics, and Cloud), a platform emerges to enable re-imagination. Yet Digital to date remains isolated on two levels: within company silos and across the main forces.
I have had the ongoing pleasure of participating in SAP’s Coffee Break with Game Changers radio program, the most recent one on August 26th. I was joined by Dennis DeGregor, Worldwide Group Executive for customer experience services at HP, and Drew Hofler Sr. Director, Solutions Marketing, Ariba network and Financial Solutions. The show was titled “Business Networks and the Digital Economy: Ready for Digital Humanism?” and was expertly moderated by Bonnie D. Graham.
The episode description: What does it really mean for you to have a connected business? Analysts estimate that by 2020, social networks will connect 2.5 billion people, the number of connected devices will total 75 billion, and the volume of global business trade between connected businesses will reach $65 trillion. As we move to an era of true hyper-connectivity in our digital economy, how can your company turn these challenges and your business networks into sustainable profitable opportunities?
Bonnie kicks off each show by analyzing a quote provided by each panelist. The following are our quotes and their relevance to the topic:
Over the last three months, I have presented a framework for thinking about transforming the enterprise to the type of enterprise that can succeed in the year 2020 – What I call a digital enterprise.
Throughout this multi-part transformation series, I have focused on those forcing functions that push us to transform – the drivers that stir us to action. Old models that were created for another time cannot lead us into this future – we must think differently. We must invent the models that define business in the decades ahead.
So, I wrap up this closer look at transformation with the hope that I’ve convinced you in some small way that we are indeed heading towards what is likely to be the most transformative period in history. My hope is that leaders everywhere think differently to usher in a period of prosperity and societal advancement. Instead of talk of disruption, let us talk of enablement and advancement. May we each have the wisdom, vision and courage to lead in this emerging transformative period.
For a review of this entire transformation series, here is an intro and link to each of the prior posts. As a reminder, forcing functions are those things that force the enterprise to invest in a future state. The enablers are those facilitators of change that allow us to address the forcing functions and build a path towards the future. Click on the underlined title to access each post.
Next up in this transformations series is the fourth enabler: next generation experiences. As we are now deep into this transformation series, some of the drivers and tactics are similar across the various enablers, so you will start to see some redundancy across posts. The issues of customer experience, customer-centricity, and customer intimacy are top-of-mind and dominate many executive discussions and conference agendas. According to Forrester, only 3% of companies manage to succeed at delivering an excellent customer experience, but 60% intend to use customer experience as a strategic differentiator. Driven by the rapid commoditization of products and services, the speed at which new market entrants emerge, and the rise of consumerization, experience is now the new battle ground – and sustainable competitive advantage is the prize. But as Forrester concludes in their book Outside-in, customer experience remains the most misunderstood element of corporate strategy today.