For decades, “built to last” has been the prevailing paradigm for business, but the concept has its limitations. It implies that what we know about business today remains eternally true and it implies that transformation is a one-time journey—pointed towards a single destination. With the pace of disruption increasing at all levels of business, however, the journey never really ends.
The environment that enterprise leaders face today calls for a major shift from “built to last” to “built to evolve,” according to Darwin Deano, principal and Chief SAP Technology Officer at Deloitte Consulting LLP. Deano and decision-makers from four leading global companies shared their perspectives during the premiere episode of The Kinetic Enterprise™: Built to Evolve, a new podcast series presented by Deloitte.
“The vast majority of the business executives in place today have not led during a down time. It’s been more than 10 years of growth and that softens you,” Deano said. “I think that’s a call to action for all businesses to take a close look at their strategies and redefine how they become a Kinetic Enterprise.”
Shaping a new mindset
The Kinetic Enterprise requires four pillars: a clean core, intelligent capabilities, cloud-enabled responsiveness and an inclusive ecosystems of applications and services. A solid data and technology foundation is just part of the blueprint. People power, simplicity and reimagining how work gets done will be critical. Here are a few things to keep in mind, according to decision-makers from four leading global companies, who joined Deano for Episode 1 of the podcast series.
Human super powers
“Every company has people with extreme ‘super powers.’ And rather than using those super powers for the organisation, they’re wasting time on low-value administrative tasks or searching for information across multiple systems and technologies,” said Trenton Cycholl, Vice President of Business Technology at Citrix. “We’re at a point in time now where people are spending more money on technology to solve technology problems, not solving the productivity problems that exist in the enterprise and this is going to be extremely critical to achieve the Kinetic Enterprise and move to a future workplace that is productive, efficient and secure.”
“A lot of folks are spending a lot of time looking for data, following some crazy steps that were created by complexity that’s absolutely not necessary,” said Rita Fisher, CIO and Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, of Reynolds Consumer Products. Instead, the enterprise should be moving towards a “light, simple, and frictionless” business environment in which data, materials, money and more flow with ease. “The steps need to be simple,” she said. “Things have to flow. They need to be light—very light—and living and self-learning and not solving every problem at once.”
Cycholl agreed that simplicity is key. “Employee experience is an important part of driving the future of work and the future workplace,” he said. [It’s] really around simplifying people's day to day activities, getting rid of that busy work. Why should we be so hung up on the 15 different screens we've got to go to to process an order when really all we're trying to do is close out an order?”
Even as automation and intelligence expand within the enterprise, the power of people ultimately will determine success, according to Corrado Azzarita, Global CIO at Kraft Heinz. “We need to foster ideation at scale,” he said. “Empower your team to explore ideas without fear of failure. This develops a kinetic or responsive mindset, which will only help your business in the long run.”
According to Fisher, diversity of talent can be an important driver. “It's the inclusion of their ideas. It's the different thoughts that matter. It's about how do you bring the best and human creativity to the table,” she said. “One of my colleagues said, you must unlearn what you have learned. And I think the best way to do that is when we are different, when we are diverse, when we have different points of view, and we allow each other to contribute and participate to the fullest, and we accept different points of view and different ideas.”
The secret to becoming kinetic and responsive is to innovate, Azzarita said. “But in a company, in order to innovate, you need to create the right culture and the right mindset,” he said. “There are companies where every investment has to be tied to an ROI or to a success or to something, to some financial parameters. But this, in my experience, stifles innovation. So innovation has to be something different, where you can actually foster the culture of experimenting.”
Focused on the future
For Dan Herlihy, Vice President of Corporate Business Engagement and Solutions Delivery at Constellation Brands, said the Kinetic Enterprise should be focused on addressing the uncertainties that the future can bring. “It’s about being adaptable and changing. Life changes. Disruption occurs. Different organisations will come into your industry and change it,” he said. “And you need to be able to adjust and move and use your abilities—and your people—to make that change to what that future state is going to be.”
While navigating trends, focussing on experiences—not just the brand—will be imperative. “It's about what that brand can provide from an experience perspective to the consumer,” Herlihy said. “The need for that immediate gratification just changes the speed at which we need to deliver that experience to the consumer. And as you start thinking about whether it's virtual reality, whether it's the way we send media out to consumers, we need to continue to change and to adapt to what that consumer is looking for. Those that get stuck I think in the old ways of even just consumer interaction are going to miss the boat.”
Want more transformation insights from enterprise leaders? Visit deloitte.com/SAP to download future podcast episodes or listen to previous ones.