The March 11 election results have a serious message for the business leaders. The results underscore the phenomenon of disruption and value creation amid that. In my earlier post reconciling in the middle, I discussed how both the traditional and the new age will need to move towards each other. They cannot sustain if they remain where they are. The election results have strongly validated my theory.
There were three type of players in these elections- the disruptors, the disrupted and value creators.
The disruptors came with a new promise of an alternate governance, built an alternate narrative, appealed to a new class of voters (mostly young), and fully exploited social media. Yet got a drubbing at the elections. Their initial success of sweeping another state in the past could not be sustained. They are like the new age companies facing existential crisis as physical challenges are emerging (remember the app based taxi drivers’ strike) questioning their ability to sustain. They may have disrupted the market place yet their own survival is under question (remember Tata DoCoMo that unleashed the price war).
Then there were those who were disrupted. They continued with their old structures hinging around dynastic politics, old narratives of secularism and freedom struggle, and old methods of managing field operations. They failed to gauge the pulse of the new age voters who are now looking for growth and development, effectiveness of governance as a new narrative for the country. They are like the traditional companies who could not see the writing on the wall and became extinct (remember Kodak and Encyclopedia Britannica). They are in a perennial mode of denial, completely dysfunctional marred by infighting, and continuously in a downward spiral. They lack the strategic mindset and the operational capabilities to win.
Then there are the value creators, who may be traditional but are led by fresh thoughts and ideas. They could build a new narrative in line with the new age voters, create an operational mechanism to build the narrative through a synced up multi-channel approach and manage the field operations effectively. The results are unexpected and beyond the comprehension of those living in the older paradigm of caste politics, tactical partnerships and appeasement. They are like those organizations who could take the physical assets and overlay it with a digital fabric to build new value chain capabilities to compete and win (remember Air Works).
The value creators are traditional yet successfully move towards becoming more contemporary and aligned with the emerging market place. They do away with old practices that do not work, embrace technology mindfully, create new strategic orientation and build new operational capabilities. They may also be new age yet rooted in ground through leverage of physical capabilities, and are long term value driven rather than valuation driven.
The value creators set the agenda, take big risks, are long sighted and are extremely flexible to undertake course correction as and when required. They blend old and new to create new strengths. They in a way have a great lesson to share – success will come to those who can change with time, leverage their existing strengths yet build new capabilities and are not shy of taking calculated risks (remember demonetization).
As a traditional organization, the choice is yours to stay that way and eventually get disrupted or embrace technology to build a completely new organization to create long term value.
My book LEADDDING is all about how traditional businesses can embrace digital and transform around it to build a stronger organization capable of creating value.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the topic.