TRANSCENDING ADAPTATION

Have you seen Shark Tank?

Most people linked to innovation have.

If you watch it one day, it´s interesting to see the type of proposals that are presented within the frame of the resounding “entrepreneurial boom”. Obviously within a boom of almost anything we see all kinds of proposals: some good and some bad. Some worth remembering and transcending, and others that die in the attempt. What is the key difference between one and the other? Almost from the moment of the pitch it is easy to tell them apart: Those that limit themselves to incremental or linear innovation (they see what´s out there and reproduce it, or at the most add some insignificant elements, making passive adaptions) vs those that create transformational innovation (the ones that are game changers and set the rules instead of adapting).  The first category is battered whilst the the second category is cheered and praised.

Allow me to highlight a magical word in this context: adaption. Before  it was said that being at the  forefront meant adapting to the changes of the  new millenium, of the new generations , of the new technology. In other words to be on the look out and react accordingly. This sounds so outdated in this day and age , it´s like when you google technological images and you get circuits and lights in the purest Matrix style. Today we confirm that adapting to market characteristics is not optional; you have to do it but besides you must transcend it.

The problem with adaptation is that as efficient as it may be it is still just that: molding oureselves to what others have already created. Making the necessary changes in order to be pertinent with certain requirements or conditions that others dictated. Adjusting ourselves is relatively easy because what we do is repeat and reproduce what already worksa.

What is truly challenging is transcending adaptability and not just by being fast, but proactive, taking control of the situation.  Trying new methods, new means, new goals. Changing and creating perspectives that wiil affect the exterior world as well as ourslves as a company.

A crucial point is realizing what type of industry we have in our hands, where the other players are situated, what we expect to accomplish and mainly: where we are standing, being realistic and strategic. It is easy to say, but for years or even decades we have been passively adapting (or  even worse, we haven´t changed our business model, our approach and focus or our way of doing things in the least because we aren´t in the habit of looking outwards), it´s not that easy to become the next Amazon.

The answer is a phased and gradual model in which  adaptation goes from being passive to reactive and subsequently it can begin to adjust to what is outside, up to the point of proactiveness and controlled speed where in spite of looking for the same thing as the others, we can doit differently .

From our point of view, being situated at the bottom part of the model poses a great risk in the short and medium term of losing market share, besides adding challenges that transcend market value:  brand value, organizational culture,  human resources turnover… If we are there, then we should consider a phased strategy in the model. There are a number of cases in which even companies situated in the Wrong Way level are able to reach the highest levels, the pressure of crisis is frequently a source of opportunity.

The expectation of our diagnosis is at the very least, to situate ourselves as an innovative culture, a  follower, with the awareness that we cannot fall behind  the context in which agility is a fundamental aspect that gains importance day by day.

The ideal: to be situated at a transformational level of High Speed Business, not only in theory but to accompany the intention with structural changes in the organization and a clear company purpose. And you don´t reach these levels by coincidence, the strategical design for the future that you desire for your business is fundamental.