Ecosystems can offer so much connecting value out there to ‘form’ around.
We are witnessing a very radical change, driven by technology, increasingly disrupting and breaking down past traditional boundaries, partly built to defend positions so as to achieve economic scale.
There is a new economic logic to build even greater scale, it involves greater complexity, yet its value proposition is to strive towards offer greater customer experience and satisfaction, where the solutions are valued highly in social and economic value.
Ones that get closer to their connected expectations and daily needs for solutions to solve, in far better ways, than that are presently offered. The innovative design has become paramount to these new offerings.
Ecosystem design will create new business opportunities. We need to make the business case
We are faced with a number of principal drivers of change, that I believe we need to consider for deciding upon in any decision to actively participate in business ecosystems. These are:
- The constant exponential of technology and its power to change is forcing up to change.
- The need to search and create new business models needs to be explored differently
- The shift in value chain building (e.g products to connected services) needs greater connections
- Moving from the present core into new industrial areas and geographical reach is becoming essential to navigate.
- The need to scale and increasingly be seen as a globe or very local (glocal) is a pressure point not to be ignored
- The increasing need for collaborating and extracting external expertise contains increasing cost and investment.
- Demands by customers are shifting to expecting customer experience and engagement that we must provide
- The need to channel your resources into more productive value-added activities is essential as ‘good’ resources are growing in scarcity.
The need for radical innovation changes the present position
We need to become more ready to deal with the unknowns. We need to find the capacities to experiment and explore far more, building the diversity into our thinking that partners and collaborators can bring. We need to increase the risk appetite through better risk assessments, a deeper appreciation of where ecosystems and networks can significantly contribute and search constantly for new revenue and market building opportunities.
What we need to do is change our present constraints.
We have built-in constraints. They are holding us back. Boards and Senior Management have a lack of time, as they are often too busy, focusing on the day-to-day. They remain extremely nervous when they do not have clear lines of insight to make what they see as riskier decisions. Finally, they are struggling with their present organizational design to adjust and adapt to the changing external world, full of uncertainties. To dither, to put decisions off, to seek out more certainty is not a position of any strength, it is the catalyst to eventual destruction. We need to face these inbuilt constraints.
There is growing value in engaging in business ecosystems
The potential impact of engagement has a range of benefits that need exploring and answering:
- Ecosystem configurations enable the (one) business to offer more value to customers
- They attract, more often than not, new customer bases to go on top of the traditional base
- Ecosystem designs enable the business to create entirely new and different business opportunities
- The growth potential can improve being part of a “network effect” due to new propositions
- Structuring organizational design to leverage the value of collaborations gives greater flexibility
- Contributing your part to a bigger ecosystem design allows a depth of focus on the activities you do well
- You gain the ability to share market risks within a partnership of collaborators, committed to a shared vision and pursue new business opportunities that you could not afford on your own.
- You grow your capabilities as you co-evolve, align future investments and find mutually reinforcing and supportive roles to exploit opportunities.
- Ecosystems force you to become more proactive to thrive and perform, to master greater sophistication and complexity.
- The potential impact with customers valuing these connected experiences and being able to participate, engage and contribute opens up value-adding potential
The value of breaking down long-standing boundaries is occurring with or without you. Barriers are dissolving as more recognize the need and value of coalescing around a networked ecosystem. The chances for greater, more radical innovation to grow the business comes from exploring mutual opportunities to capture new economic value.
As you open yourself up to collaborating you open yourself up for greater learning and from this you can reshape your business design to adjust to this changing reality we are finding within a business; the need for designing our business into business ecosystems, to offer greater growth.