• Teri Christian

Welcome to the Jungle - Part 2

Breaking the Industry 4.0 Barriers

Technology has become a way (the way) of doing business in our modern landscape. As I share in my new book, Digital Operations: How to Survive and Thrive in the Industry 4.0 Jungle:

"The Digital Revolution is changing the economy at an alarming rate for businesses to understand or respond to, leading to ongoing disruption."

Disruption can lead to chaos and confusion, putting businesses in a position of treading water rather than operating on solid ground. It's hard to know where to start with any level of confidence or clarity, especially since today's technology could quickly be replaced by something else in the near future.

We ended Part 1 of this series talking about developing the right survival skills to live and thrive as a business in Industry 4.0. So let's dive deeper into what those survival skills look and function like.

Survival Skill #1: Go Back to the Basics

After more than 20 years in IT solutions, I've seen many trends fall in and out of fashion. Tools and techniques that were once gangbusters quickly fell out of favor, and something else took its place (RIP, MySpace, Kodak, Block Buster).

But one thing I've noticed is that most things go back to the basics. Only the name, terms, medium, or certification (or what have you) has changed.

We rely on certain essentials, some of which are as old as ancient Greece. Industry 4.0 is no different. As a result, we're likely to see more of the same but presented in new ways. Keeping this familiarity in mind, the jungle seems a little less daunting.

What are the basics? Simply stated and further explored in my book, there are two basics to consider:

  1. What is your Strategic Position? Has it changed given technical advances?

  2. Is your organization improving Operational Effectiveness?

Let's take a case study. The new approach to buying cars, led by Carvana, is a fairly new disruption. In response to this disruption, established businesses are now offering online buying to try to compete. It won't work.

Why? Because the companies like Carvana have identified a fit set of strategic activities that drives their investment allocations. What does that mean? The whole organization is strategically positioned to sell cars in one way, unlike traditional dealers who are responding by providing an additional "feature" to augment car buying. When disruption happens, it is time to go back to the basics of strategic positioning.

Once the set of fit strategic activities are identified, it is important to create flow. Then, design operational effectiveness to provide the highest possible customer value using the most efficient processes possible.

Strategic activities focus on business results, operational effectiveness focus on customer satisfaction. Simple.

Survival Skill #2: Embrace Change

There is no doubt that organizations need to change to compete. As I stated in my book: "We are all new to the jungle... but we all know we need to change."

But change can be big and scary, especially when the world around you is evolving at lightspeed. That's why change for the sake of change doesn't work. But impactful, intentional change focusing on adapting mindsets and mechanics will help a company mature and achieve desired outcomes.

That's what the DigOps model is all about. The four cornerstones (Market Share, Shared Mindsets, Agreed Mechanics, and Continuous Maturity) help you develop the necessary disciplines for competing in Industry 4.0.

The DigOps Compass gives organizations the strategic activities to navigate the jungle. The DigOps Workflow provides the map. And the GEM Digital Transformation program and tools provide the step-by-step skill development for change. A winning combination to survive and thrive!

What Comes Next in Jungle Mastery

There's one more survival skill that completes the Industry 4.0 breakthrough trifecta, but it's so important that it deserves its own spotlight.

Spoiler alert: It's the role of the DigiOps model in your business transformation journey.

In Part 3, we will cover how the DigiOps model serves as the guiding light to help you achieve Jungle Master status.

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