The Trapped Value Gap
Continual improvements in digital and related technologies are creating value faster than companies, industries and society can absorb it. This is a kind of potential energy called trapped value. Targeting and releasing trapped value is the beginning of a new approach to strategic planning the authors call the “wise pivot.”
The Seven Wrong Turns
Before engaging in a wise pivot, it’s important to understand the mistakes that can stop companies from recognizing and releasing trapped value. The authors call these mistakes the seven wrong turns. They include making the company too lean, creating a capital structure built to fail, losing one’s head, managing to Wall Street, relying on luck, serving regulators rather than customers, and anticipating customers who aren’t likely to show up.
The Seven Winning Strategies
The authors present seven new strategic options with many examples. Some are companies that Accenture has worked with directly. Other examples are from a detailed research study (1,000 companies/12 industries) of the leaders’ winning ways.
The Wise Pivot
Between late 2014 and 2018, Accenture’s market value doubled, reflecting the creation of $50 billion in new value. Given accelerating disruption and the growth of trapped value, instead of transforming companies must pivot, and do so repeatedly in order to evolve from today’s core business to tomorrow’s, and the one after that.
The Old, Now and New
The wise pivot requires integration of strategies, specifically, across three different timeframes or business maturities:
- The old — Transforming the core
- The now — Growing the core
- The new — Scaling new innovations
The Innovation Pivot
A wise innovation pivot requires leaders to review and adjust their portfolios to change the shape, speed, and trajectory of pivots. One of the keys here is to concentrate innovation capabilities under a strong leadership team, with dedicated investment and defined innovation roles and responsibilities. This enables companies to embed innovation into their corporate DNA. Done right, innovation isn’t something they do. It’s something they are.
The Financial Pivot
No company successfully pivots without a massive investment in the new. This requires changing commitments and allocations to capital assets across three levers: fixed assets, working capital, and human skills. Rather than following the money, companies must put it to work creating a brave new future.
The People Pivot
For a successful people pivot, organizations must adjust the way they approach hiring and retaining talent. This includes leadership — the people pivot doesn’t just apply to the “troops.” It includes having the right combination of leaders across all three stages, and being open to contributions from talent sources well outside the confines of executives’ own offices. The wild card here is artificial intelligence (AI). The future is likely to be one in which employees and technology work together in new ways. We’ll still need people, albeit with new, different and constantly-evolving skills.