Disruption is pushing companies to rethink their businesses. Yet, capabilities and talent are not pivoting fast enough. The workforce is performing tasks in ways that have been passed down from previous generations. So, employees are often performing work that no longer contributes to valued or strategic outcomes.
Organizational inertia is deadly. ZBx (Zero-based mindset) is a new way to drive profitability that emphasizes the future over the past. A critical component of ZBx, ZBO (zero-based organization) designs the organization from a clean sheet, shifting talent toward work that contributes to the distinctive capabilities, operating model and outcomes needed to fuel growth.
Rethink the business
ZBO requires organizations to abandon "always done" mindsets and think and work in new ways.
- A question of identity. Serious soul-searching is a prerequisite for ZBO approaches. Leaders must question what is happening in their company and use it to feed clean sheet design. Not just in moments of existential angst, but also when things are going well.
- Control your own destiny. ZBO frees companies from first-quartile benchmarks and rear-view mirror peer analysis. They design as digital natives for a "should cost" approach by clean sheeting every line item to create transformational savings rather than incremental reductions.
- Boundaries have disappeared. The right people doing the right work is critical to fuel profitable growth. Yet talent is a fluid ecosystem of fixed and variable human labor, bots, virtual and cognitive agents, crowdsourced talent, and customers and suppliers. ZBO designs for this boundaryless ecosystem.
Companies need to create better forensic visibility into spending, and then make savings sustainable through better accountability, process improvements and culture change. And most importantly, organizations should closely link spending reduction with their strategic growth plans.
Strategic cost reduction can only be successful if the savings are reinvested in areas of the company to drive growth, innovation, improved productivity, and better customer experiences.