Technology is changing the world at an unprecedented speed. The pace of innovation, disruption, and transformation is accelerating every day. This creates new opportunities and challenges for businesses of all sizes and industries. How can you adapt your strategy to keep up with the rapid changes and stay ahead of the competition?
In this article, I will share some tips and best practices on how to create a strategy that is informed by, delivered through, and able to adjust in real time because of technology. This is what I call strategy at the pace of technology.
What is Strategy at the Pace of Technology?
Strategy at the pace of technology is an approach to business strategy that leverages technology as a critical input, output, and enabler of strategic decisions. It is not about chasing the latest trends or technologies, but rather about understanding how technology impacts your customers, competitors, markets, and operations, and how you can use it to create value and differentiation.
Strategy at the pace of technology involves three key elements:
- Technology intelligence: This is the ability to gather, analyze, and interpret data and information about the current and future state of technology, both within and outside your industry. Technology intelligence helps you identify the opportunities and threats that technology creates for your business, as well as the capabilities and resources you need to pursue them.
- Technology agility: This is the ability to quickly and effectively respond to changing technology conditions and customer expectations. Technology agility helps you adapt your products, services, processes, and business models to meet the evolving needs and preferences of your customers, as well as to seize new market opportunities and fend off competitive threats.
- Technology innovation: This is the ability to generate and implement new ideas that leverage technology to create value for your customers and stakeholders. Technology innovation helps you differentiate your offerings from those of your competitors, as well as to create new sources of revenue and growth.
How to Create a Strategy at the Pace of Technology?
Creating a strategy at the pace of technology requires a systematic and iterative process that involves four steps:
- Scan: This is where you monitor and assess the external and internal environment for technology trends, developments, and disruptions that affect your business. You should use various sources of information, such as market research, customer feedback, competitor analysis, industry reports, expert opinions, etc., to identify the key drivers and implications of technology change for your industry and organization.
- Plan: This is where you define your strategic objectives, priorities, and actions based on your technology intelligence. You should use various tools and frameworks, such as SWOT analysis, Porter’s five forces, value proposition canvas, etc., to evaluate your current position and performance in relation to your competitors and customers, as well as to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in relation to technology change.
- Execute: This is where you implement your strategic plan by developing and delivering technology-enabled products, services, processes, and business models that create value for your customers and stakeholders. You should use various methods and techniques, such as agile development, design thinking, prototyping, testing, etc., to ensure that your solutions are feasible, viable, desirable, and scalable.
- Review: This is where you measure and evaluate the results and outcomes of your strategic actions against your objectives and expectations. You should use various metrics and indicators, such as customer satisfaction, market share, revenue growth, profitability, etc., to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of your solutions, as well as to identify areas for improvement and learning.
Succeeding with strategy at the pace of technology requires a culture of innovation and learning that fosters collaboration, experimentation, feedback, and adaptation. Here are some tips on how to cultivate such a culture in your organization:
- Involve everyone: Strategy at the pace of technology is not only the responsibility of senior leaders or IT departments. It requires the participation and contribution of all employees across all functions and levels. You should encourage everyone to share their ideas, insights, opinions, and experiences on how technology can improve your business performance and customer experience.
- Embrace diversity: Strategy at the pace of technology benefits from diverse perspectives and backgrounds that can enrich your understanding of technology trends and opportunities. You should seek input from different sources and stakeholders, such as customers, partners, suppliers, experts, etc., who can offer different views and insights on how technology can solve problems or create value for your business.
- Experiment often: Strategy at the pace of technology thrives on trial-and-error learning that can help you discover new possibilities and solutions. You should adopt a fail-fast approach that allows you to test your assumptions and hypotheses quickly and cheaply before investing too much time or money into them. You should also learn from your failures and successes by analyzing what worked well or not so well.
- Adapt quickly: Strategy at the pace of technology demands flexibility and responsiveness that can help you cope with uncertainty and change. You should be ready to adjust your strategy and actions based on the feedback and results you receive from your experiments. You should also be open to new opportunities and challenges that technology may present along the way.
Strategy at the pace of technology is a necessity for businesses that want to survive and thrive in a fast-changing world. By following the steps and tips outlined in this article, you can create a strategy that is informed by, delivered through, and able to adjust in real time because of technology. This will help you create value and differentiation for your customers and stakeholders, as well as achieve your business goals and objectives.