As we near the end of the year, I always think about all the influences that made up our year and what went well, what I want to forget, and what I want to do differently in 2016. It helps me paint a vision for our company, myself, our consultants and customers that I thought I would share with you. Between global political changes, oil prices declines, the 2016 presidential election, the ever changing business environment, and technology advances there is much to ponder.
This year I went back to considering why we do what we do, where is the passion, and getting really re-engaged with the technology industry as well as the startup market – yes I am obsessed with Shark Tank. Not only did it give me a chance to get my brain excited about all the possibilities but it exposed me to diverse thinking everywhere. How does the past influence our future? Where might the industry be going? Where does Lewis Fowler fit into the solutions of the future? Where do our customers fit in? And where do our people fit in?
Top 3 Insights From 2015
Not to overuse the phrase but it is all about the people. I have seen good and bad this year on this topic and know that no company can be successful without the right people. I am a huge advocate of getting the right people on the bus no matter how hard that is. Positive attitude, critical thinking and personality, along with strong communication skills are to me the most important attributes of strong performers. Specific business or technical skills can be taught but being a conscious leader cannot.
Faster, quicker, agile, smarter is everywhere. All of our clients are chasing after their strategy at a faster pace than ever. Keeping up with changes in the economy, global markets, buying behaviors, and more is creating a need for organizations that can predict, react, and advance in the face of rapid change. This is taking the form of everything from agile frameworks as a way to execute faster to process re-engineering old and tired processes to be more flexible or invent entirely new processes or ways to do business.
Technology has always played a critical role in our economy and this year was no different. Everything from hover boards that could change the way we get from place to place to the use of drones in corporate America, smart technology and buying behaviors – who does not experience the bombardment of emails after you go to a certain type of website? Your car telling you it is time for an oil change, driving, and parking on its own. I would be remiss if I did not mention corporate security with the increasing importance given all the publicity about hacking and data loss and the ongoing importance of mobile technology through mobile devices.
Top 3 Insights Into 2016
Disruptive change is on the rise. There are more entrepreneurs than ever before, more groups shooting to solve “all the world’s problems” by turning everything on its side. If you do not have a group dedicated to disruptive thinking in your organization – you should if you do not think of it – someone else will. We started to see this in the past few years with every type of mobile application out there, but now we are talking bigger more sweeping disruption.
Digital transformation including the internet of everything, smart data, digital mesh (like 3D Printing), and thinking machines that translate into streaming intelligence are going to make huge advances in 2016. All of this makes the coordination between business goals and IT strategy more important than ever. Governance and strategy will influence portfolio priorities and should guide execution more than ever. Is your company ready for it? Have you figured out for example how this affects your customer experience? What will they use to base buying decisions? How will your corporate and IT strategy support it? Which vertical will have the biggest advances – Healthcare? Aerospace? Retail? Financial Services? It is anyone’s bet!
Collaboration, networks, and face to face time is back on the rise. While maybe our kids’ only text each other in the same room, I have seen more people working harder to “see” each other even if it is in the virtual way. Connection still happens best face to face and I see more companies and people making the effort to make that personal connection with their teams, partners and customers. We did a trial at our office working remotely various days of the week a while back. We decided to come back to spending more time in the office. We found this created more collaboration and team work.
The thing that is not different between this last year and this year (and for that matter the future) is the impact of change on our lives. The rate of change continues to accelerate and shows no sign of slowing. I think it’s difficult to understand how this will impact us in the future. We have no idea what new products and technologies are on the horizon and how they will change our lives. The one thing that we all can do is to accept and get comfortable with change.
Navigating Through Uncertainty and Disruptive Change
At Lewis Fowler, we pride ourselves in helping our clients navigate through uncertainty and disruptive change. As a trusted partner to several Fortune 500 companies, we understand the complexities and risks associated with executing on high profile projects. If you like to learn more about how Lewis Fowler can help your business successfully execute on project objectives, take a few minutes and watch our webinar on our Project Capable Organization sm methodology.