Please note that the term “The Enterprise” used here, should
be taken to mean the Senior Strategic Management of the Enterprise. This
generally means the C-Suite, Board of Directors, Partners and Senior Executive
Team of the Enterprise in question.
Please also note that these types of Enterprise Viability
are not hard and fast rules. Every Enterprise will be different in terms of how
it thinks (and in terms of how it acts in reality). They are presented as an
aid for Enterprises to determine:
How they think and act.
How viable their Enterprise may be as time passes.
If they need to adjust how they think and how they act to stay
viable in the future.
Pre 20th century Enterprises didn’t change much.
After being created they pretty much stayed as they were. They may have
installed a steam engine, or introduced the Spinning Jenny, but months and
years passed without any appreciable changes, bar employing more or less
They succeeded because they were THE bank in the town, or
THE mill in the county. What set them apart and made them viable just depended
on what they did. It was “The era of What”.
During the latter part of the 20th century, what
an Enterprise did was not enough anymore to distinguish them. Their viability not
only depended on what they did, but more importantly how they did it. For example, what
distinguished the banks was not what they did (because there were many banks in
the same city and they all pretty much did the same thing), it was how they
did, what they did, that distinguished them. It was how they offered baking to
their clients that set them apart. Therefore, improving HOW they did, what they
did, became a strategic benefit, and vast amounts of money were poured into
Transformation projects to change HOW they did banking. Resources were not
really an issue, just being able to change kept them ahead. It was “The era of the Transformation of Operations”.
In the 21st century, the pressure for Enterprises
to change is immense and grows day by day. It comes from internal pressures
(which are largely under the control of the Enterprise), but it also comes from
external pressures (which are largely NOT under the control of the Enterprise)
such as changing markets, changing customer segments, legislation, regulation
and Business models, not to mention the inexorable advances in IT that seem to
only ever accelerate. So, in today’s world, just being able to change, is not
enough. What distinguishes Enterprises from their competitors these days, is how they change. How effective and efficient they
are at doing Transformation. It IS, “The era of the Transformation of Transformation”.