“Change is the only constant” especially today as technology, competition and uncertain political environments threaten disruption of all traditional businesses. Future-readiness and even survival requires organizational agility, co-creation of new solutions with customers and partners and empowering leadership.
Leaders of legacy businesses with well-honed processes, traditional KPIs and strategies and high expectations recognize the need to adapt but often ask ‘when should I act?’ ‘what should I do?’ and ‘how can I get started’?
For answers, some turn to education, others staff up IT or a Digitalization Team to run R& D projects or invest in joint ventures with entrepreneurial companies. During 2018, corporations invested over $1 trillion in leadership education, research, labs and alliances dedicated to innovation projects. However over 70% of corporate future-readiness initiatives still fail.
While the commonly cited reasons for failure are lack of funding, limited customer adoption, change in organization strategy or lack of digital talent, the greatest obstacles to innovation success are often leaders’ commitment, confidence and actions.
These qualities cannot be learned through a training course nor can they be delegated or outsourced to an innovation team or R&D project. Future-readiness starts with leaders and managers commitment to change, learning through action, co-creation of opportunities with customers and partners and especially collaboration.
Through sharing insights, working together on common challenges and brainstorming new solutions to address future customer needs, members of the Executive Growth Alliance are learning and innovating through action.
The Executive Growth Alliance, formed in Silicon Valley and expanded to Europe in 2017, accelerates corporate future-readiness by bringing leaders of traditional businesses together in small peer groups to collaborate, co-create and take action to transform – locally, regionally and globally.
It uses the Power of Peers i.e. a trusted peer community working together to solve common challenges. This concept is not new. In the 1700’s, American president Benjamin Franklin gained insights from his forum of twelve leaders called the Junto. Henry Ford credited his peer group, the Vagabonds (which included Thomas Edison, President Warren G. Harding, and Harvey Firestone) for much of his success.
The Executive Growth Alliance applies the Power of Peers to the need for ‘future-readiness’ in global corporations.
By working on real world innovation cases in Executive Growth Forums, peer leaders from non-competing companies within a common ecosystem (Transportation, Health, Smart Environment, Consumer Services, Industry) gain insight, inspiration and confidence to take action and adapt to change.
Since expansion of the Executive Growth Alliance from Silicon Valley to Norway in 2017, members such as Avinor, Easy Park, Entur, FMCTechnip, Hafflsund, Nordic Choice and Schneider Electric have achieved:
- Co-invention of new solutions in months not years
- Successful transformation of distribution value chain to a future-ready value network
- Scalability of digital solutions from lab to pilot to customer adoption
- Accelerated adoption of innovative mindset and corporate culture
- Increased customer experience through collaboration with local, regional and global alliances
For each Executive Growth Forum, one member prepares a case (a challenge or opportunity) to enhance the future-readiness of their organization. Through facilitated discussion, all participants contribute, gain insight on how they can address similar challenges and leave with key actions they will take to apply learning in their own organization. During the next quarterly forum, members share the results of their actions to build a collective understanding of what does and does not work ‘real time’.
Recent Executive Growth Forum cases have addressed questions such as:
- How can we enhance the end to end traveler journey today and into the future?
- What is the value and role of supplier, distributor and partner and how can we collectively share data and solutions to enhance customer experience?
- How can we best collaborate locally to improve customer experience while collectively leveraging the global technology providers?’
Since answers to many of these cases involve collaboration between companies within an ecosystem, Executive Growth Alliance membership leads to closer working relationships between companies. Between forums members are encouraged to meet, discuss and work together to take action.
While each of the members and their companies benefit from the Executive Growth Forums locally, real future-readiness is achieved through collaboration across Executive Growth Alliance groups globally. Just consider the impact when members of the Executive Growth Alliance Norway collaborate with their peers in Amsterdam, London, Silicon Valley and beyond on questions such ‘seamless traveler journey’.
Executive Growth Alliance membership includes participation in quarterly Executive Growth Forums and Future-Ready Summit; global collaboration opportunities and Innovation Expeditions for on-site working sessions in Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs in the Executive Growth Alliance Community.
The Executive Growth Alliance is empowered by Next Step of Silicon Valley which led business transformation for Adobe, Autodesk, Google, LiveNation, Nevion, Tandberg and others.