In an ever more complex business environment, the businesses that are achieving lasting success are those that strive to ‘thrive’ rather than ‘survive’...
And in doing so are driving a thriving society ever closer to creating abundance for all.
Transformation involves the fundamental and irreversible shift in the structure, form, function, character and purpose of any entity. It is an archetypal change mechanism for becoming different, rather than becoming an improved version of what already exists.
If this definition is to hold true, how can Business Transformation really be a thing?
The answer lies in a business’s fundamental character and purpose. Two different businesses can look very similar in structure, form and function but one could be submerged in the pursuit of surviving whilst another is engrossed in the quest of thriving.
Surviving means; “to continue to live or exist, in the face of threats” whilst thriving means; “to grow or develop well, to prosper or to flourish in the face of opportunity.”
In practice, these differences result in the organisations behaving very differently. And if they start from the same point, these two similar businesses will quickly and dramatically diverge.
In today’s world, which is being disrupted by an exponential growth in connective and cognition enhancing technologies, business transformation has become synonymous with a strategic decision to switch games from surviving to thriving.
The integrated and individuated nature of a thriving business needs its’ total business eco-system to thrive. This happens when every participant in a business’s numerous internal and external value exchanges result in mutual resonance and deep, meaningful and trusted connection. These positive experiences live on well after each value exchange and over time lead to mutually reinforcing feelings of connectedness, loyalty and trust.
In contrast, those businesses which are merely surviving, or declining, may be involved in what seems to be comparable value exchanges; but the net sum of all their internal and external experiences are neutral or do not result in positive resonance.
We see the evidence that a business is thriving in the resonant connections created between a business’s customers, contributors, suppliers and community stakeholders. If you walk around a transformative business, you can feel the buzz in every individual and team interaction.
Transformative Businesses, therefore, have one thing in common; they have all moved on from a surviving mindset to a thriving one. They have understood the simple concept that, despite the rational benefits, the exclusive pursuit of survival actively hinders opportunities to thrive.
So, why can this happen? And why does a thriving business outperform one consumed by survival?
In every interaction or value exchange there is an inbuilt human desire and potential to connect and resonate with others. This is because we are all born programmed to thrive as well as survive. We are often encouraged by society to thrive through a drive to develop purpose and meaning in life.
Our business’s collective meaning and purpose, released by a strategy for thriving, provides a significantly more powerful drive than our collective behavioural instinct to survive. This increased drive comes from harnessing everyone’s conscious and less conscious drives. It taps into our business’s reserves of energy and motivation, which are bound up in our business’s collective identity and values.
Once the strategic decision has been taken to transform our business, and shift from surviving to thriving, the difference can be instant and dramatic. Just the thought of what it will be like to thrive immediately moves a business forward towards the goal of thriving, and transformation has begun.
For those businesses that have already made the collective decision to become a thriving business, the difficult part is over. And the rest is just a matter of hard work and practice, practice, practice.
For those businesses which are in the “early years of development”, and have always been thriving, the challenge is growing up whilst preserving this intrinsic strategy; rather than being diverted by numerous well-meaning “survivalist” influencers and advisors.
How does a business go about thriving?
Our research shows the top characteristics of a thriving business are;
- A value proposition that creates meaning and purpose for all business participants.
- A collective identity aligned to a collective set of values, beliefs and competencies that support the delivery of the value proposition.
- An integrated and complementary but diverse set of individual and team identities, values, beliefs and competencies, which align and support the value proposition.
- An environment and set of support systems and enablers that fuel the natural creative and adaptive capacity of every individual and team.
- A culture which values play, experimentation and celebrates early low cost testing and failure.
- Rich connective access to an engaged audience with which to practice, co-create and involve in agile experimentation.
- Connective technologies to enhance rich two-way connections between all business participants, which are geared to enhance resonance, and to swiftly identify and proactively adapt to the emergence of potential dissonance.
- A Business Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom architecture which supports access and visibility to enhance opportunities for individual and networked intelligent agency.
- An understanding that thriving is the default mode which is backed up by an option to escalate to a survival mode by exception. A temporary countermeasure invokable by anyone who identifies an immediate and short-lived business threat.
In the meantime, If you would like to share you business’s transformation story, please contact us here: Start a conversation