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Dup208 pragmatic pathways

  1. 1. Pragmatic PathwaysNew approaches to organizational change A report by the Deloitte Center for the Edge
  2. 2. About the Deloitte Center for the EdgeThe Center focuses on the boundary, or edge, of the global business environment where strategic opportunity is the highest.The Deloitte Center for the Edge conducts original research and develops substantive points of view for new corporate growth. TheSilicon Valley-based Center helps senior executives make sense of and profit from emerging opportunities on the edge of business andtechnology. Center leaders believe that what is created on the edge of the competitive landscape—in terms of technology, geography,demographics, markets—inevitably strikes at the very heart of a business. The Center’s mission is to identify and explore emergingopportunities related to big shifts that aren’t yet on the senior management agenda, but ought to be. While Center leaders are focusedon long-term trends and opportunities, they are equally focused on implications for near-term action, the day-to-day environment ofexecutives.Below the surface of current events, buried amid the latest headlines and competitive moves, executives are beginning to see the outlinesof a new business landscape. Performance pressures are mounting. The old ways of doing things are generating diminishing returns.Companies are having a harder time making money—and increasingly, their very survival is challenged. Executives must learn ways notonly to do their jobs differently, but also to do them better. This, in part, requires understanding the broader changes to the operatingenvironment:• What’s really driving intensifying competitive pressures?• What long-term opportunities are available?• What needs to be done today to change course?Decoding the deep structure of this economic shift will allow executives to thrive in the face of intensifying competition and growingeconomic pressure. The good news is that the actions needed to address near-term economic conditions are also the best long-termmeasures to take advantage of the opportunities these challenges create. For more information about the Center’s unique perspective onthese challenges, visit www.deloitte.com/centerforedge.
  3. 3. A report by the Deloitte Center for the EdgeAbout the authorsJohn Hagel IIIJohn Hagel III, a director with Deloitte Consulting LLP, is the co-chairman of the Deloitte Centerfor the Edge. He has nearly 30 years’ experience as a management consultant, author, speaker, andentrepreneur, and has helped companies improve their performance by effectively applying infor-mation technology to reshape business strategies. In addition to holding significant positions atleading consulting firms and companies throughout his career, Hagel is the author of a series ofbest-selling business books, including Net Gain; Net Worth; Out of the Box; The Only SustainableEdge; and The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion.John Seely BrownJohn Seely Brown (JSB), co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge, is a prolific writer,speaker, and educator. In addition to his work with the Center for the Edge, JSB is advisor to theprovost and a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California. This position followed alengthy tenure at Xerox Corporation, where he served as chief scientist and director of the XeroxPalo Alto Research Center (PARC). JSB has published more than 100 papers in scientific jour-nals and authored or co-authored seven books, including The Social Life of Information; The OnlySustainable Edge; The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion;and, most recently, A New Culture of Learning.Christopher GongChristopher Gong of Deloitte Services LP, a member of the core research team for this report,is the senior editor for the Center for the Edge. He is focused on understanding the deep, fun-damental shifts in the economy driven by technological progress. With a background in strategyconsulting, he is also interested in the creation of organizational structures that maximize learningand innovation.Stacey WangStacey Wang, a member of the core research team for this report, is a senior consultant at DeloitteConsulting LLP who focuses on strategy, growth, and innovation within the technology space. Sheis interested in building ecosystems within different industries, especially education, to create newsolutions for today’s challenges. Her passions include K-12 education reform, spinning, and food.Travis LehmanTravis Lehman, a member of the core research team for this report, is a consultant in DeloitteConsulting LLP’s Strategy and Operations practice, focusing on Technology, Media andTelecommunications industry clients. He is extremely interested in new approaches to organiza-tional change, and his passions include emerging technologies (particularly social media), NewZealand, and rugby.
  4. 4. Pragmatic Pathways New approaches to organizational change
  5. 5. A report by the Deloitte Center for the EdgeContents Executive summary | 2 Traditional change approaches | 3 Pragmatic Pathways: A new approach | 4 Pragmatic Pathways to change  | 6 Metrics that matter case study: Pfizer | 7 Scaling edges case study: AWS | 10 Shaping strategies case study: Spotify | 14 Pragmatic Pathway approaches build on each other  | 17 Your starting point | 18 The path forward | 20 Endnotes | 21 1
  6. 6. Pragmatic Pathways New approaches to organizational changeExecutive summary F or executives, it is the best of times and it is the worst of times. In the past few decades, we have seen an unparalleled and This paper seeks to show how organiza- tions can achieve large-scale transformations in a series of smaller, pragmatic steps. Through exponential rate of technological progress new technologies, practices, and other parties that has created opportunities to run busi- in their business ecosystem, organizations can nesses better, faster, and more cost effectively. make success more likely by decreasing initial However, the increasing pace of progress has investments and increasing their initiatives’ also led to unprecedented levels of disruption velocity. We propose that through small moves and uncertainty. Squeezed between increas- smartly made, organizations can address their ingly powerful consumers and employees, short-term tactical needs as well as create the companies face all-time high levels of competi- fundamental, long-term changes needed to tive pressure. In the Deloitte Center for the survive in a world of constant disruption. We Edge’s annual Shift Index report, we show that call this new change methodology “Pragmatic since 1965, return on assets across all publicly Pathways,” and have defined three separate held US companies has declined by 75 per- approaches that can be deployed depending on cent, indicating these pressures are not part circumstances and organizational cultures: of a short-term recession, but are permanent fixtures in the business landscape. • Metrics that matter is a pathway to focus Faced with these pressures, investors, deployment of a disruptive tool or practice stakeholders, and executives all agree that in order to trigger cascades of adoption and something needs to be done. However, from rapid performance improvement. our experience, there is rarely alignment on what to do or how to do it. When confronted • Scaling edges is a pathway to transform with the imperative for change in times of the core of the business by focusing on uncertainty, many companies fall victim to low-investment, high-growth-potential either the paralysis of short-term, incremental opportunities—“edges”—with fundamen- improvements or the hubris of risky, bet-the- tally different business practices. farm strategies that have no guarantees of success. To make matters worse, companies • Shaping strategies is a pathway to restruc- struggling most face what we call the Change ture markets and industries using platforms Paradox: The companies in most dire circum- to bring people together and mobilize large stances often have the fewest resources to make ecosystems with positive incentives by cre- requisite changes. ating a compelling view of the future.2
  7. 7. A report by the Deloitte Center for the EdgeTraditional change approachesB efore discussing Pragmatic Pathways in greater detail, it may be helpful to reflecton the two common change paradigms we large financial outlays, 2) lengthy lead times, and 3) the uncertainty of success. The com- bination of these factors invariably arousestouched upon before. The first is the pursuit of financial and political resistance from the orga-incremental change, often consisting of either nization’s core. This resistance can manifestcost-cutting initiatives or marginal product in a multitude of ways: from direct resistance,improvement. This mentality is common in such as pulling budget, to more subtle or pas-organizations without a clear vision or align- sive forms of resistance, such as the refusal ofment on how to “steer the ship.” While incre- employees and managers to adopt new prac-mental improvements are absolutely critical to tices. This resistance to change can be observedmaintaining and improving a healthy business, anecdotally. Reflect on large-scale changethey are incapable of protecting organizations initiatives attempted by organizations in yourfrom disruption. In fact, in the long run, focus- own industry, or perhaps even by your owning only on efficiency and incremental growth company, and consider the various sources ofis the most tried-and-true path to irrelevancy. resistance that were encountered. The second common change paradigm is Inevitably, as more and more organiza-what we call the “big bang” change approach. tions face the imperative for transformationalThese approaches are typified by high-profile change, they have started to look for alterna-projects with multimillion-dollar budgets, tives to the incremental and “big bang” changelarge implementation teams, and complex approaches we have described. Fortunately,multiyear implementation plans. They include the disruptions that necessitate change (suchlarge-scale M&A deals, technology deploy- as new digital infrastructures, technologies,ments, and business strategy overhauls. But and communication patterns) also provide thedespite the resources and attention devoted building blocks for better ways of transformingto these “big bang” approaches, somewhere an organization. The companies that deploybetween two-thirds to three-quarters of such these new change approaches before theirefforts fail.1 competitors will be able to create and hold a Although the reasons for these failures are significant advantage in their industries.complex and unique to each effort, at theirsimplest level, they all share three factors: 1) 3
  8. 8. Pragmatic Pathways New approaches to organizational changePragmatic Pathways:A new approach E ven under the best circumstances, orga- nizational transformation is difficult. The Pragmatic Pathways methodology is designed possible. However, when alignment is not feasible, the Pragmatic Pathways philosophy is to circumvent conflict rather than face it head- to help maximize a change initiative’s chance on. Battling detractors is risky; should you of success by increasing the velocity of the lose, it could mean the end of your initiative, initiative, decreasing the initial investment, and even if you win, it wastes your time and and minimizing uncertainty wherever possible. energy. Instead, change leaders need to seek By doing so, the change agents leading the ways around detractors and lengthy approval initiative decrease the ability of detractors to processes by minimizing initial investments mount resistance against it. Although the three wherever possible, shortening timelines to approaches we outline are different, they all gain traction quickly, and seeking out those in employ the following principles to increase the the organization most willing to embrace the likelihood of success: change, both at the executive and tactical level. Circumvent internal resistance: Often, Leverage your ecosystem: Another impor- the most significant obstacles for change tant component of the Pragmatic Pathways occur internally, either in the form of the slow approach is to help your organization establish pace of approvals and adoption or outright its place in its broader ecosystem (your eco- refusal to change. First, seek alignment where system consists not only of your suppliers and4
  9. 9. A report by the Deloitte Center for the Edgecustomers, but also your consumers’ influenc- change initiatives easier. The changes outlineders as well as groups in adjacent businesses). in Pragmatic Pathways will not only help moveMembers of your ecosystem have deep insights organizations from one stable state to another,about your industry and consumers, and they but will also help them create more flexible andcan be powerful allies and partners, providing fluid organizations that will be able to respondinsights and ideas. By partnering with compa- to future disruptions. By positioning them-nies with complementary skill sets and exper- selves to work with growing networks inter-tise, you will be able to offer better solutions nally and externally, companies access flowsfaster and with less initial investment than you of knowledge and capital and enable scalablecould on your own. learning, allowing them not only to respond to Employ disruptive tools: All three change but also to preempt it. Organizationsapproaches prescribe the use of new tools that adopt one or more of the Pragmaticto help in the change process. The purpose Pathways will:is to increase the speed of information flowand transparency, which leads to better 1. Understand the financial and operationaldecision making. In addition to these ben- metrics that matter most and figure outefits, these tools help flatten organizational how to connect these levers to the deploy-hierarchies and circumvent bottlenecks that ment of new tools or practices in order toblock initiatives. stay abreast of technological and organi- Aim for immediate impact: Each path- zational developments that can improveway is designed to help organizations realize internal efficiency.the benefits of their change efforts as soon aspossible. This fast-to-market mentality not 2. Continually test and refine new edges out-only lets organizations realize their short- side the core of the organization, using itsterm goals, but also tests the feasibility of their business ecosystem to help hone fundamen-initiative as soon as possible. Through the tally different skills, practices, and businessnatural process of trial and error that comes models while connecting and mobilizingfrom quickly developing and testing ideas, third-party resources to minimize the costchange agents can simultaneously gain traction of scaling these edges.by showing the benefits of their initiative whilealso adjusting and correcting areas of failure. 3. With the right alignment and vision at the Achieve long-term transformation: While executive level, companies could shapethese approaches are designed for short-term entire markets or industries throughimpact, they will also help create and reinforce orchestrating these broader ecosystemsthe collaborative behaviors and transpar- with a shaping strategy.ent organizational cultures that make future 5
  10. 10. Pragmatic Pathways New approaches to organizational changePragmatic Pathways to change T he Pragmatic Pathways framework (see figure 1) can be interpreted as a spiraling maturity model of sorts, with the starting point have a vision of how they can capitalize on these, but lack the broad executive support or wherewithal to pursue large-scale organiza- at metrics that matter and moving clockwise to tional change, can consider scaling edges. This scaling edges and then shaping strategies. approach allows the company to begin trans- Companies at the beginning of the maturity forming on the periphery, rather than the core, curve, which have not adopted the behaviors of its business and eventually scale the new and practices to take advantage of the new idea to become the new core. Finally, compa- digital infrastructures, will probably benefit nies that have complete alignment on their most from a targeted, narrow implementation vision—from the CEO to line employees—and of a new tool or practice (e.g., social software, the conviction to see this vision through can cloud) to improve business operations. This influence the entire face of their industry by can be achieved through the metrics that mat- orchestrating an ecosystem of active partici- ter pathway. Companies that have identified pants through a shaping strategy. the fundamental shifts in their markets and Figure 1. Pragmatic Pathways framework Broad SCALING EDGES SHAPING STRATEGY Focus on edges of the business that Restructure markets and industries to have the potential to rapidly scale your advantage by mobilizing large through adoption of fundamentally ecosystems through positive incentives different business practices and that generated by compelling views of the ultimately could become a new core for future and economically attractive Breath of change the business platforms METRICS THAT MATTER PRODUCT AND SERVICE Tightly focused deployment of new OFFERINGS/INCREMENTAL technologies, tools, and practices to CHANGE (Out-of-scope) trigger cascades of adoption and rapid performance improvement Narrow Internal Focus of change External Graphic: Deloitte University Press | DUPress.com6
  11. 11. A report by the Deloitte Center for the EdgeMetrics that mattercase study: PfizerM any companies will deploy a new tool or practice with a hammer; that is to say,they roll it out and hammer it in with no stra- power required to process the information quickly and affordably—two key metrics that determined the company’s profitability andtegic plan. But when people are told to adopt success. To solve this problem, Pfizer partneredsomething and they have no incentive to do with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to design aso, the outcome is typically a lack of adoption. tailored solution—specifically, a private cloudImagine if the same company first understood solution, so that Pfizer could offload mundanewhy people needed the tool, and then deployed tasks and free up its internal high-performanceit systematically to the people who would computing (HPC) platform to process critical,eagerly adopt it. yet sporadic projects. When Pfizer was considering increasing By using thousands of off-site serversthe usage of cloud technologies in its organiza- rather than relying solely on internal ones,tion, the natural place to deploy it was in R&D, Pfizer compressed compute time from weeksthe core engine that drives success for phar- to hours, enabling it to make quicker financialmaceutical companies. Pfizer R&D needed to and strategic decisions, and resulting in gainsquickly analyze, organize, and compute large of millions of dollars.2 This tailored solutionamounts of very complex data and provide also freed scientists to focus on problems andresults back to scientists so they could make solutions without worrying about technologyactionable decisions about a drug. But Pfizer limitations, decreasing Pfizer’s R&D costs by 7lacked the enormous amount of computing percent, or $600 million, since implementing 7
  12. 12. Pragmatic Pathways New approaches to organizational change • Operating metrics: Managers aim to drive cloud in 2010.3 As Michael Miller, senior direc- improvements on operating metrics—near- tor of HPC for Pfizer R&D, observes: term indicators of an organization’s perfor- Speed can literally change the way you mance and success. think about a scientific problem.4 • Financial metrics: Finally, executives are Pfizer’s use of AWS is an example of how focused on improving financial metrics to organizations can effectively launch a new please shareholders, often in lockstep with tool or practice by aligning it with business quarterly reports. metrics that matter to employees. By focus- ing on improving operational needs rather In an industry characterized by “eureka” than on adoption, Pfizer created incentives for moments, Pfizer’s choice to use cloud has employees, particularly those with the stron- afforded the company greater flexibility and gest need for it, to adopt the tool. As employees capability to scale its operations as needed for adapted to and created new behaviors, they critical research. Accessing offsite servers for saw improvements in their own performance, the necessary computing not only decreases which drove further adoption in vertical and computing time, but also reinforces informal horizontal cascades. This method allowed collaboration, accelerates time to decisions, Pfizer to catalyze new practices and the use of and lowers the costs of new investments. The the tool much more successfully than if leaders company benefits handsomely from this, but had pushed for adoption directly.5 this benefit is actually driven by individuals This metrics that matter approach is very finding value in the new tool. For example, the different from a traditional firm-wide IT R&D HPC team is now able to expose resource implementation; it is a targeted insertion of a costs very transparently back to the researchers new tool or practice to drive business perfor- in real time so users can make intelligent deci- mance. If you look at social software specifi- sions on costs versus priorities. Miller claims: cally, two-thirds of companies are interested It’s a game-changing approach to making in social platforms and approach them by better decisions within Pfizer.6 deploying them agnostically across the enter- prise; this, more often than not, fails to drive Not only has the targeted deployment of adoption and usage. As these companies have cloud led to adoption and behavioral changes learned, adoption cannot be the primary aim across the R&D group, but it has also changed of deploying a new tool or technology. Instead, Pfizer’s competitive advantage. In 2010, Pfizer adoption should occur naturally as employees spent seven months working with a cloud willingly use the new tool or practice for their services provider to design a secure system that own personal benefit (and the benefit of the fulfilled its compliance and security needs.7 company). Looking forward, Pfizer could also consider There are three types of metrics to consider how cloud is deployed across the rest of the when launching a tool, each important to a dif- organization to enable rapid prototyping, much ferent group within the firm: the same way R&D is able to use cloud now to rapidly undergo new research. A scaling edges • Exception metrics: For line employees, it strategy could allow Pfizer to adapt to the is critical that they improve productivity rapidly shifting health care markets by finding and performance, whether through improv- the right “edge” opportunity. Pfizer could even ing collaboration and communication or think about how it could shape the way the making exceptions to daily processes easier entire industry pursues R&D and consider how to handle. collaboration could potentially occur beyond8
  13. 13. A report by the Deloitte Center for the Edgeits own organization and extend to the entire perhaps a business unit manager finds a keypharmaceutical ecosystem. Cloud could also exception that needs to be addressed in orderenable Pfizer to create a flexible platform upon to improve operating performance. Skepticismwhich scientists, quality controllers, customers, from employees, who are used to and comfort-regulators, and others in pharma connect and able with the status quo, is understandable, butcollaborate to quickly design, test, and bring positioning a new tool or practice as a meansnew drugs to market. to affect key performance metrics can over- This pragmatic approach may start with an come skepticism and align the entire organiza-executive spotting a strategic challenge that tion to adopt something new to drive change.impedes an important financial metric. Or 9
  14. 14. Pragmatic Pathways New approaches to organizational changeScaling edges case study: AWS W hen AWS was launched in 2002, many thought it was simply a way for Amazon to sell off excess storage and comput- transform the core business; earlier this year, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said: [AWS] has the potential to be as big as ing capacity. However, within two months of our retail business. It’s a very large area its inception, Amazon had burned through all and right now, [cloud computing ser- of its extra capacity. In fact, by 2007, AWS had vices are] done in our opinion in a very grown to offer nine different services. Today, inefficient way.9 that number has grown to 82, and the number of objects stored in Amazon’s cloud continues One of the most interesting aspects of AWS to grow exponentially. Morgan Stanley ana- is that while cloud services seem fundamen- lysts estimated revenues for 2011 to be $1.2 tally different from the online marketplace that billion, and projections are that the business Amazon is known for, cloud services are actu- could grow to $2 billion by the end of 2012.8 ally part of the same broad vision. AWS serves Although AWS still only constitutes a small as a nonobvious adjacency that has allowed percentage of Amazon’s $48 billion business, Amazon to leverage many of its existing Amazon’s leadership sees it as having lots of capabilities from its retail arm. Amazon had room to grow. To truly be an edge, an oppor- developed expertise in distributed comput- tunity has to have the potential to scale and ing within the company, which has lent itself to providing AWS as a service. This expertise10
  15. 15. A report by the Deloitte Center for the Edgehas led Amazon to transform the adjacency There are several principles any organiza-into an industry-leading business. From the tion can adopt to scale an edge:beginning, Amazon realized the opportunities Focus—Firms should identify and focus onfor this service. As Werner Vogels, the chief “edge” initiatives that follow four principles.technology officer of Amazon, observed: An edge should: The excess capacity story is a myth. It was never a matter of selling excess capacity … 1. Align with fundamental market forces Amazon Web Services was always consid- and the long-term vision of the business ered a business by itself.10 and market: For Amazon, this came with understanding the strong growth potential The move into cloud computing may be and high margins of cloud-based services.pivotal for Amazon, not only because it givesthe company access to new markets, but 2. Require minimal investment to initiate:because the market can also potentially bear In addition to its excess capacity, Amazonhigher margins for services than commod- had already developed many key tech-itized retail products. nologies and internal capabilities (particu- Amazon’s AWS is an example of what we larly around distributed computing) thatcall scaling edges, which is a framework and could be leveraged for AWS. This alloweda set of design principles focused on large- Amazon to test its ability to host cloudscale institutional transformation. It requires services with little investment.focusing on promising high-growth areas, oredges, that have the potential to change the 3. Have the ability to “grow the pie,” or cre-core of the business in the long run. To ensure ate revenue in the short term, which doesthe best chance at this, the edge must avoid not conflict with the core of your busi-direct conflict with the core of the business by ness: The revenue streams from AWS wereplaying in a different space in the short run. almost immediate and did not cannibal-This will allow the edge to grow and become an ize any of Amazon’s core business on itsestablished, proven, and viable model before online marketplace.encountering the full range of financial andpolitical obstacles that come from directly 4. Have the potential to transform the corechallenging to change the core business. In the in the long term: While it is too early tocase of the AWS edge, the cloud services space say definitively how much AWS will grow,is adjacent to rather than in direct conflict with both Bezos and Vogels have suggested thatAmazon’s core online retail business. it will become as large as the core of the Often, the organizations that need change business.11 And while it plays in a differ-the most are those that are the most resistant ent space than Amazon’s core business,to it. The scaling edges framework helps to given the potential for significantly highercircumvent the political and financial resis- margins, AWS has the potential to replacetance that usually arises with any change effort. the core online retail business as the pri-While this resistance may not have surfaced mary profit generator for the company. Inwithin Amazon, as AWS was driven by the addition to growing revenue, the move tofounder, it is a common problem in many services also represents a new approach forfirms that are less open to change. 11
  16. 16. Pragmatic Pathways New approaches to organizational change the company and a fundamental transfor- Accelerate—The third key component to mation of the company’s focus. the framework is the speed at which one can take a new product to market. Compressing Leverage—Edge initiatives should leverage lead times and driving revenue quickly will low-cost, disruptive technology, and external allow the edge to overcome the financial and resources to overcome obstacles to scaling: political obstacles that are the downfall of most Many of AWS’s services are designed to easily strategic and change initiatives. Examples of integrate with and build on other software and these obstacles range from the explicit, such as web services. AWS’s fastest growing service, choosing not to allocate budget to an initiative, DynamoDB (a fast and scalable database to the passive, such as agreeing to an action service), was designed to seamlessly integrate item and then not following through. Edge with Elastic MapReduce (EMR), another web initiatives should accelerate the pace of innova- service. EMR allows customers to analyze tion to compress the time between investment large quantities of data quickly and cost effec- and return wherever possible. Part of this pro- tively. The two services in tandem are quite cess is to design for scalability and rapid testing powerful. On his weblog, Vogels described and release. AWS itself was built to be quickly the interaction: scalable with a portfolio of integrated products By taking advantage of DynamoDB’s that were released as they were completed; this seamless integration with EMR, many of approach allowed Amazon to quickly test both our publishing customers are able to easily the concept of moving into services as well analyze various trends in real time, such as each individual application concurrently, as content popularity.12 and to make adjustments in real time to meet market demands. As a result of the integrated design, a wide range of customers have quickly adopted Scaling edges in the the product because it meshes with tools they already use. This ease of adoption has context of the Big Shift driven rapid growth for DynamoDB. As In order for the edge vision to have the Vogels describes: most impact, it has to be in line with funda- After only two months, customers had mental shifts in the broader marketplace. We already provisioned enough capacity to have seen rapid gains in technological perfor- perform hundreds of billions of requests mance, digital infrastructure penetration, and per day.13 global liberalization of economic policy, and all of these macro shifts are fundamentally chang- One of the powerful elements of leverage ing the way consumers interact with organiza- is that AWS overcomes a zero-sum business tions. Any change initiatives that do not take mind-set. By creating products that interact these trends into consideration will have a with the existing ecosystem of online solu- reduced chance of long-term success. tions, AWS is able to leverage the capabilities These concepts are built for change agents and products that have been established in the to help others in their companies develop the market. Additionally, Amazon fosters and cre- courage and conviction required to start the ates online forums for new users who are just change process. Often, companies will have a learning to use AWS tools. The result is that vision for where their company and industry both products add value to each other and cre- need to head (conviction), but lack the cour- ate a symbiotic relationship where companies age to act on that vision. At the same time, and users both benefit. much of the financial and political resistance12
  17. 17. A report by the Deloitte Center for the Edgeto change comes from the core of the busi- there will be a profound impact on how busi-ness. This is to be expected; core processes are ness is conducted. By providing cheap, scalabledesigned for the status quo. Deploying an edge services, products like AWS enable companiesmodel requires some change agents to detach to focus on core competencies, new or exist-from promising core activities to build on the ing. Also, as data storage and processing needsperiphery where there is less resistance, par- become variable rather than fixed costs withticularly in the initial phases when momentum cloud, companies will be able to more effi-is still building. Operating on the periphery is ciently provide current product and serviceparticularly important, as efforts that challenge offerings with less risk and a litany of newthe core directly tend to mobilize institutional services will follow suit. Amazon will have the“antibodies” that cause these efforts to fail. opportunity to create new uniform standards As Amazon continues to scale the edge of and protocols for interactions across a series ofAWS, it has the potential to not only transform products that have the opportunity to becomethe core of its own business, but to also fun- new industry-wide standards. Amazon, as adamentally change its market and ecosystem. result, will then have the chance to rally itsWhen companies, particularly those that are ecosystem around its vision for the future ofgrowing, begin to adopt cloud-based services, the technology industry. 13
  18. 18. Pragmatic Pathways New approaches to organizational changeShaping strategiescase study: Spotify N apster broke the music industry by removing content from its traditional wrapper, the album, and the industry has not sharing platform may just be able to save the international market. Before the 2012 Grammys, Spotify co- been the same since. International revenues founder and CEO Daniel Ek spoke before a for the music industry peaked in 1999 at $56.7 gathering of industry executives and spent billion and have declined to an estimated $28.7 most of the night describing his vision to them: billion in 2012. After Napster was litigated out The value of music is not $15 billion [2011 of the picture, Apple’s iTunes legally continued international digital music sales]; it’s the digital trend of separating the single from worth much, much more than that.14 the CD. Although the revolutionary distribu- tion method appealed to consumers, it unde- After Spotify’s launch, Sweden’s music niably eroded profit margins for music labels, industry experienced growth for the first time artists, and other participants in the industry. in 2011, with Spotify accounting for approxi- It affected regional music industries around mately half of the music revenue. To the the world, which have likewise been in steady Spotify team, they are not just a streaming ser- decline since the peak in 1999. vice or an application to access your playlists; Enter Spotify in 2008, a new player in the from the founder on down, the company views fray. Swedish company Spotify has single- itself as the “operating system (OS) of music.” handedly reversed this trend in its home The executive team is aligned on its central country, and its digital streaming and social vision to deliver music to people wherever,14
  19. 19. A report by the Deloitte Center for the Edgeand whenever, they want to consume it. More Shaping view: Spotify’s actions to dateimportantly, Spotify is pursuing a shaping demonstrate a very specific vision of where thestrategy, mobilizing and orchestrating global music industry will evolve—to an industry thatecosystems around its vision to transform the is thriving on, rather than suffering from, themusic industry. new digital platforms. Spotify sees itself as the Shaping strategies are an effort to transform key platform in this new era; as Sten Garmark,an industry or market by creating incentives director of Spotify, describes it:for external participants, demonstrating that all We have to turn ourselves into the OSparticipants can benefit from this new vision, of Music.15and providing a platform for these participantsto interact on. The goal is to redefine the nature As this “operating system,” or music plat-of competition for the market sector. There form, Spotify intends to deliver music andare three specific components of a successful interactive experiences through third-partyshaping strategy: applications to its consumers. By broadcast- ing this vision and directly engaging and1. Shaping view: First, the orchestrator must orchestrating key ecosystem participants, such articulate a shaping view, a long-term vision as major music labels, artists, music industry of where the market is heading, which iden- media, third-party developers, and consumers, tifies where the opportunities and economic Spotify has multiplied the depth and complex- incentives lie for participants, yet is big-pic- ity of the listening experience on its platform. ture enough to leave considerable room for Spotify differs from Apple, Pandora, and refinement. The orchestrator needs to be a other prominent digital music aggregators compelling evangelist, able to clearly articu- through the integration of social graphs into late the vision of the direction of the new the music listening experience. Spotify’s launch market and the value creation opportunities in the United States reflected this strategy, for all participants in the industry. as the service was deeply integrated with Facebook Connect from the start. Users’ playl-2. Shaping platform: Second, the orches- ists are highlighted to their Facebook friends trator must provide a shaping platform, in real time, and users are able to “send” tracks or a set of clearly defined standards and to each other in order to recommend a new practices, that organize the activities of artist. Social recommendations are a crucial the participants and also provide them factor in increasing engagement with new and with leverage by reducing initial invest- established artists alike. As Ek observed in an ment and lowering the cost of interactions interview at the Grammy Awards: between participants. The sales cycle of [a] record is anywhere from four to twelve weeks in most typi-3. Acts and assets: Third, the orchestrator cal cases. With Spotify, we keep seeing the needs to demonstrate its capability and effect [extend] up to twenty-five, thirty- commitment to realizing its vision through five [weeks], or even a year.16 a mixture of “acts” and “assets.” Acts are necessary to define the shaper’s intentions, This is a crucial differentiator that enables demonstrating the shaping company’s Spotify to deliver music anywhere, anytime, assets can be a significant factor in persuad- while still fostering a healthy ecosystem and ing potential participants to invest in the growing the music industry. Spotify is also shaper’s view. aggressively targeting partnerships with new media channels to increase its user base—for example, it recently signed a distribution deal 15
  20. 20. Pragmatic Pathways New approaches to organizational change with Yahoo that will highlight the music ser- bold vision for Spotify and moved on it before vice as the preferred service for all of Yahoo’s people realized it was even possible. 700 million unique monthly visitors. Such dis- Acts and assets: To date, Spotify has dem- tribution partnerships are crucial to Spotify’s onstrated that it has both the conviction and long-term success in realizing its vision, as the the assets to help realize this vision. By open- addition of each new user increases the value ing up an application program interface to its for other participants in the music ecosystem. catalog of more than 15 million songs to any Shaping platform: Spotify has created third-party developer for free, it has commit- a platform and a set of clearly defined stan- ted to creating a much richer, deeper music dards and practices that organize and support ecosystem than what currently exists. By dem- the activities of its many participants. Since onstrating it is willing to invest a significant launching as a platform in December 2011, amount of money on its platform and making Spotify has actively engaged the ecosystem of these assets available for free, it is creating third-party developers by providing best prac- powerful incentives for third-party developers tices and coaching to ensure all applications to adopt its platform. Spotify has also sig- hosted on Spotify meet a minimum quality naled a long-term commitment to improving standard before going live on the platform. By the music industry by actively engaging the having an open-admit policy for third-party four major music labels (each of whom is a developers and providing them with the tools minority shareholder in Spotify) throughout and training to deliver quality applications, the evolution of its platform. It has identified Spotify is fostering specialization on its plat- opportunities for creating value in many dis- form and increasing the odds consumers will tinct niches for the labels, artists, publications, be able to find the specific features they want live promoters, third-party developers, and any to engage with. Targeted applications increase number of other participants within the music engagement for customer niches that might industry. For example, Ken Parks, Spotify’s not be reached otherwise; as a result, consum- chief content officer, has worked with music ers are willing to spend more time and money labels and other parties to develop new metrics on the music industry (e.g., on the platform, at to measure customer engagement with artists live events). This, in turn, increases the value and applications on the Spotify platform. By for application developers, musicians, and nature of their diversity and specialization, the labels as a whole. applications created by third-party developers This strategy is working—Spotify’s paid help expose niche artists who might not oth- membership in the United States increased erwise have a platform for their music. These by 1 million in the past year, and since the types of actions demonstrate that the shaper platform launch, US consumers have spent is committed to creating value for the entire more than 23.7 million hours on Spotify ecosystem, rather than exploiting the other applications, listening to music and engaging participants for its own gain. with the content creators in new and unique Spotify has demonstrated the potential ways.17,18 The platform not only makes Spotify’s to shape the music industry by describing shaping vision possible; it is also an integral a compelling vision of the future of music, piece of the vision. The ability to stream music introducing a platform to help realize this, and anywhere requires a sophisticated infrastruc- signaling its commitment to developing this ture and would not have been possible even vision in tandem with its broader ecosystem. five years ago. When envisioning the company, As it continues to grow as a company, Spotify Ek presupposed the existence of this architec- might find it useful to adopt a metrics that ture and was one of the early music streaming matter strategy in order to drive adoption of services to capitalize on its existence. He had a technologies or practices necessary to transi- tion into a publicly traded company.16
  21. 21. A report by the Deloitte Center for the EdgePragmatic Pathway approachesbuild on each otherA lthough we have suggested a maturity model-type approach to identify whereto start with Pragmatic Pathways, this is only so, it would not only improve the efficiency of the organization, but also refine usage of the technology or practice through a deepera loose guide to how they can be deployed. understanding of incentives for adoption.Firms may begin in different places in the Additionally, the benefits that are activated oncycle, and there is no strict order in which the edge would pull individuals and functionsPragmatic Pathways should be undertaken—in in the core out to the edge when the companyfact, they are mutually reinforcing. recognizes the benefits from this new practice. Let us take a hypothetical example to In effect, this method of diffusion can be useddemonstrate how the Pragmatic Pathways to transform the core from the outside in.approaches can build upon each other. Imagine After scaling its edge vision and pulling theif a cable provider were looking to update core out to meet that edge, the cable companyits traditional delivery methods to be more could realize it has the potential to disrupt andaligned with the Big Shift. Rather than seek- shape its entire industry. At this stage, if theing a “big bang” change approach, such as a change agents have gained sufficient influencelarge-scale acquisition, the firm could test its to align the entire organization, the companyability to leverage its massive cable networks could begin pursuing a shaping strategy toto deliver broadband Internet independently orchestrate the wider ecosystem of partici-or through partnerships with several smaller pants to shape the evolution of that specificcompanies. The company could rapidly pro- industry. One potential shaping view couldtotype and test the viability of this edge with be to create audience-focused media chan-its employees and customers in a manner nels, informed by a deep understanding of itsthat limits up-front financial outlay while still customer segments. In this scenario, the firmmaintaining large potential benefits. could potentially orchestrate a broad range of At the same time, the team in question third-party participants to provide its consum-might identify a new technology or practice ers with access to content from a wide rangeto increase the efficiency of operations for of sources beyond the firm’s traditional brandsthe identified edge of these media companies. and partnerships.For example, the cable provider could adopt a Throughout this example, you can seerapid development approach, such as the Agile how the Pragmatic Pathways frameworks aremethodology, to develop and test new capabili- complementary and self-reinforcing; more-ties. It could then pursue a metrics that matter over, they are an iterative cycle in which theapproach to strategically reinforce the adop- principles of each approach can be repeatedlytion of that methodology and catalyze cascad- applied to empower companies to evolve anding adoption across the company. By doing match the rate of change of our world. 17
  22. 22. Pragmatic Pathways New approaches to organizational changeYour starting point A s a change agent reading this article, you are no doubt wondering which of these change approaches is most suitable for approach depends on what type of change your company is aiming to achieve—whether it be broad versus narrow change or internal versus your specific company and situation. The right external change. Figure 2. Pragmatic Pathways decision tree Innovative company Shaping strategy strongly aligned with leadership No Previously successful company under increasing pressure, No with divided leadership Traditional risk adverse company locked into Yes old technology Scaling edges Yes Metrics that matter Graphic: Deloitte University Press | DUPress.com18
  23. 23. A report by the Deloitte Center for the EdgeThe following questions will help you assess which approach will be most helpful for you:You may want to consider a metrics that matter strategy if you answer yes to the majority of thefollowing questions: Is your company considering the deployment of a new, disruptive technology or Yes/No practice, but unsure how to best drive adoption?Leadership Does your company have a metric-driven culture with clear key operating and financial Yes/No metrics?Risk appetite Is your company’s culture resistant to change? Yes/No Are there specific pain points (e.g., exceptions to daily processes, bureaucracies restricting external collaboration) in day-to-day operations that can be improved by Yes/No adopting new technologies or deploying new practices?Performancepriority Is your company locked into relatively old technologies (e.g., traditional ERP systems) and eager to deploy new technologies to improve operational and/or financial Yes/No performance?You might want to consider a scaling edges approach if you answer yes to a majority of thefollowing questions: Are you a change agent who is willing to test boundaries and work outside of the core Yes/No organization?Leadership Do you have a long-term vision of how fundamental shifts are affecting your industry or Yes/No market? Do you see an opportunity in leveraging a broader ecosystem within your industry orRisk appetite Yes/No market to accelerate internal initiatives? Are the core operations of your organization surviving but not thriving in a competitive Yes/No industry?Performancepriority Can you identify a high-growth potential “edge” for your company, which is aligned with changes in your business’s landscape and has the potential to eventually transform Yes/No your entire organization?You might want to consider a shaping strategy if you answer yes to a majority of thefollowing questions: Do you have alignment around your organization’s strategy from the CEO through the Yes/No entire executive team on a vision that could change your industry?Leadership Can you clearly identify and articulate attractive opportunities for a wide range of Yes/No participants in your vision for your industry? Are you an industry leader or disruptor with the conviction and capability to influenceRisk appetite Yes/No the direction of the industry? Does your view of the industry express a perspective on its long-term direction and Yes/No highlight how it could change?Performancepriority Can you create or provide a platform that can support a diverse set of participants and Yes/No offer opportunities to create value in many distinct niches? 19
  24. 24. Pragmatic Pathways New approaches to organizational change The path forward L arge-scale transformation is not an easy process for an organization, but it is becoming increasingly necessary if compa- toward reaching a new state of being, firms must worry about reaching a state of always becoming, where they are able to meet new nies are to escape today’s mounting pressures. challenges with conviction and courage rather The Pragmatic Pathways framework provides than fear, and continuously evolve to overcome companies with new approaches to change these challenges. In that pursuit, the reinforc- that and take advantage of the fundamental ing nature of Pragmatic Pathways will help shifts occurring across markets and industries. firms develop the capabilities and practices to Instead of implementing transformation efforts succeed on their path to change. For more information on Pragmatic Pathways, please visit our website at: www.deloitte.com/centerforedge20
  25. 25. A report by the Deloitte Center for the EdgeEndnotes1. M. Washington and M. Hacker, “Why 11. Larry Dignan, “Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: Cloud change fails: Knowledge counts,” Leader- services can be as big as retail business,” ZDNet, ship and Organizational Development May 27, 2010, http://www.zdnet.com/blog/ Journal 26, no. 5 (2005): p. 400–411. btl/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-cloud-services-2. “Amazon touts Pfizer and other wins in the can-be-as-big-as-retail-business/35111. enterprise,” http://searchcloudcomputing. 12. Werner Vogels, “Amazon DynamoDB— techtarget.com/news/1515748/Amazon-touts- From the Super Bowl to WeatherBug,” All Pfizer-and-other-wins-in-the-enterprise. Things Distributed, June 21, 2012, http://3. YCharts, “R&D Expense Rankings for Drug www.allthingsdistributed.com/2012/06/ Manufacturers,” http://ycharts.com/rankings/ amazon-dynamodb-growth.html. industries/Drug%20Manufacturers%20-%20 13. Ibid. Major/r_and_d_expense?s=calc&d=desc. 14. Alex Pham, “Spotify’s Daniel Ek and the4. Jeremy Quittner, “A Pharma Giant Goes music ‘dinosaurs’,” Los Angeles Times, Febru- a Little Bit Virtual,” Crain’s, June 6, ary 10, 2012, http://latimesblogs.latimes. 2010, http://www.crainsnewyork.com/ com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/02/ article/20100606/SUB/306069989. daniel-ek-spotify-grammy-keynote-5. Megan Miller, Aliza Marks, and Marcelus entertainment-law-initiative.html. DeCoulode, “Social Software for Business Per- 15. Guardian Technology Blog, “Spotify Apps formance,” Deloitte Development LLC, 2011. Platform,” Guardian, March 6, 2012,6. Jeremy Quittner, “A Pharma Giant Goes http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/ a Little Bit Virtual.” Crain’s, June 6, appsblog/2012/mar/06/spotify-apps-platform. 2010, http://www.crainsnewyork.com/ 16. Evolver.fm, “Spotify CEO Daniel Ek article/20100606/SUB/306069989. Talks Royalties, Social and the Future,”7. Derrick Harris, “How the Cloud Could Boost February 10, 2012, http://evolver. Amazon’s Slow-Moving Margins,” gigaom, April fm/2012/02/10/spotify-ceo-daniel-ek-talks- 4, 2012, http://gigaom.com/cloud/how-cloud- royalties-social-and-the-future/. computing-could-boost-amazons-margins/. 17. Ingrid Lunden, “Spotify by the Numbers:8. Ibid. Now 5M Paying Subscribers, with 1M in the US Alone; 20M Users Overall,” TechCrunch,9. Werner Vogels, “How and Why did Amazon December 6, 2012, http://techcrunch. get into the Cloud Computing Business,” com/2012/12/06/spotify-by-the-numbers- Quora, September 10, 2010, http://www.quora. now-5m-paying-subscribers-with-1m- com/Amazon/How-and-why-did-Amazon- in-the-u-s-alone-20m-users-overall/. get-into-the-cloud-computing-business. 18. Hisham Dahud, “Spotify Releases U.S. Figures,10. Ibid. Sees More Than 13 Billion Streams,” Hypebot, July 23, 2012, http://www.hypebot.com/ hypebot/2012/07/spotify-releases-us-figures- sees-more-than-13-billion-streams-.html. 21
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