To execute programs that turn opportunity into real and sustained competitive advantage, organizations need more robust and nimble approaches to delivering change. High performing organizations shift their focus from methods and deliverables to guiding, motivating and aligning people. Successful change leaders develop cultures of accountability in which people feel responsible for doing everything they can to further strategic priorities. This kind of leadership is harder than implementing tools and processes. It may require learning and teaching new ways of working with people. New organizational forms may also be needed to encourage teams to work together instead of opposing each other.
Business Capability Development
As markets and companies have emerged from the recent downturn, executives have looked to the future with concern. The slow and inconsistent recovery, combined with the disruptive effects of globalization, technological change, and regulation, has made it clear that what happened was not just another cyclical swing. It was reflective of a deeper economic and industrial reorganization.
Leaders seeking to respond to these shifts are increasingly looking to information and analytics. More information and more meaningful analytics are available to them than ever before. It is clear that decision-oriented capabilities have great power to not only enable companies to survive the new normal but to thrive in the opportunities created by it. However, these efforts have failed at an astounding rate. Generating sustained differentiating and value will require better approaches to delivering enterprise change.
Architecture provides a crucial link between business and technology capabilities, but it also helps bridge the gap between business and technology organizations. In my experience, everyone seems to agree that the two groups need to work more closely together; at least I don’t hear the suggestion that business owners should throw requirements over the wall and come back six months later for acceptance testing. However, this is not too far from what happens in practice, and the results are felt in many organizations regardless of function, industry, or maturity: IT effectiveness is hampered, business stakeholders are frustrated, and the gulf between business and IT grows until it seems that never the twain shall meet.