One of the few positive things to have come out of this fractured business environment is that business leaders can choose to invest time to scenario plan: what will the Next Normal look like for transport and mobility markets? Who will be my customers and partners? What opportunities might I spot if only I had the time to reflect? --and, all importantly, how should I transform my team and my business to grasp those new opportunities? In other words, how can I manifest the holy grail of agility?
“For some organizations, near-term survival is the only agenda item”, wrote Ian Davis, formerly of McKinsey, during the financial crisis of 2008. His words ring equally true today: “others are peering through the fog of uncertainty, thinking about how to position themselves once the crisis has passed and things return to normal. The question is, ‘What will normal look like?’ While no one can say how long the crisis will last, what we find on the other side will not look like the normal of recent years.”
We started talking about this in our article “Getting to the Future First”, back in November 2020: “Operators in fuel, fleet and mobility markets are unanimous in one belief: that we are set for dramatic change. Not only change in the competitive landscape (though new entrants and substitute technologies will reform much): but root- and-branch upheaval of traditional ecosystems.
This upheaval may appear threatening: but it holds great promise for those organisations willing to transform themselves, their portfolio/positioning and their channel structures.”
The impact of COVID-19 has registered high on the Richter Scale in our markets. However, it hasn’t altered the drivers of change themselves: digitisation and the transition to clean energy were, and still are the driving forces behind transport and mobility evolution. What the pandemic has done is dramatically accelerate the pace of that change, its urgency and the balance of power on the battlefield. However resilient a business was pre-COVID – the rules have changed: leadership agility is what will count.
So we believe that 2021 will be the year of transition. It may also be the year of distinction between those businesses that invest the time and effort to embrace the change needed to succeed in the New Normal, and those transport and mobility businesses that continue to grind on under challenging and soul destroying conditions, scrambling around to cope, rather than seizing the moment to adapt and build on new opportunities.
The continuous responsiveness to change implied in Darwin’s quote leads to the nirvana of Business Agility – espoused by many, yet realised by precious few businesses.
However, if you do achieve it, then you are more able to innovate - instinctively taking advantage of opportunities even in disruptive environments like ours. For those who embrace agility, market disruption will turn into competitive advantage.
Accenture talks of 4 types of Agility:
- Deliver Fast and Responsively (Delivery Agility)
- Innovate and Disrupt (Product Innovation)
- Adapt Organization and Culture (Organizational Adaptability)
- Lead through Complexity (Leadership Effectiveness)
It is Leadership Effectiveness above all else that will drive the transformation in energy, transport and mobility businesses.
So……….are YOU grasping the opportunity this period of instability is serving up? Is your business agile enough not only to respond, but to rethink, reshape and transform?
In the meantime, if we’ve already struck a chord, why not get in touch with us directly to find out how our team of experts can support your business – and in particular how we might support you in driving Organisational Transformation at this critical time.