Is Organisational Agility the Essence of its Competitiveness?
Time to market is often a critical factor for the launch strategy of new products or services. Whether in a market, where the room for differenciation is limited or radically changing a value chain, fast delivery can give the edge leading to an eventual commercial success.
In offshore races, this approach is embedded in the routing strategy and is sometimes referred to as “betting miles for time”. Because of the very dynamic nature of the environment racing sailboats compete in, having a faster boat creates routing options taking adavantage of the weather patterns. These routes can be longer in distance than the straight route. However, they take advantage of the more favourable or changes in weather conditions and of the boat characteristics to reach the finish line faster.
Today’s business dynamics bear lots of similarities with offshore sailing races. Therefore, building the capacity of teams and organisations in the art of “betting miles for time” is a key element of their competitiveness. And, as in any serious game, it has to be supported by assumptions that are clearly understood, to be able to use surprises and speed to your advantage.
So, what are these assumptions and how to ensure they are properly taken into account?
The first assumption is that speed comes at a cost. Faster boats, packed with new technology and materials can be significantly more expensive than the more traditional ones. How will you identify those critical elements that create “speed” at an affordable cost in your project?
The next one is that speed brings risks with it. Fast boats are more demanding on the crew, equipment and materials, increasing the risk of injuries or breakage. Do you understand the risks in your project, how “speed” affects them and how they can be managed to an acceptable level?
The last one is the importance of reliability. In our minds, speed often boils down to one metric: the maximum achievable speed. However, maintaining a high average speed throughout a race is equally if not more important. The latter metric relies on design choices and risk management strategies. What choices do you need to make to ensure your project is both capable of fast sprints, when needed, and can operate at as high a pace as possible at all other times?
By answering these questions, you are acquiring the mindset through which you achieve competitiveness, by defining the optimal balance between value, scope and risks. Reaching this equilibrium will put you in a position to identify faster routes to market, taking advantage of its changing dynamics and of your project characteristics.
To develop this mindset, typical of an offshore racing project, ALL4ONE consulting has developed the ALL4ONE TROPHY, a “serious game” simulating the preparation and participation in a sailing race around the world serving as backdrop for a value creation scenario. Design thinking, lean start-up and team efficiency value levers are explored, before being combined in the game to augment the competitiveness experience.
The ALL4ONE TROPHY can be organised at your premises, at an external venue or online, as standalone training, team building or integrated into a wider organisational development programme.
Picture credits: © Dongfeng Race Team