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Archive for the ‘Disruption’ Category

Understand the Future Customer Journey

 14th March 2019 by gihan

A few weeks ago, I was in Brisbane speaking to the CEOs of private hospitals in Queensland about the future of healthcare. These are smart, savvy, experienced people who know healthcare is changing, know they need to change as well, but don’t know exactly what to do.

But I know some of them were taken aback when I said:

“The future of healthcare is not in hospitals.”

Even if you’re open to change (and these CEOs are), that’s still a confronting statement if most of your role involves building and leading a successful hospital!

Next week, I’ll be saying something similar to leaders at a banking conference:

“The future of banking is not in banks.”

But I firmly believe it’s true!

The future of healthcare is not in hospitals.
And the future of banking is not in banks.
Just as the future of education is not in schools.
And the future of retail is not in shops.

To understand the future of healthcare, banking, education, or retail, don’t start with hospitals, banks, schools, and shops. Those are just the way those industries served their industries in the past. The future might include them, but not necessarily.

The future of healthcare is in patients.
The future of banking is in customers.
The future of education is in students.
The future of retail is in shoppers.

In other words, the future is understanding the people you serve: patients, customers, students, clients, shoppers, whoever.

It’s too easy to fall in love with your products, services, systems, processes, and solutions. But remember these should all be solving problems for your customers. If they aren’t, you’ll soon be obsolete.

Understand your future customer’s journey.

You don’t know exactly how customers will behave in the future, but you can map your current customer’s journey, and then consider the impact of technology, trends, and other external changes at each step.

Here’s the healthcare example I shared with those CEOs …

Imagine a cardiologist who treats patients who suffer a heart attack. Her customer’s journey might start (literally) from the time the ambulance receives the emergency call and rushes the patient to the emergency room. She then performs the surgery, the patient leaves hospital, and constant monitoring happens over time.

Imagine how this customer journey might change in the future:

  • A self-driving ambulance collects the patient. Because all traffic is self-driving, other vehicles automatically stop to let the emergency vehicle through.
  • The patient’s wearables transmit data wirelessly to artificial intelligence software that combines this data from that of thousands of other patients to make a diagnosis.
  • A 3D printer in the ambulance prints a stent for the operation, customised for this patient.
  • Medical supplies are delivered by an autonomous drone, so the hospital doesn’t have to store and manage inventory.
  • After surgery, the patient uses an ECG app on their phone to take regular ECGs, which alert the cardiologist to any potential problems.

All this technology exists now, even if it’s not connected in this way – yet.

A forward-thinking cardiologist, hospital CEO, and anybody else involved in the current version of this journey would consider the impact of these technologies on their “customer’s” journey. Even if some of them are further away than others, they are worth including in the mix now, and then deciding whether you need to address them immediately.

This exercise doesn’t guarantee you will fully anticipate everything in the future customer’s journey, but it’s a good start.

Thinking Ahead

Ask these three questions to help you get fit for the future:

  1. Are you already mapping your customer’s journey, so you can identify how to enhance their experience?
  2. What new technology or trends could have a significant impact on the steps in your future customer’s journey?
  3. What seemingly-impossible things could so radically transform the customer’s journey that they could make you, your organisation, or your industry obsolete?

Disruption By Design

 12th March 2019 by gihan

20 years ago, Clay Christensen wrote a groundbreaking article about “disruptive innovation”, and that brought the term “disruption” into everyday business use. Hardly a week goes by without hearing about a business – or even an entire industry – being disrupted, so it’s not surprising many business leaders are worried. But we’re all talking about disruption, and forgetting the second part of his phrase: innovation! The real secret to success now is to disrupt yourself, so you can stay ahead of the game and lead the way in your industry.

Listen To the Episode

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The Fit for the Future Podcast brings you regular ideas, interviews and insights about how you, your teams and your organisation can become fit for the future.

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The Future of Private Hospitals and Private Healthcare in Australia

 19th February 2019 by gihan

  1. Young people are deserting private hospital insurance – with 49,000 fewer Generation Z’s and Generation Y’s with private insurance than in 2017 (APRA)
  2. Health insurance reform will start taking effect from April 2019 with premium rises and falls for different categories (Deloitte)
  3. Digitisation of the healthcare system has pros and cons (Deloitte). It will lead to greater efficiency, more collaboration, and new opportunities. But it also requires large investment in people, processes, and technology
  4. “Within 10 to 15 years it won’t be a partnership – the consumer will be completely dominant in the relationship.” – Dr Richard Ashby, eHealth Queensland
  5. Most (75%) healthcare providers recognise the need for culture change and workforce optimisation (Australian Health Week)
  6. “Modern unified communications can empower medical staff to provide the best patient experience possible any time and any place.” – Brendan Maree, 8×8 Asia-Pacific
  7. AI and machine learning should augment, not replace, clinicians (Dr John Halamka, Harvard Medical School)
  8. The global market for wearable medical devices and remote patient monitoring systems will reach US$612 billion in 2022 (Deloitte)
  9. “We want to move the health system to a future state that uses cloud-based medical systems and consumer-friendly apps.” – Dr Kevin Cheng, Osana
  10. Australia’s healthcare system is not adapting fast enough to technological change, an ageing population, and rapid urbanisation (KPMG/CEDA)
  11. Consumer healthcare technology is moving services away from hospitals and into patients’ homes (Grattan Institute)
  12. The number of hospital admissions is on the decline. Japan aims to move from 8500 to 7000 hospitals within 15 years (International Journal for Quality in Health Care)

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An Important Lesson For Us All From The Royal Commission

 12th February 2019 by gihan

Last week, Kenneth Haynes, commissioner of Australia’s Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, handed in his final report, which included 76 recommendations for reform.

It’s a wide-ranging report, affecting many businesses offering financial services, and it has caused much debate and discussion over the last two weeks. I don’t want to discuss the report in detail here, but it’s worth looking at one aspect of it, because it’s a warning sign for every business in every industry.

Let’s talk about one group that claims to have been unwittingly caught in the crossfire: mortgage brokers.

The mortgage broking industry is facing massive disruption.

One of the report’s recommendations is to change the way mortgage brokers charge fees. In a nutshell, instead of the current system of a broker charging the bank for bringing them the business, the Haynes report recommends they charge the customer instead. The idea is that this would eliminate any perceived conflict of interest, because brokers wouldn’t be influenced by the commissions they receive from the banks.

But many brokers claim this would destroy their business, because many customers simply wouldn’t pay a fee for this service (which they are currently getting for nothing).

I think they are probably right, and I have a lot of sympathy for their point of view. I have an excellent mortgage broker myself, and I know she has saved me thousands of dollars in fees and interest through her expertise. So I understand their point of view.

But the warning signs have been there for years.

I’ll explain …

This is one of the six kinds of disruption.

Broadly, there are six kinds of disruptive forces that could turn your business upside down:

  • Competitors: The traditional companies you’re currently fighting head to head for market share
  • Dominators: The “big guys in town” whose influence affects the entire industry
  • Start-ups: The new players in your industry, who operate with a lean, nimble, and agile approach
  • Upstarts: The start-ups who not only take on your industry, but aren’t bound by the same rules and regulations as everybody else
  • Randoms: Somebody from another industry entirely who disrupts your business without even trying to compete
  • Terminators: Businesses from a different industry who make your entire industry obsolete

This is an example of a Dominator.

A Royal Commission is an example of a Dominator because it affects everybody in an industry.

Sometimes the disruptions appears out of the blue, but more often the signs are there – if you’re willing to look for them.

For example, for the mortgage broking industry, it might look like these changes have come from nowhere as a result of the Royal Commission. But I wrote about precisely these changes in a blog post almost two years ago: What You Don’t Know WILL Hurt You – Disruption in the Mortgage Broking Industry. I wrote it because of another report released at the time – the Sedgwick Report – which recommended some of the very same changes the Royal Commission is recommending now.

Here’s an extract of what I wrote at the time:

“The dominators in the industry are the regulators and other government forces. They don’t compete directly with you, but they change the way you run your business – in ways that are generally outside your control …. The Sedgwick Report recommends changes to the way financial products are sold and offered – for example, replacing value-related commissions with a fee-for-service model … Last year, as part of the Financial System Inquiry (FSI), ASIC’s Review of Mortgage Broker Remuneration proposed other changes to the way brokers are remunerated – all in the name of increasing competition and improving consumer outcomes.”

As I said, the warning signs were there!

I’m not making any judgement here about whether the proposed changes are “fair”. As I said, I have a lot of sympathy for the broking industry’s point of view. But it doesn’t really matter what I think about it – these businesses probably will be disrupted.

It’s not easy for anybody to imagine major disruptive changes to their life – especially changes that fundamentally underpin their current business model. But it’s an important position to take – especially if you’re a leader in a fast-changing world.

Most importantly, look for the warning signs. It’s surprising how often they are there – if only you’re willing to look for them.

Thinking Ahead

Here are three questions you can ask to help you adopt this mindset:

  1. Which “assets” in your organisation could be liabilities because they are blinding you from other opportunities?
  2. What would happen if some fundamental part of your business model became illegal tomorrow?
  3. If a smart start-up company wanted to move into your industry, what would they do differently?

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Financial Advisers: Trends that will Shape the Profession in 2019

 15th January 2019 by gihan

It’s been a challenging year for many in the financial services industry, and you don’t need to be a futurist to see some of the immediate changes ahead, for example:

  • Increased monitoring and oversight from ASIC, backed by the Government
  • The end of the vertically integrated model
  • An acceleration of advisers leaving the industry

But what other changes can we expect, especially from trends and technology outside the industry? Let’s polish our crystal ball and look at what experts are predicting for the next few years.

In an article for the FPA’s magazine Money & Life, I wrote about three important trends, one over-hyped technology and three key skills for the future.

Read the article here.

You can also watch this video for a quick summary.

The Best Workplace on Earth

 10th January 2019 by gihan

We all know the workplace of the future will be very different from the workplace of today. But what will the workplace of the future look like? It’s more than just technology and automation – it’s about the environment you create for attracting the smart, talented, savvy people with the skills we need for future-proofing our organisations.

The bad news is that those “stars” are in demand, and can choose where they work. Are YOU providing the sort of workplace that will attract and keep them?

You can watch the recording here:

After the webinar, I asked participants “What was the most useful thing you learned today?” Here are some of their answers:

“The quality of thinking and clarity is first class-excellent mentor”

“Reverse mentoring”

“I liked the five from/to scenarios. they are all aligned to becoming agile, but without mentioning agile.”

“The 5 reasons why people love their workplace”

“Different perspectives”

“Reverse mentoring. Of course I had heard about the concept, but what a great provocation. A real “ah ha” moment for me! :)”

“Reverse mentoring.”

“The reverse mentoring is very important. One aspect I have done which is similar is 360 reviews where staff review managers and visa versa. Had a great impact on the management team.”

“Up to date information to pass on to my clients”

“setting up formal mentoring for my team”

“The references you used, some of which I have accessed already, but others I hadn’t and want to do and look them up.”

The Future Proof Webinar Series

The Future Proof webinar series will keep you in touch with our future – what’s ahead, what it means for us, and how to stay ahead of the game.

In each webinar, I’ll cover an important topic about the future – for example, the shift of power to Asia, the changing workplace, healthcare technology, the shift to customer-centric business, big data, and more. This is not just theory; I’ll also give you practical examples and ideas for you to future-proof your organisation, teams, and career.

Register here

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Disrupt Less, Innovate More

 8th January 2019 by gihan

I hear a lot of talk about leaders talking about their business or industry being disrupted, and they want to know how to deal with all this “disruption”.

I think that’s the wrong way to look at it.

Two decades ago, Harvard scholar Clayton (“Clay”) Christensen wrote the book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, in which he coined the term “disruptive innovation”. Over time, many people have abbreviated this to just “disruption”, but that’s dangerous!

His original idea was about innovation, not disruption. But we’ve distorted it so much that few people think of innovation when they hear the word “disruption”.

Disruption is when it happens to you, innovation is when you do it yourself.

Innovation is all about change. Yes, it’s about disruption, but with you in control. In other words, it’s disruption by design.

You might have heard this joke:

The Dalai Lama orders a burger from a stand, hands over $20, and gets his burger but no change.

“What about my change?” he asks the vendor.

The vendor replies, “Change comes from within.”

Innovate from the inside out. You disrupt yourself, but in a positive, progressive way that positions you better for the change happening in the world.

So, as we head into 2019, instead of thinking about disruption, think about innovation and change.

The world has changed – but have you?

Broadly, most organisations go through three phases.

First, you see a problem and notice many people with that problem. In this “strive” phase, you build an organisation with the skills and resources to solve that problem.

In the next phase, the world has moved on, and customers face an entirely new set of problems. They expect a completely different set of solutions, and your organisation is no longer relevant. You haven’t become “dumber”, but you have become less relevant. You’re doing all you can just to “survive”.

If you do the things you’ve always done, your organisation won’t survive. The organisations that thrive now solve a different set of problems. It doesn’t matter whether these organisations even existed in the “old” world. In fact, in many cases, it’s an advantage if they didn’t, because they aren’t carrying all the extra baggage that comes with solving the problems of the past.

In the past, when the world wasn’t changing as quickly, you had time to adapt, adjust, and evolve your organisation to solve new problems. Now, you need to move much faster – and disrupt yourself or be disrupted.

That means you need new skills.

You can’t solve new problems with the same skill set you used to solve old problems. You need new skills, and it’s not difficult to guess what kind of skills you need: collaboration, diversity, independence, flexibility, and so on.

The good news is there are smart, talented people out there with those skills.

The bad news is they have a choice of work.

So, the question is: Do they want to work for you?

That puts the responsibility for success back on you. If you want to thrive, create a better workplace so you can attract – and keep – the best people!

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Which Industries Are Most At Risk of Disruption? My Interview on Your Money

 11th December 2018 by gihan

A few weeks ago, Melbourne taxi drivers launched a class action lawsuit for $500 million against Uber, claiming that it was operating illegally in its early days from 2014, and had caused significant losses to the established taxi industry.

This is a copycat lawsuit, with these taxi drivers jumping on the Uber-bashing bandwagon, following a similar £500 million lawsuit from London taxi drivers and a C$400 million lawsuit from taxi drivers in Toronto.

I was recently interviewed on this topic – and the broader question of other industries at risk of disruption – by Brooke Corte of Sky Business News on the “Your Money” program. Watch the interview here (available to Australian viewers only):

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Top Trends for 2019 for Financial Planning and Advice

 15th November 2018 by gihan

It’s been a challenging year for the financial services industry. What does the year ahead hold?

Here are three consequences of the Royal Commission, three external trends, and three key skills for financial advisers and their businesses. Oh, and one piece of hype you should ignore!

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The Power of the Pivot

 13th November 2018 by gihan

Many people think of disruption as a bolt from the blue that comes out of nowhere and shakes up an entire industry. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Sometimes you can “disrupt yourself” by making a small change in a slightly different direction.

This is not just doing the same thing better, faster, or cheaper than before. That can be useful, but it’s just an incremental change. We’re talking about a change in direction – or, as the management consultants call it – a “pivot”. Think “different”, not just “better”.

A pivot doesn’t have to be a major change. Sometimes it’s just one degree away from where you’re heading now. But that one tiny change in direction will take you into a completely new future.

Here are five examples of companies that successfully pivoted – and in different ways – to transform their business.

Market Pivot

You might know Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook to connect university students. He started it at Harvard, and then gradually extended it to other American universities. The next step of his plan was to expand Facebook into high schools. But he shelved that plan, and instead opened it up to a much wider market: everybody. As a result, we have the Facebook of today: the biggest social media platform on the planet.

Thinking Ahead: What product or service could you offer to a different market? You don’t have to reach “everybody”, but a small shift to an adjacent market might create a profitable opportunity.

Side Pivot

In 1891, William Wrigley Jr. was running a business selling soap (Wrigley’s Scouring Soap) and baking powder. As an incentive to customers, every time somebody bought a can of baking powder, he gave them two packages of chewing gum. Eventually, he realised customers wanted the chewing gum more than the baking powder, and he switched to that as the main product of the company.

Thinking Ahead: What side product do customers value enough that they might be willing to pay for it?

Focus Pivot

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing site with more than 800 million users, started out as a “meetup” service. Founder Kevin Systrom, a fan of Kentucky whiskeys, created an iPhone app called “Burbn” to help people “check in” at various locations, post photos of their location, and make plans to meet up later. But the app was too complicated, with a confusing “jumble of features”, as he described it. Systrom and his colleague Mike Krieger decided to pare down the app to focus on the most popular feature – photo sharing – and renamed it Instagram.

Thinking Ahead: What features of your products do customers rarely use? Can you strip them away to focus on the key features?

Digital Pivot

In the last decade, Air New Zealand has transformed itself from posting the largest corporate loss in New Zealand history to being consistently profitable, and is now one of the most highly-rated airlines in the world. Much of the credit goes to its visionary decision in 2016 to appoint a Chief Digital Officer (CDO), replacing the role of Chief Information Officer. This led to new initiatives around automation, data analytics, optimising manual processes, and a cultural shift of changing everything in the existing operation.

Thinking Ahead: Are you fully tapping into the power of digital, first to replace and enhance existing operations, and then to create new opportunities using AI, analytics, and Big Data?

Perspective Pivot

Intel, famous for the “powered by Intel” processor chips in millions of devices, started with memory chips, which were used for storage rather than computing power. In 1985, facing fierce competition from Japanese companies, Intel was wrestling with the decision about whether to continue with “memory” or move fully into “processors”. Intel president Andy Grove broke the deadlock by asking his CEO, Gordon Moore, “If the board sacked us and brought in a new CEO, what would he do?” Moore instantly replied, “He would get us out of the memory chip market”. Grove said, “In that case, let’s walk out the door, come back in, and do it ourselves.”

Thinking Ahead: If somebody else took over your organisation, what would they do differently because they are not holding on to “baggage” from the past?

What’s Your Pivot?

Which of these examples resonate most with you?

Sometimes it’s not easy to see possible pivots when you’re caught up in your existing operations and focussed on your current strategy. Take a step back and assess each of these five pivots, and what they might be able to do to your business.

Don’t start by asking how you make them happen, because you get bogged down in details. Instead of asking, “How?”, ask “What if?”

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