Annapurna as a metaphor for experiencing digitization and implementation of innovative models in business. In most companies experienced as an impossible task.
At Ander Group, we are aware of how fast technology is running and businesses are required to keep up. The internal and external pressures of a dynamic and spasmodic world require professionals and companies to be able to innovate quickly and effectively to compete in dynamic and uncertain environments. In our consulting field we have seen our clients experience many of the obstacles that undermine business growth and the digitization process, and we hope these reflections will inspire you along your road to success.
Digitization: not a walk in the park, but a mountaineering climb
Did you know that, climbed by only 300 people, the Annapurna massif is ranked number one on the list of the ten most difficult mountains to climb? And did you know that of the 300 people who have attempted the feat, 73 have lost their lives trying?
The introduction of digital transformation and innovative operating models within an organization can be thought as the Annapurna of companies.
A McKinsey survey of more than 1,000 companies shows that although a large proportion of them have shown business process improvements in terms of modernizing their operations, less than one-third have managed to move beyond the pilot phase. Indeed, the study shows that for a large percentage this "mountain" appears almost unscalable.
Learning to walk before running... and climbing
Studies such as the one just shown, in our consulting field, represent common dynamics that - reluctantly - do not surprise us and that we see occurring daily in a variety of industries and business realities, from the smallest to the largest, bar none.
The idea of keeping up with the times, bringing technological changes to business processes, and incorporating an innovative approach into the daily routines of employees are practices that entice corporate management, which, however, does not always take into consideration the bearing that a business process change intervention requires.
The value creation that results from a change in the business operating model is never a consequence of a one-off implementation, but of a transformation and implementation path that involves moving away from traditional rigid and bureaucratic processes and introducing flexible and agile methods by involving the entire company across the board.
What obstacles stand in the way of your business change?
The time variable
Everything takes its time; you cannot expect to get to the top right away.
A too rapid evolution makes it difficult for organizations to internalize change.
In our consulting sphere, some players promise immediate results and proclaim they have the magic formula for growth. We believe instead that the contribution of a new technology, or tools aimed at streamlining business processes are only the first steps in a path of value creation in which - as in any self-respecting physical training, before a climb - there will be a warm-up phase, an exercise phase and a defatigue phase.
Not seeing the immediate result, leads in most situations to losing interest in staying within the transformation process, and then declines into a return to "old habits".
The resource variable
No one undertakes the climb to Annapurna in flip-flops.
The same is true for companies about to introduce an innovative digital ecosystem into their day-to-day management.
Corporate management often finds itself slowed down by certain factors, such as risk aversion or even the difficulty in overcoming entrenched cultures and operating models. Whatever the underlying motivation, the result is the same: the introduction of digitization is often underfunded. Reports on the subject show that the average resources that are used for a business innovation project are only 25-50% of the investment needed to achieve real results.
The human factor
We have tested it with our own hands: one may have the best technology, the most advanced tools, the most innovative and effective digital ecosystem available, but until the transition is internalized and accepted by the people who have to make use of it every day, a real breakthrough will not take place and a growth process cannot take place.
At Ander Group we devote so much time and resources to training, communication with both our clients and theirs to make sure that the change is internalized and that confidence in the project is never lost.
The support of a strategic partner who knows the tools and can help companies incorporate them into their daily lives is never to be underestimated.
The added value lies not so much in the activation of a tool, but in the process of accompanying in its use, in the stages of optimization in order to make the most of it according to one's needs.
An appropriate monitoring method
Implementing a digital ecosystem within your company is not just a matter of making organizational changes, but of introducing ways to monitor data, manage performance and analyze KPIs. To give an example, having a CRM that allows you to manage newsletters, contacts, email marketing, ads, social media, perhaps integrated with a well-structured and perfectly designed Shopify shop is an important accomplishment, but it should not be underestimated that without an appropriate method of analysis and performance monitoring it is pointless.
The value of numbers, predictive trend analysis and constant monitoring of activities are the basis of augmented consultancy: strategic consulting that integrates vision and concrete results to achieve business success and steady, measurable growth.
Never leave any stone unturned
Maurice Herzog said speaking of the mountain with the highest mortality in the world:
"Annapurna is a sort of novel. It’s a novel, but a true novel”
There is truth in our narrative as well: real experiences of customers and companies willing to embrace technological advancement and innovative operating models sometimes heedless of the risks or even just the commitment required across the board from all team members.
Having a strategic partner who knows the way, who can guide you and advise you on how to face the mountain is invaluable. Sometimes, it actually saves lives.