Business (r)evolutions all around us!

‘Paradigm shifts’ is a much used phrase but it does capture accurately the tremendous change that is happening all around us. The word ‘paradigm’ brings to mind a pattern, a commonly known and accepted way of thinking, be it at work or life.

A notable aspect of these trends is the absence of ‘either-or’; how two seemingly conflicting or contradictory ideas both have their place and relevance for enterprises of today. We see a world today where profit and purpose co-exist, where physical infrastructure and the virtual world seem an extension of the other, where collaboration and transparency aren’t just feel-good features but an intrinsic driver of business growth.

Several alternative paradigms are pushing professionals to rethink and reconfigure their enterprises. It is also interesting to observe how some of these evolving models feed into each other, or are influenced by each other. Regardless of enterprise size or even the industry sector it is in, there is no more ‘business as usual’. The pandemic catalysed just in the last year, what digitisation and the internet started in the turn of the century.

niiti consulting has not just been seeing these (r)evolutions happening slowly but surely over the years around us, we have been right in the middle of it all. A virtual company, made up of a tight network of super bright and passionate professionals, where collaboration and partnership is the underpinning to drive large scale and lasting impact by providing local, sustainable solutions.

As with any change, just contemplating it or understanding the contours of the change itself can be complex and daunting. As business leaders, we have to remind ourselves of the payoffs. Through this platform, we hope to share our insights and look forward to a journey with you, dear readers. Every month, I hope to bring to you one shift that we are observing, with examples, and maybe even a podcast where we hope to have guests who “walk the talk”. Intrigued? Watch this space as we delve deep into some of these shifts we are observing, and espousing!

“Trust is the underpinning of success in virtual working.”

Be it the working relationships of members within the same team or between employees at two different organisations, virtual work mandates that we keep the faith in one another. How does this manifest?

“Redefining customers- Collaboration is the new C.”

Business flows are no longer unidirectional with the customer firmly at the receiving end. How do some organisations co-opt customers, business partners and ecosystem players, giving each a significant part to play?

“Hierarchies to networks – how organisations are evolving.”

Rather than a fixed pecking order, can leadership be determined by the expertise needed? How are some organisations drawing on talent in a brand, new way?

“From profit to purpose- how organisations are redefining business models.”

Gone are the days when businesses existed only to book profits; now enterprises, and large ones at that, are changing the rules of the game in building in greater good. How are they making this work?

“How an experimentation culture is driving innovation @ work.”

Deploying just control, systems and processes is passé; today’s enterprise welcomes its employees and members to test, re-think and innovate. What does it take to empower, to go beyond control?

“Intrapreneurship led organisations.”

A good enterprise is one in which its members go on to create mini enterprises of their own, while giving their best to their organisation. What is the secret sauce that such ‘mini enterprise spawning’ organisations have?

“Is transparency key to good governance and better productivity?”

Don’t openness in transactions and sharing of information proactively make logical, solid business sense in an information era?

“Creating a culture of evaluation to drive sustainable outcomes.”

Should enterprises take another look at the metrics that they have been using to quantify success? If so, how can this new way of thinking permeate the entire organisation?

“Are social good and profit making mutually exclusive?”

‘Driven by a cause’ need not mean that the enterprise gets by on donations and grants. Social enterprises that do good, while working towards a healthy bottom line, are here to stay. How do they do this?

Paradigm shifts are natural and inevitable, and they are useful to us in many ways, but they could be tough to embrace. I honestly believe what is tough doing will definitely be worth doing, if it has the potential to have exponential impact!

[author title=”Meena Vaidyanathan” image=””]Meena Vaidyanathan, founder of niiti consulting, has led many innovative projects in corporate and development sector over the past three decades. Meena teaches marketing and sustainability at several Universities, is a member of the Advisory Council of the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF) program at IIM Udaipur, and Advisor on the Indian Principals Network. [/author]

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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