Start with the problem — not the solution

The business world isn't short of silver bullet "solutions" (eg Big Data, Agile, Digital Transformations) that promise to solve every problem. But the most common problems most organisations have come from: 

  1. Strategies that are a tyranny of action: Endless meme copying (let's go Agile!) with little to no awareness as to why they should do 'this' and not 'something else' 
  2. Miscommunication and misalignment: People focusing on meeting internal departmental KPIs while giving little thought to the organisation's strategic priorities 
  3. Duplication and bias: Dozens of projects doing exactly the same thing — causing a huge drain on resources — as silos don't cooperate with other silos 
  4. Missed opportunities and no hope projects: Obvious, low-hanging fruit continually missed (because of number 2 above) and projects designed to meet needs customers don't actually have 
  5. Constant restructuring: Bolting on new capabilities as things go wrong, followed by further restructuring to remove them later, before adding on the latest ones again (repeated ad infinitum). 

This shows that most organisations aren't engaged in a Darwinian 'survival of the fittest' battle but in 'survival of the least incompetent' as everyone copies everyone else seeking a bounce from the latest 'solution'. But what happens if a new rival enters your field and starts to focus on fixing your customers' problems instead? 

What are you going to do if an Amazon or an AliBaba enters your field? 

The answer is, first of all, stop harming yourself. 
Situational Awareness