Research & Thought Leadership

  • Louis Strauss

Unlocking the power of dual transformation

To ensure your business is equipped to thrive in the years to come, you need to take a dual-engine approach to organisational design. The idea here is to serve your current customers while also building out the capabilities to meet the needs of your future customers, even if these sets of customers are the same.

Below, you’ll discover how to transform your organisational design using a proven strategy called dual transformation. As part of this process, you’ll become familiar with two key concepts, known as Engine A and Engine B.

A tale of two engines, and why you need both

Engine A is your current economic engine. Maximising longevity is the objective with Engine A, so it’s essential to find more efficient ways to meet your customers’ needs.

Market demands, expectations and forces have changed significantly. So, if you want your core business to survive, it’s imperative that you make the appropriate changes as well. This may sound obvious, but execution is tricky, and markets are riddled with stories of failure.

Engine B is about creating new revenue streams. You do this by creating a team that initially focuses on the discovery of these new areas of growth, which eventually take over as your primary economic engine.

Beware the gravitational pull of Engine A

When attempting to implement this two-pronged approach, the gravitational pull of your Engine A may suck in the much smaller Engine B.

The issue lies in not prioritising your Engine B over your Engine A, as it most likely means less growth and revenue in the short term.

What is critical in this transition is that as Engine B grows, it leverages more and more of Engine A -- in the form of intellectual property (IP) and resources -- until it becomes the primary engine.

The key to transitioning your engines successfully

The first step to ensuring this is successful is to take control of your Engine A, ensuring that all that remains is vital to your core business. This is all about gaining control through consolidation.

If you're going to transition your engines successfully, you need to make sure your Engine A has been tamed. A decentralised beast with many silos will be significantly harder to transform digitally.

Once in control, building out your Engine B becomes the primary objective. As stated earlier, Engine B should be given the freedom to operate and grow, leveraging the resources of your Engine A.

Eventually, the gravitational pull of your Engine B should outweigh that of your Engine A, absorbing it entirely.

Remember, just how the brick connected all those who worked at Lego, so too must your Engine A and Engine B share a common fabric that ensures alignment, so that this transition is as fluid as possible.

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