Businesses are operating in times where the rate of cultural, environmental and technological changes are rapid and unpredictable. We are experiencing the Fourth Industrial Revolution . Major trends of this revolution include Customer-centricity, agility and leveling up our professional skills. Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Digitization have compounding effects to accelerate change in business landscape. And like every prior industrial revolution, there will be winners and losers. As the fourth industrial revolution builds momentum, companies that survive will be the ones that have developed systems to manage systems.
What does that mean?
- You need effective leadership that can inspire leadership at all levels
- You need to replace ‘cobbled together’ technologies with interoperable harmonized platforms.
- You need a business operating system that can orchestrate both of these systems well and show you results – real time – so you can perpetuate or pivot to survive.
Agile is a business operating system that is actively helping companies shape their people, processes and systems to navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Companies that embrace Agile will evolve further away from a linear thinking mindset of “plan-control-deliver” to an evolutionary mindset that welcomes changes to continuously adapt its systems and business models to thrive.
Salesforce.com itself is no stranger to Agile. The company started it’s Agile transformation journey in 2006. Vision and boldness precipitated their journey. One of Salesforce’s founders led Salesforce’s agile journey which has helped them evolve to predictable outcomes and rapid market gains amidst constant change. Agile, not only transformed it’s original R&D target group, but also every facet of their business: Sales, M&A, Partner Ecosystems, Product Development Service and so on.
You know that planning for the unknown is a necessary skill to master if your business has to survive in periods of uncertainty. Balancing capital budget and matching organization capacity when there are so many unknowns can be daunting. Businesses must learn to take calculated economic risks, run safe-to-fail-experiments to test hypotheses. You have to develop leaders that can guide these experiments at a product line level. Their charter is to transform the right effort into the right value.
Technology is no longer a part of your business. It is your business.
We are all technology companies with a trade license to sell oil & gas, or properties, or manufactured products or specialized services. The more time and resources we spend on cobbled technology systems and getting them to play together, the less time we have to sharpen our business trade license and innovate. Salesforce.com, as many leading companies have come to realize, is no longer a CRM technology stack, but rather a system of integrated systems to drive marketing, sales, service, operations and finances for a business. For example, Salesforce can display the true cost of a sale to your business. It may come as a surprise that customer acquisition costs for most businesses are far greater than they anticipate. Salesforce platform can smartly surface appropriate cross-sale products or services to maximize your sales opportunity.
With Agile as your business operating system, and Salesforce as your technology platform you can run smarter and cost-effective experiments that ensure your business systems are poised for change, not just react to them. To get most out of your Salesforce implementation you need processes and people to interoperate with technological capabilities of the Salesforce platform. Agile teams are best positioned to learn from data-driven decision making capability that the Salesforce platform enables and deliver on a cadence. This helps your business to identify and build more levers to improve your profitability .
Getting ahead of the curve and establishing real Agile teams that can leverage full capability of the Salesforce platform requires leadership support. You need to organize your teams to work in an agile way so that businesses can learn faster. The joy of working in a well organized Agile team system and making improvised improvements using a powerful Salesforce platform is an unstoppable momentum-building force.