3 Company Types that should Transform ASAP (and which one you are)

Digital transformation is hot. The global digital transformation market is expected to reach close to USD 800 billion by 2025, according to a study by Grand View Research, Inc.

Ironically enough, not a lot of companies are able to successfully transform in a digital-first world, not a lot of them have been able to become a future-proof organization.

Nowadays, technology has made it really easy for your smallest competitor to become your worst enemy practically overnight. We have identified 3 types of companies that need to transform asap.

The Jock Company

When a company has very a strong ‘body’ (people and skills) and a very good heart, it turns out to be(come) a Jock. An incredibly strong company with great values, yet lacking complete sense of a (sound) strategy.

Jock companies are known to do a lot, at the same time, without really knowing why and how it will end up.

A lot of scaled up startups look like jocks on steroids, a lot of football clubs nowadays too. But also smaller companies that don’t live by the grace of mercenaries can suffer from Jockitis, and even publicly listed corporates can tend to be(come) jocks over time – sprinting from quarter to quarter, keeping shareholders happy by any means.

It’s the company that is setting up incubators, and accelerators, and hackathons, and does things with AI, Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AR, VR, PR, SR, IR, IE, … (we made up the three last ones, but some Jocks would buy into it for the sake of it).

The threat for these companies is implosion: the athlete on steroids always gets caught at least once or they crash their Lamborghini against a wall themselves.

In real life, typically, these things happen when any unforeseen event happens (regulations change, a very smart competitor surprisingly moves into the market, a VC backs out, or a famous customer tweets to prefer a competitor now), or they get beaten in a smart way by competition on their core activities.

The company does not have a chance to rebound since it has no long term plan. People with the best skills, usually are not the happiest campers when these things happen, and generally bail out quickly.

Best examples of Jock companies?

Snapchat in startup land, Microsoft in the Ballmer years. Both very strong executers, but very little long-term vision.

What to do as a Jock company?

Get brains in (enter, Satya Nadella) or wait for implosion (Evan, are you reading this?)

2. The Monk Company

The Monk company can be described as almost the opposite of the Jock.

Where Jocks are very short-term minded, Monk companies are thinking very much ahead. So much, that they don’t really execute.

In fact, a Monk company is best known for its inability to execute – combining only the Brain and the Heart of a Future Proof Organization. It lacks total speed in decision making and power in execution.

Typically Monk companies have quite ‘fat’ organization structures and tend to (over)compromise when making actual calls to act. In the unusual event of doing things, actions are always spot on, but most of the times already outdated.

A lot of very, very big corporates that already are in business for a long, long time are known to suffer from Monkitis. Typically known to be afraid for cannibalization, to be unable to innovate and to be a brown noser in the end.

The threat for these companies is death by disruption, as speed is the variable in the digital age. In fact, as years pass by and digital keeps democratizing business opportunities, it just is getting worse and worse to be a Monk.

A lot of people will attend the funeral of Monk companies since they’re known as very respectable companies with great values.

The best thing to do is to get that unhealthy Body moving and back in shape. The right mindset is there, only the governance needs some upgrading (or two).

Best examples of Monk companies?

All of the disrupted ones: Toys R Us, General Motors, Kodak, … and most of those who are bound to be disrupted in the landscapes of (food) retail, finance and telecommunications (it’s a battlefield out there)

What to do as a Monk Company?

Assess your current people and governance structure. Cut the unnecessary fat, get in new blood, up skill as many as possible, revisit legacy KPI’s, … just get that body moving ASAP.

3. The Ego Company

From all three company types that miss just one element to be the Future Proof Organization, the Ego company, has only recently became ‘un-future-proof’.

With digital opening up a new level of transparency and ability to connect like-minded people, Ego companies can’t cover up their bad behavior on the one hand. On the other hand, customers and employees have been giving a voice.

The Ego company has such a strong Brain that it can manipulate a strong Body, proving the lack of complete sense of Heart.

It’s the company that does not care about environmental sustainability, employee wellbeing or customer centricity. It’s driven by greed and profits.

A lot of companies were like that in the last decades of past century, but as scandals rose to the social media surface, companies needed to revisit their behavior accordingly with their values.

Best examples of an Ego Company?

Think Nike and its cheaply manufactured shoes powered by child labor in the past. Or more recently, Volkswagen with their Dieselgate and Uber (I won’t open that box of Pandora again).

In the 90s, being an Ego company was the norm. Nowadays, it’s the easiest way to get sued, lose all your employees and see your customers sprint away in your cheaply manufactured shoes.

Accountability is the new black, and companies that sincerely value their customers AND employees are thriving. Which can only be applauded.

What to do as an Ego company?

Google your company name. If you don’t find any bad news about your organization, stop doing what you currently are and pray that nobody will ever find out about your filthy past. Chances are slim, but hope springs eternal.

Another thing you can do is cover up with extreme, extreme customer centricity to cover up the abuse of your own employees. Luckily this is coming to an end as well, (shockingly only) since 3 years (or so) #amazon # apple #netflix


About Duval Union Consulting

We are new-style management consultants focusing on transforming and growing organizations in a digital-first world with offices in Europe and the Middle East. New-style? Co-created business strategy, custom-made transformation trajectories and actual experienced business advisors are only some of our differentiators and why clients love to work with us. We design the future of your business together.

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