There are many reasons that businesses succeed or fail but in an Information Age economy, one looms bright.
The reason organizations like Amazon and Walmart are so successful is how their leaders have built their businesses. These leaders value processes over products or services, which is a completely different approach than most businesses, particularly startups.
Process driven businesses are designed to scale and take advantage of opportunities for innovation and competitive advantage by implementing processes into their system that work and that can be changed quickly. This level of flexibility, enables leadership to respond to customer needs quickly, as well as switch out or completely abandon current products and services with minimal effort when needed.
Process focused organizations, because they ARE NOT focused on any specific product or service, are able to innovate in ways that product and service businesses CANNOT because they’re designed for adopting new ideas and shedding old ones. Since these businesses ARE NOT “tied” to the success of any specific product or service, all available resources ARE NOT focused on preserving any ONE product or service to the exclusion of other opportunities, especially better ones.
Walk into any Walmart or log onto Amazon’s website and you quickly see the power of process over product. These businesses are able to swap out products, expand into completely different business areas when the opportunities present themselves, and completely disrupt existing business structures because of well established and vigorously tested processes.
Focusing on products and services to the exclusion of all else has been and continues to be the achilles’ heel and downfall of many successful businesses. It is those business leaders who consciously make the shift to managing processes AND NOT products or services who will dominate the business landscape, especially in our information rich, always changing, with increasing complexity, “new normal” of a business climate.