Zinata News

Shaking things up: How to become a leader in today’s ever-changing market

The Company of Tomorrow, Today

Part One

We all know that companies can’t stand still. There will always be disruption – new ideas, products, and services – such as Uber, AirBnB or Amazon to Go. The question is how can you be the next disruptor?

It takes a combination of traits to create the perfect storm. You must have also reached the right level of maturity to introduce new ways of thinking.

Manufacturing companies continue to optimize their functional silos. This is how we have always worked. Why change?

We have created an internal environment of competitiveness, cubicles, chaos, thinking up excuses, analyzing the past, heavy-handed management, and using all of our energy to push the product out the door, but at what cost?

I want to introduce you to the concept of ‘The Company of Tomorrow, Today’. This company understands that if they don’t change the way they do things, they could easily become irrelevant. They understand they have to think differently to outwit the competition, and most importantly, they need to delight the customer – every time.

Meeting all of these criteria is not easy. Who are the innovative thinkers in the company? How do we execute a new strategy? What does the customer want? How do we keep the shareholders happy?

It comes back to PPT. No, I am not referring to PowerPoint. I am referring to people, process and, technology. But these terms have been overused and few companies have mastered the right combination to unlock the opportunity. Hence I come back to the core tenants of the Company of Tomorrow, Today (CoTT).

The CoTT has a Social, Digital, Millenial, Start-Up Mentality:

  • Everything the company does is aligned with your customers and consumers
  • The organization is flat, networked, collaborative, focused on speed and change
  • Digitization is part of the company strategy
  • Millennials have a position of influence
  • There is rapid experimentation with innovation labs

The biggest challenges to most companies is not recognizing threats, and not having the right team to enable new ways of thinking.

So how do you conquer these challenges?

  • This requires CEO involvement
  • Create a business strategy that includes the core tenants of the CoTT
  • Assess your people to determine if they are ready for a new way of working
  • Create a culture of trust, sharing, and empowerment with everyone aligned to the Voice of the Customer
  • Establish business objectives that are company-wide versus functionally based, removing competition
  • Collapse hierarchical structures and introduce collaborative hives
  • Enable processes that happen concurrently versus hierarchically
  • Push decision making down to managers, who are viewed as coaches
  • Use digitization tools to support collaboration, predictive analysis, exception management, balanced trade-off decision making

The Outcome

  • The company is motivated and recognizes how they impact the customer
  • People are socially connected when moving from cubicles to communities
  • You eliminate the words ‘I didn’t know’
  • You are better positioned to embrace change
  • Employee retention improves as they see their work is valued and have the freedom to help solve problems through spontaneous association
  • SPEED!! Innovation is faster, decision making is faster, responsiveness is faster

So where do you start?

Stay tuned for Part Two, where I’ll walk you through the transformation of becoming a Company of Tomorrow, Today.


Carol McIntosh

Carol McIntosh has been advising and implementing innovative supply chain practices as a business consultant for 17 years, with an additional 17 years experience in supply chain management positions leading cross-functional teams to drive service up and inventory down.Her expertise includes concurrent planning, response management, and control towers.