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Leadership Mandates for Business Transformation

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Leadership Mandates for Business Transformation

We are living in a transformative age, and no industry is immune to waves of change. The automotive and energy industries are racing to find the next stage of their evolution in a world that is -- if it hasn't already -- passing the tipping point, where there is less easily accessible oil in the ground than the global market demands. The media industry is grappling with the democratization of information resulting from the Internet that has completely eroded the business models of film studios, music producers and traditional journalism publishers.

The fear permeating boardrooms and executive suites is that of disintermediation. Businesses can operate well and see healthy revenue and profit streams even during the challenging times. Today, however, lurking in the background is a new threat -- a new entrepreneur, a new delivery model or a new idea that can and will rip the legs out from underneath an otherwise stable and profitable industry. The newspaper and television industries were completely disrupted by the Internet. Software as a service is challenging software giants such as Microsoft, IBM and Oracle to their very core. And social networks are revolutionizing business-to-business and person-to-person communications.

Henry Ford once said, "Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently."

Perhaps that was true in the early 20th century, but the modern economy is far less forgiving. Enterprises are beginning to understand that change is becoming a permanent way of life, that the status quo will never again be good enough and that the biggest risk is not taking a risk at all. Companies must continually innovate to anticipate and adapt to new market demands and adjust their business models to capitalize on new and more efficient delivery systems.

This enterprise transformation means positioning an organization to manage its current business with increasing efficiency, discarding activities that no longer make sense, and constantly investing in new products, services, processes and business models. It is not tweaking at the edges. It is creating a new organization, one that thinks and acts differently. It is a continuous process.

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