An expansive, socially engaged definition of purpose has emerged, increasingly at today’s most admired companies. This broad understanding of corporate purpose includes bringing value to customers and benefiting employees, both of which reflect a company with broader human-centric concerns than simply maximizing shareholder value.
2. Agility — the two-speed organization
Newly affordable technologies, and how they could be applied to an ever-growing set of use cases across the industrial world, caught many industrial companies by surprise. While much has been written about the digital transformation of the industry, few automotive companies have fully undertaken the daunting work of actually transforming.
Successful organizations have shifted focus from defending their core business and are moving strongly into a growth orientation by investing in new capabilities and pursuing new business models. These companies use their stable core as cash flow backbone, invest significantly on new business models and consciously address how to be flexible in the market.
This requires building a platform and enabling new business by focusing on identifying and developing the new competencies necessary to effectively lead in the digital age. This can include techniques like ways of decision-making and co-creation, but also ranges to entrepreneurial spirit and purpose on an individual level, enabled by facilitated coaching and new ways of learning.
3. Employee experience
The expectations of consumers and employees are higher than ever. Those organizations that are focused on creating a compelling employee experience are more likely to be successful in securing the right talent.
In this context, the employee experience should be defined broadly and would take into account the physical environment our employees work in, along with the tools and technologies that enable their productivity, to achieve their best at work. Seven areas can improve the employee experience:
- Teaming ability
- Digital leadership
- Collective purpose
- Physical environment
- Performance and rewards
- Technology experience
- Mind clarity
Change management, far beyond the established lean or quality optimization techniques, must become part of the automotive organization’s DNA for the organizational transformation to succeed. Automotive companies should view change management as an ongoing capability.
So far, change has been entrenched as a “freeze or unfreeze model.” Change initiatives have traditionally been conceived to manage a financial crisis, a downturn or other specific circumstances. In the future, areas of faster and slower change need to be defined within an organization.
Similar to how we as humans benefit from having both the logical and imaginative sides of our brain, organizations need to harness the powerful combination of analytic and humanistic perspectives to create change. Humanistic approaches to change recognize that people are at the center of change — without people changing their behavior, change is not sustainable.
A future where we all profit
Of course, none of these suggestions are necessarily quick or simple fixes to the scaling challenges that the industry faces.
However, they may be a good starting point to creating the transition to a brighter future where OEMs, suppliers and other parties in the automotive ecosystem work purposefully to create sustainable solutions for consumers around the world.
Successful organizations have shifted focus from defending their core business and are moving strongly into investing in new capabilities and pursuing new business models, while never losing sight of purpose.