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  • Peter Wollmann

Key Triggers for Transformations

(cited from Peter Wollmann et al.: Transforming Public and Private Sector Organizations: Implementing Sustainable Purpose, Travelling Organization and Connectivity for Resilience, SpringerNature 2022)

There are some challenging developments in place which need to be fully recognized by organizations as they will lead short- or mid-term to a significant need for transformations (selection):

  • Environment The need for a transformation to ‘Green Industries’ etc. is obvious. In general, environment and sustainability targets will be probably increasingly supported/fostered by regulation.

  • Society (1) The trend to sustainability and purpose which started long before the COVID-19 pandemic was significantly accelerated by it. Customer demands and attitudes have to be increasingly regarded and covered by the organizations

  • Society (2) The social differentiation of society and its different milieus leads to more individual and flexibly changing demands and claims for total convenience

  • Technology (1) The fast development of technology offers disruptive options within nearly all industries. Start-ups are able to attack established large global players at defined parts of their value chains

  • Technology (2) There is an overwhelming backlog in the public sector to apply modern technologies

  • Science There is an exponential progress in some sciences (e.g. life sciences, chemistry) which influences competition and opens new future business fields

  • Data There is an overwhelming overflow of data available (about customers, competitors, technical solutions etc.) that has to be well sorted and applied into products and services of organizations

  • End of a cycle This reflects on the famous S-Curve-Model for business models, products and services: coming to the end of a life cycle it is important to start a new one (S-Curves) with perhaps new people, new business models as the old S-Curve will shortly come to an endⁱ

  • And last but not least: politics The impact of the Ukraine conflict, which are a war, political paradigm changes, new energy supply policies, change of supply chains and business models, cut of trade connections, threat of feedstock supply etc.

All these – exemplarily mentioned – triggers will change industries and the character of public sector organizations forever. Some concrete examples for these disruptions are the significant changes in car automobile industry (from combustion to electric engine), in steel production (melting furnace from coke-based over natural gas-driven to hydrogen-based – with the whole necessary infrastructure to be modified), in life science the implementation of new gen-based vaccines and medication, in financial services the transformation from sophisticated processes to one-click-options for the customer on the one hand and on the other hand the takeover of payment processes by new specialized companies, in all customer-oriented processes across industries the step-in of platforms and for all public sector offices the digitalization of the interaction and communication with citizens. To ignore these trends and developments is not an option, neither for large global player nor for mid-sized or small enterprises in the private sector. And in the public sector the situation is similar. In this context it is worth mentioning that the COVID-19 pandemic acted normally not as root course for transformation but in different perspectives as a strong catalyst and an eye-opener making backlogs and failures very transparentⁱⁱ. All of the mentioned triggers where already in place, setting the respective trends but COVID-19 made them a lot more obvious and accelerated them. [i] The S curve is a strategic concept that describes how the old ways mature and are superceded by new ways. As an example Facebook was first conceived as website, then a new S-Curve emerged – mobile – which the initial Facebook site did not handle very well. New competitors, designed for mobile, like Instagram and Whatsapp threatened to capture the new S-Curve. Facebook did jump to this new S-Curve including the acquisition of Instagram and Whatsapp and is now preparing for the “Metaverse” – as the expected new S-Curve [ii] See also: https://www.ey.com/de_de/forms/download-forms/2022/03/ey-whitepaper-transformation-in-zeiten-von-covid-19

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