How to deal with obstacles in a fast-paced world


During a recent business trip to Europe, I experienced the silence and acceleration power of the Tesla Model S. The following day, my host took me for a drive in his 30 year old Porsche 911 at 200 km/h through the German country roads.

Both high speed experiences were exhilarating, but very different, and provided a glimpse of what the future holds. It also highlighted the “speed” at which the world is changing and that we are in for a rollercoaster ride over the next couple of years.

Digitisation and speed of innovation are topics which many businesses, especially those in the industrial sector, are grappling with and it is not limited to the auto industry.  Many are revisiting their business models and innovation processes to ensure that they remain competitive and therefore, whilst it is exciting times, it is also daunting for many.

Two KPMG global publications released in November 2015, The Clock-speed Dilemma: What does it mean for automotive innovation? and Metalsmith or Grid Master: The automotive industry at the crossroads of a highly digitalised age deal with the challenges of the changes taking place. These publications provide business leaders with insights on how to deal with obstacles of the fast pace of change and the importance of data and who could control the data in the future.

There is no doubt that the difference between the winners and losers, will be those that see the future and innovate successfully. Whilst there is no simple solution to achieving innovation success, the solution requires two essential and related steps:

Step 1: Facing the obstacles to change

Actions which businesses can take to face six obstacles which prevent them from achieving innovation success, include:

a. Securing the right talent

b. Rewarding failure instead of well-executed low risk change

c. Investing in risk

d. Thinking disruptively, especially areas which have been traditionally successful

e. Partnering to innovate

f. Building global awareness of innovation

Step 2: Aligning the organisation for fast-paced innovation

We believe that this can be achieved by building a bespoke innovation engine through a three-stage assembly line.

Connectivity through technology, understanding customers’ expectations as well as analysis of data are key pillars to change or establishing innovative business models. Despite this, business in different sectors are at various stages in establishing robust processes to use their data to interrogate their business. Furthermore, protection of data is becoming more and more important with the growing risk of cyber incidents.

For full detail of the findings and insights, please contact Michelle Draai ([email protected]) or Alan Barr ([email protected]) for a copy of the aforementioned publications.


Photo caption: Alan Barr