Strategy and Innovation on The Road to Epiphany

Strategy and Innovation on The Road to Epiphany

Obviously, Innovation and Strategy are two distinct aspects of the business. But did you ever wonder what drives what? This is how we perceive the matter:

From Vision to Results

  1. Vision drives Leadership,
  2. Leadership drives Culture,
  3. Culture drives Creativity,
  4. Creativity drives Innovation,
  5. Innovation drives Value,
  6. Value drives Strategy,
  7. Strategy drives Purpose,
  8. Purpose drives Customers,
  9. Customers drive Mission,
  10. Mission drives Results.

Strategy needs to bring about the vision, which is then executed through the mission and performed with purpose.

When executives feel compelled to go through a digital transformation process without first having a clear picture (Vision) of what they want the future of their business to be, they are bound to miss the mark. This was confirmed in a study by McKinsey, disclosing that 70% of digital transformation (DT) initiatives failed, causing a waste of 900 billion USD (!) while research by IBM even reported an 85% chance of failure. The root causes relate to Leadership and Culture: People appeared unaware of the challenges and drivers of DT, causing them to trip up, fall over, and be massively disappointed while doing it. This was confirmed by a study by Duarte, stating that empathy and employee engagement are critical for any organizational change program.

So, if your starting point happens to be Strategy, for instance, to adapt to competitive forces, or because you’ve decided to develop a new market, or develop new products, or both, you’re well-advised to walk the sequence of the Road to Epiphany in reverse order (from Strategy upward) before overhauling the entire business operation. The same applies for a decline of orders following customer feedback that the product no longer fits the needs: just move up the ladder from Customers to Vision to refit the solution to the need.

Again, Strategy needs to bring about the Vision, i.e., the future you desire for your business. So, before turning things up-side-down, rethink your Vision while incorporating the assumed opportunities (or threats) and demonstrate Leadership by driving a Culture that allows Creativity to blossom while building a support structure for favorable Innovations to surface to the top with which to create differentiating Value. Then, realign your Mission and Purpose with the new Vision to attract the right Customers that produce real Results.

And now and then, ask your self the question: Is our Vision still valid? Is our Mission relevant, viable, feasible, fulfilling, sustainable, differentiating, and defensible? What is our current situation in the market? Can we be disrupted? What’s next?

"When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar."

In light of the above, you may also want to revisit the sections and steps that are part of the ROUNDMAP Integrated Business Framework. 

Every endeavor starts with a vision, which is then translated into a strategic business model. Next, a product (portfolio) needs to be developed, with which to create customers. Growth is a consequence of both the number of created as well as retained customers.


  • Edwin Korver

    Edwin Korver is a polymath celebrated for his mastery of systems thinking and integral philosophy, particularly in intricate business transformations. His company, CROSS-SILO, embodies his unwavering belief in the interdependence of stakeholders and the pivotal role of value creation in fostering growth, complemented by the power of storytelling to convey that value. Edwin pioneered the RoundMap®, an all-encompassing business framework. He envisions a future where business harmonizes profit with compassion, common sense, and EQuitability, a vision he explores further in his forthcoming book, "Leading from the Whole."

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