Transformative Journeys: 24 Shifts to Shape the Future of Organizations

In recognizing the imperatives of change within the contemporary business landscape, the emergence of RoundMap® stands as a beacon of innovation. Serving as a comprehensive framework, RoundMap® guides businesses through a transformative journey, challenging and reshaping traditional paradigms. As we delve into the following insights, each representing a pivotal transition, we gain a panoramic view of the shifts necessary to construct the vibrant organizations that will define the landscape of tomorrow. These insights, cultivated during the creation of RoundMap, illuminate the path toward adaptability, resilience, and sustained success in a rapidly evolving business world.

Key Insights for Building Vibrant Organizations:

Status QuoStep ForwardLeap
1Business ModelAs-a-ProductAs-a-ServiceAs-a-Platform
2Business StrategyProduct-centricCustomer-centricCommunity-centric
4CultureOpen DialoguePsychological SafetyCollaborative Trust
5Customer ValueRelevantSignificantSustainable
9FulfillmentCustomer ServiceCustomer SuccessCustomer Empowerment
10GovernanceShareholder ValueStakeholder ValueStewardship
13MissionProfitPurposePlanned Impact
14Organizational DevelopmentWeaknessesStrengthsGrowth
17StructureSilosIntegrationWhole System
18 StructureHierarchyMatrixHolons
19Talent DevelopmentMotivatedEmpoweredSynergized
22Value OrchestrationChainsNetworksCircles
23Value PropositionFeaturesExperiencesEmotional Resonance

Business Model

1. As-a-Product → As-a-Service → As-a-Platform

The shift from “as-a-product” to “as-a-service” marks a significant transformation in the business landscape, and as we navigate the Business Model Matrix, there’s an intriguing evolution beyond—entering the realm of “as-a-platform.” Initially, businesses offer products, creating a tangible and discrete value proposition. Progressing into the service domain, the focus shifts to providing ongoing value and experiences. However, the journey doesn’t conclude here. The transition to “as-a-platform” takes the business model to a higher level on the matrix. Now, it’s not just about delivering a service; it’s about cultivating an ecosystem. Businesses evolve into dynamic platforms, allowing users to tailor and expand their experiences. The platform becomes a foundation for innovation, enabling users to integrate diverse functionalities or even develop their solutions within the provided framework. This strategic progression from product to service and finally to platform not only aligns with the Business Model Matrix but also signifies a paradigm shift toward more interactive, customizable, and engaging business models.

Business Strategy

2. Product-centric → Customer-centric → Community-centric

The transition from a product-centric to a customer-centric and onward to a community-centric approach represents a strategic evolution in how businesses cultivate relationships and deliver value. Shifting from a product-centric standpoint, which emphasizes individual offerings, the customer-centric model acknowledges and caters to the specific needs of the customer. However, the progression towards community-centricity expands the scope even further. In a community-centric approach, businesses recognize that their audience forms interconnected communities with shared interests, values, and aspirations. The focus shifts from transactional interactions to building a sense of belonging and collaboration within these communities. This advanced stage involves actively engaging with and contributing to the broader community, fostering a two-way relationship where businesses not only address individual customer needs but also play a role in the collective experiences and aspirations of the community. By adopting a community-centric mindset, businesses position themselves as integral parts of a larger ecosystem, fostering loyalty, advocacy, and a deeper sense of connection among their audience.


3. Transactional → Relational → Communal

The shift from transactional to relational to communal represents a strategic evolution in how businesses cultivate connections with their customers. Initially, the transactional approach focuses on individual transactions, emphasizing short-term exchanges and one-off interactions. Recognizing the limitations of this model, the transition to a relational paradigm unfolds, where businesses seek to build longer-term connections and understand the unique preferences and needs of individual customers. Moving beyond individual relationships, the next step is communal engagement. Businesses recognize the value of forming partnerships with customers, engaging them in co-creation processes, and involving them as active contributors to the value circle. This communal approach extends beyond traditional customer-supplier dynamics, transforming customers into valued partners. The formation of communities emerges as a natural progression, where customers not only engage in collaborative problem-solving but also provide valuable feedback and insights, shaping the direction of product development and innovation. This shift from transactional to relational to communal underscores the importance of building meaningful, two-way connections that go beyond transactions to create a mutually beneficial and dynamic ecosystem.


4. Open Dialogue → Psychological Safety → Collaborative Trust

The evolution of workplace dynamics unfolds as a journey from Dialogue to Psychological Safety and, ultimately, to Collaborative Trust. Commencing with a foundation of open communication, organizations lay the groundwork for fostering a culture where ideas and opinions are freely expressed. As this communication evolves, the focus shifts to establishing psychological safety, creating an environment where employees feel secure to take interpersonal risks, share innovative thoughts, and contribute without fear of retribution. The progression culminates in collaborative trust, signifying a workplace culture where mutual trust is deeply embedded, encouraging seamless collaboration and collective innovation. This strategic sequence not only encourages employees to speak out but also nurtures a collaborative and trusting environment that is conducive to sustained creativity and success.

Customer Value

5. Relevant → Significant → Sustainable

In the evolving landscape of value creation, the progression from relevance to significance and, ultimately, sustainability marks a strategic transformation. Initially, businesses strive to be relevant by addressing immediate needs and providing solutions that meet present demands. As organizations advance, the focus shifts to significance, recognizing the importance of creating a lasting and meaningful impact that extends beyond the immediate transactional relationship. This involves anticipating and fulfilling future needs, building enduring connections, and contributing positively to the broader context. The pinnacle of this evolution is sustainability, where businesses embrace practices that ensure long-term viability and positive contributions to society and the environment. Sustainability goes beyond short-term gains, emphasizing responsible practices, ethical considerations, and a commitment to leaving a positive legacy. This strategic shift aligns businesses with the imperative of not just being relevant and significant but also ensuring sustained positive influence and responsibility for the well-being of future generations.


6. Centralized → Consensus → Consent

The evolution in decision-making processes reflects a transition from a top-down approach to consensus-building and, now, advancing toward consent-based decision-making. Initially, decisions were traditionally made at the top echelons of the hierarchy, with a clear chain of command and authority. As organizations embraced a more collaborative approach, consensus-building emerged, emphasizing the importance of collective input and agreement among stakeholders. However, the journey doesn’t end here. The current trajectory points toward a consent-based model, where decisions are made with the active consent of those involved. This approach goes beyond mere agreement; it seeks the explicit endorsement and buy-in of all relevant parties, fostering a more inclusive, transparent, and participatory decision-making culture. The shift from top-down to consensus and now towards consent-based decision-making signifies a commitment to shared responsibility, empowerment, and alignment with the values and perspectives of all stakeholders involved in the decision-making process.


7. Continuation → Adaptation → Innovation

The evolution from continuation to adaptation and innovation encapsulates a strategic approach to organizational development. Initially, in the continuation phase, organizations maintain existing practices, ensuring stability in their operations. The subsequent shift to adaptation represents a proactive response to challenges, emphasizing flexibility and the ability to adjust without undergoing radical transformations. This intermediate phase serves as a bridge, preparing the ground for a more profound shift toward a culture of innovation. In the innovation phase, the organization actively seeks and embraces change, viewing it not just as a response to challenges but as a constant driver for improvement and advancement. This progression signifies a deliberate and gradual evolution, navigating from the comfort of business as usual through the adaptability of change, toward a culture where innovation becomes an integral part of the organizational DNA, driving continuous improvement.


8. Excel → Excellence → Elevation

The pathway from “excel” through “excellence” to “elevation” encapsulates an organization’s strategic advancement. Initially, the focus is on excelling—surpassing others through high performance and skill in specific areas, with a commitment to continuous improvement. This phase is about the dedication to becoming the best, laying the groundwork for the next stage: excellence. Here, the aim is to refine processes for higher proficiency, embodying operational perfection. Ultimately, the journey leads to elevation, where innovation and a visionary approach signify breaking new ground, underpinned by a culture of transformative growth and learning, redefining organizational performance standards.


9. Customer Service → Customer Success → Customer Empowerment

In the trajectory from customer service to customer success, a pivotal stage often involves customer experience optimization. This step is marked by a dedicated effort to refine and enhance every touchpoint, ensuring a positive and seamless journey for customers. Building upon customer success, the evolutionary path extends toward customer empowerment. Here, the focus transcends mere success, emphasizing a deeper connection that empowers customers to derive maximum value from products or services independently. Customer empowerment involves providing resources, tools, and knowledge that enable customers to take control of their experience, fostering a sense of autonomy and mastery. This advanced stage signifies a commitment to not just meeting customer needs but empowering them to navigate and maximize the value of the products or services, contributing to a more sustainable and mutually beneficial customer-business relationship.


10. Shareholder Value → Stakeholder Value → Stewardship

The transformative journey in governance unfolds as a progression from a focus on shareholder value to embracing stakeholder value and ultimately culminating in a paradigm of stewardship. In the traditional context of shareholder value, businesses primarily prioritize short-term profits and cater to the interests of shareholders. Recognizing the limitations of this approach, the evolution advances toward stakeholder value, acknowledging the importance of balancing the needs and expectations of all stakeholders, including employees, customers, partners, and the broader community. However, the journey doesn’t conclude here. The visionary destination is stewardship, where businesses not only consider the impact on stakeholders but also take a proactive role in shaping a positive and sustainable influence on society and the environment. Stewardship goes beyond immediate interests and profit motives, focusing on creating enduring value and contributing to the well-being of both present and future generations. This strategic shift from shareholder value to stakeholder value and ultimately to stewardship reflects a commitment to responsible and impactful business practices, aligning purpose with long-term societal and environmental goals.


11. Functions → Roles → Competencies

The evolution in hiring practices has traversed a trajectory from rigid functions to dynamic roles and, subsequently, into a competency-driven paradigm. Initially, organizations adhered to specific functions and predefined roles when building their teams. However, recognizing the multidimensional nature of individual capabilities, the focus has shifted towards competencies—a holistic approach encompassing diverse skills, abilities, and attributes. This shift acknowledges that individuals bring a unique blend of talents that transcend conventional role boundaries. Importantly, it signifies a departure from the emphasis solely on qualifications to favoring experience—a nod to the rich, practical insights individuals bring to the table. Moreover, a concurrent trend involves the establishment of skills-based databases, enabling organizations to systematically harvest talent. These databases serve as reservoirs of diverse competencies, allowing businesses to flexibly match individuals with evolving organizational needs. This strategic shift not only emphasizes the dynamic nature of contemporary workplaces but also reflects a commitment to cultivating a workforce that excels based on a broad spectrum of competencies and experiential wisdom, rather than rigidly predefined roles and qualifications.


12. Directive → Collaborative → Empowering

The evolution in leadership transitions from a centrally directed model, characterized by a top-down (directive) approach where decision-making authority is concentrated at the top, to a more inclusive and participative framework. This shift sees the emergence of collaborative leadership, where decision-making is shared among team members, valuing localized insights and fostering organizational flexibility. Such an approach encourages teams to make more informed and autonomous decisions within a defined framework, leveraging collective intelligence.

Taking the philosophy of leadership evolution further, we arrive at empowering (often referred to as Servant Leadership). This style disperses decision-making authority even more broadly, emphasizing the empowerment of each individual within the organization. It is rooted in the belief that leaders should serve their teams, prioritizing the personal and professional development of team members above traditional hierarchical mandates. Empowering leadership relies deeply on trust, collaboration, and a unified vision, underlining autonomy, adaptability, and a commitment to serving the greater good.

This progression from directive to collaborative and finally to empowering leadership reflects a strategic response to the complexities of the modern business environment. It underscores the necessity for leadership approaches that are not only inclusive and participative but also fundamentally oriented towards empowering individuals. Such approaches are crucial for navigating the dynamic and rapidly evolving landscapes of today’s world, ensuring that organizations remain agile, resilient, and capable of fostering continuous innovation.


13. Profit-driven → Purpose-driven → Planned Impact

The evolution in the mission and strategic orientation of businesses unfolds as a progression from a profit-driven focus to embracing a purpose-driven approach and ultimately reaching a stage of planned impact. In the profit-driven paradigm, organizations prioritize financial gains as the primary measure of success. Acknowledging the need for a more holistic and meaningful existence, the transition moves towards a purpose-driven focus. Here, businesses articulate a shared purpose that extends beyond profit, emphasizing the positive contributions they aspire to make to society, the environment, or other meaningful causes. However, recognizing that a purpose alone may remain aspirational without tangible results, the trajectory advances toward planned impact. This strategic phase involves systematic planning, measurement, and reporting of the impact created by the organization. By setting specific, measurable, and sustainable goals aligned with their purpose, businesses move beyond rhetoric to concrete actions, ensuring that their mission translates into meaningful outcomes. The shift from profit-driven to purpose-driven and finally to planned impact reflects a commitment to articulating values and actively working towards creating a lasting and positive influence on the world.

Organizational Development

14. Weaknesses → Strengths → Sustained Growth

The organizational evolution from mitigating or eliminating weaknesses to identifying and aligning strengths, and ultimately embracing growth, represents a strategic shift in mindset. In the initial phase, organizations diligently address weaknesses or problems, aiming to minimize vulnerabilities and challenges. As the progression unfolds, there’s a pivot towards recognizing and aligning with strengths, acknowledging that cultivating excellence in proficient areas forms a solid foundation. Simultaneously, the organization transitions from merely solving problems to identifying opportunities, where strengths are strategically aligned to explore and capitalize on emerging possibilities. The ultimate stage is a commitment to proactive growth, where the organization not only addresses weaknesses and seizes opportunities but actively develops and maximizes its potential. This holistic approach involves leveraging strengths to navigate challenges, capitalizing on opportunities, and proactively shaping a future of sustained growth and innovation.


15. Linear → Non-Linear → Cyclical

At the heart of RoundMap® lies a transformative evolution from a linear operational approach, solely focused on improving results, to an integrated and cyclical operation that prioritizes increasing impact. This fundamental shift, encapsulated in RoundMap’s® name, highlights the incorporation of an intermediate step—integration—where the business processes and strategies are harmonized for a more cohesive and interconnected operation. Research consistently demonstrates the power of closing the loop, incorporating feedback, and embracing continuous learning from each cycle. By adopting this integrated and cyclical mindset, businesses can harness the insights gained to create more value, foster greater loyalty, and drive higher customer and employee engagement levels. RoundMap® emphasizes the importance of feedback loops, enabling businesses to adapt and refine their strategies and operations, ultimately leading to increased profitability and sustainable growth. By embracing this critical aspect of RoundMap®, businesses can propel themselves toward a more impactful and prosperous future.


16. Fitness → Agility → Vitality

In navigating a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world, the fitness, agility, and vitality sequence represents a strategic progression for firms to enhance their resilience. Initially, achieving organizational fitness involves optimizing core capabilities and operational efficiency, ensuring a solid foundation. As the environment becomes more volatile and uncertain, the focus transitions to agility, emphasizing the ability to adapt swiftly to changing circumstances, seize emerging opportunities, and navigate unexpected challenges. Agility enables organizations to respond with flexibility and speed in the face of unpredictability. However, recognizing that adaptability alone may not suffice, the pursuit of vitality emerges as the next stage. Vitality encompasses a proactive and forward-thinking approach, involving continuous innovation, learning, and the cultivation of a culture that thrives on change. It goes beyond mere adaptability, emphasizing the proactive creation of new opportunities and the ability to shape the environment rather than merely responding to it.

Structure (Horizontal)

17. Silos → Integration → Whole System

The transition from siloed operations to integration and, ultimately, the incorporation and consideration of the whole system signifies a profound shift in organizational dynamics. While integration emphasizes breaking down silos and fostering collaboration among diverse components, the move towards the whole system goes beyond mere integration. It involves recognizing the interconnectedness of all organizational elements and considering their collective impact on the broader system. This advanced stage not only enhances diversity of thought but also propels creativity, innovation, resilience, and vitality to unprecedented levels. By incorporating a holistic perspective, organizations not only break down internal barriers but also consider external factors, stakeholders, and the broader environment. This comprehensive approach cultivates a culture where ideas flow freely, diverse perspectives are valued, and innovation thrives. Consequently, organizations become more than just adaptable and resilient; they attain a vitality derived from the profound interconnectedness and collaboration inherent in considering the entire system.

Structure (Vertical)

18. Hierarchy → Matrix → Holon

The transition from Hierarchies to Matrices and ultimately to Holons represents a transformative journey in organizational structure. Initially structured in a hierarchical form, organizations follow a clear chain of command with well-defined roles and responsibilities. Recognizing the limitations of hierarchies, the transition to Matrices introduces a more dynamic model where teams collaborate across traditional boundaries, enhancing communication and flexibility. This intermediate step acknowledges the need for increased collaboration and cross-functional interaction. The final stage is the adoption of Holons, where entities operate both autonomously and collaboratively, reflecting a more decentralized and self-organizing structure. Holons allow for a balance between autonomy and integration, promoting adaptability and responsiveness in a complex and dynamic environment. Notably, the concept of Holons has inspired innovative approaches like the Constellation of Teams in Consentricity, emphasizing interconnected and self-organizing teams within the broader organizational framework. This shift from Hierarchies to Matrices to Holons reflects a progression toward more agile, interconnected, and resilient organizational structures.

Talent Development

19. Motivated → Empowered → Synergized

The evolution of talent development, progressing from Motivated to Empowered and ultimately to Synergized, marks a strategic journey in unleashing the full potential of individuals within an organization. Motivating individuals involves tapping into their drives and aspirations and aligning them with organizational goals. As the evolution unfolds, the focus shifts to empowerment, granting individuals the autonomy, resources, and support needed to take ownership of their roles and contribute meaningfully. The pinnacle of this progression is Synergized talent, where the collective collaboration and harmonization of individual strengths lead to a dynamic synergy that transcends individual capabilities. In this stage, the organization becomes greater than the sum of its parts, fostering an environment where diverse talents complement each other, creativity flourishes, and collective achievements surpass individual accomplishments.


20. Customer Needs → Customer Jobs → Customer Outcomes

The progression in value creation, from addressing customer needs to understanding the broader context of customer “jobs-to-be-done,” and ultimately delivering specific outcomes, represents a strategic evolution. Initially, businesses focus on identifying and understanding the specific needs customers have within a given context. Moving further along the progression, the next stage involves comprehending the customer’s job, understanding the broader objectives or tasks they are trying to accomplish. This expanded perspective allows for a more holistic understanding of customer requirements. The ultimate goal is to provide not just products or services that fulfill needs or jobs but to deliver specific and impactful outcomes. This shift to outcomes requires a nuanced understanding of the desired results or benefits that customers seek when utilizing a product or service to accomplish a particular job. By aligning value creation with these ultimate outcomes, businesses can deepen their understanding and more effectively meet customer expectations, contributing to long-term satisfaction and loyalty.


21. Assisted → Augmented → Autonomous

The evolution of technology has traversed a remarkable path, progressing from merely assisting human activities to augmenting them with advanced capabilities. In the next frontier, we envision a stage characterized by autonomous intelligence. Here, technology not only provides assistance and augmentation but operates with a heightened level of autonomy, leveraging sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine learning. This phase involves intelligent systems making independent decisions, guided by predefined rules and learning algorithms that adapt to dynamic contexts. The transition to autonomous technology represents a future where human-machine collaboration is seamlessly enhanced, offering not just assistance and augmentation but a more proactive, self-directed role for technology in various domains. This trajectory reflects a paradigm shift toward a new era of technological evolution, promising deeper integration and collaboration between human and machine intelligence.

Value Orchestration

22. Value Chains → Value Networks → Value Circles

The evolutionary shift in value orchestration progresses from value chains to value streams, further expanding into value networks and ultimately culminating in value circles. Initially, the value chain concept focuses on the sequential steps in the production or service delivery process, creating a linear path. The evolution then advances to value streams, recognizing the flow of value across various processes and emphasizing efficiency and coordination. Building upon this, the evolution extends to value networks, acknowledging the importance of external relationships, partnerships, and collaboration in the value creation process. Finally, value circles signify a continuous, adaptive, and holistic approach to value creation, emphasizing ongoing feedback and collaboration, with a seamless integration of internal and external stakeholders. This progressive shift reflects a departure from linear and isolated models toward more interconnected and dynamic orchestrations of value.

Value Proposition

23. Features → Experiences → Emotional Resonance

The evolution in value proposition emphasis follows a deliberate trajectory, starting with the communication of product features. Initially, the narrative centers on highlighting specific functionalities, providing a detailed exposition of the offering’s capabilities. As the story unfolds, the focus seamlessly shifts towards articulating how the product creates meaningful experiences, recognizing the intrinsic value and benefits it provides. This pivotal transition sets the stage for the ultimate destination—crafting a compelling narrative that goes beyond features and experiences to establish emotional resonance. Here, storytelling becomes the central means to frame the proposition within a broader context, acknowledging the profound influence of emotional resonance and overall narrative cohesion in shaping the audience’s perception. This strategic progression, from Features to Experiences and ultimately to Emotional Resonance through StoryCasting, marks a nuanced and holistic approach that transcends technical details to create a resonant and captivating story around the product or proposition.


24. Specialist → T-shaped → Polymath

The evolution from a specialist to a T-shaped professional and, ultimately, a polymath represents a transformative journey in shaping one’s expertise and perspective. Beginning as a specialist, individuals focus intensely on acquiring in-depth knowledge and skills within a specific domain. The progression then leads to a T-shaped professional, where the vertical bar of the ‘T’ symbolizes their deep expertise, while the horizontal bar represents a broader understanding across related disciplines. As the journey continues, the ultimate destination is polymathy, characterized by a wealth of knowledge spanning diverse domains. A polymath possesses not only deep expertise but also a breadth of perspective, enabling them to draw insights and connections from various fields. This evolution underscores the importance of not only specialized proficiency but also a holistic and interdisciplinary approach, reflecting a dynamic shift in how expertise is cultivated and applied in today’s interconnected world.

Navigating Strategic Transitions: Insights from RoundMap®

In recognizing the dynamic and complex nature of the contemporary business landscape, the shifts and transitions outlined here have emerged as key considerations during the creation of RoundMap®. However, it’s important to emphasize that these transitions are not exclusive to RoundMap®; rather, they reflect broader trends and evolving strategies in various organizations. The identified shifts span diverse dimensions, ranging from business models, strategies, and organizational structures to leadership styles, talent development, and customer interactions. As entities venture through these strategic progressions, RoundMap® offers a guiding framework to navigate these transformative journeys. Whether it’s the evolution from product-centric to people-centric strategies, the transition from hierarchical structures to consentric organizations, or the shift towards consent-based decision-making, these trends mirror the ongoing evolution in the business world. RoundMap® serves not only as a reflection of these shifts but also as a proactive tool to help organizations strategically navigate, adapt, and innovate in the ever-changing landscape of contemporary business.

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