Business model

Why your digital future depends on the diversity of today’s business model

Before the pandemic, many of us working for medium to large companies felt like we were on top of the world. Although experts spoke to us about changing the world order and invited us to understand the common implications of globalization, digitalization and democratization, we felt that what we had was just enough. Then reality hit and especially those in Fortune 500 started losing shares, interests, employees in the blink of an eye while newcomers and inventors started gaining ground rapidly. According to Brian Chesky, CEO of AirBnB, for example, their company lost 80% of revenue generation over an eight-week period in one year, while the total global video game market increased by 52% and the global robotics market has seen double-digit growth. for the first time in history.

To stay competitive, companies are under pressure to drastically reduce labor costs while expanding consumer reach, but there is very little emphasis on diversity beyond gender metrics and on the elements human beings as part of a broader dynamic of change.

To cite just a few examples… Historically, in medical studies, there were more women than men participating in clinical trials until the situation reversed in the middle of the last century. Probably due to endocrinology, scientists began to question whether hormonal cycles could interfere with large clinical studies and gradually began to exclude women. Interestingly with covid-19 vaccinations, for example, in Canada, the UK and the US, women are reported to have had more side effects from vaccinations than men. Similarly, when in 2014 Apple released its self-tracking health app with great panache, it completely ignored the needs of women and had to take an entire year to course-correct and update the functionality of its apps. . Another industry where there has been a lack of inclusion is consumer goods. Retail and resale platforms have flourished over the years and today, the resale industry is expected to account for 27% of the fashion market by 2023; yet, again, the solutions are largely geared towards women.

All of that is changing now.

The effects of the pandemic, particularly limitations on physical meetings and travel, are driving companies to seek out more authentic, cohesive, and interactive remote and hybrid work experiences. In a world where trading platforms are discovering that consumer needs are more important, such as selling financial data through subscriptions, working remotely during vacations is becoming common, many organizations need to rethink their business model and capitalize on the search for new value differentiators. The majority of organizations are looking to reshape the work experience through more immersive forms of team collaboration, the emergence of new digital platforms such as the metaverse, offering AI-based services and connection, technologies fun for learning and acquiring skills. Increased digitization is influencing various business activities, including corporate business models, by enabling various new forms of cooperation and connection. At the same time, studies show that, while digitalization is generally considered important, the value proposition itself as well as the diverse position in the value network determine the perceived available options for innovation through digitalization. Additionally, organizational capabilities and employee skills continue to be a future challenge.

So what can organizations do?

Put more emphasis on the diversity of the human aspect and capitalize on innovative experiences. Although essential, a diverse workplace is not enough on its own. Below are some key questions CEOs and CHROs should ask themselves:

– What are the intended and unintended consequences of digitalization on diversity in my sector, my culture and my public policy?

– How a new heterogeneous population, perhaps unpopular, uses or can use the new private and public services that we offer?

– How does digitalization change the conditions of our value in terms of discovery, selection, participation and use of digital tools and services?

– How can the availability of big data analytics shape our choices?

– How can a possible digital innovation in business models and distribution channels influence the quality of our culture and the diversity of content offered?

It is in human nature that with authority, one clings to power. It is normal to think that we are in a leadership position to provide answers from the top down. It is equally important to remember that breaking into new categories requires inclusion, actively seeking diversity of thoughts, experiences and voices.

Think of the Internet, which was not built by a few select bosses. Rather, it was built by 300,000 people, many of whom may never have met. Not to mention that the protocol/technology itself continues to function for the benefit of the whole without the control of any central organizing force. Yet it touches every industry, every individual while shaping how our communities organize themselves in the future.

As Václav Havel once said, the habit of thinking of ourselves as masters of the universe, capable of doing whatever happens to us, is long gone. If we really want to reinvent the experience, we have to embrace the diversity of models today. “We must discover a new respect for what is beyond us: for the universe, for the earth, for nature, for life and for reality. Our respect for other peoples, for other nations and for other cultures, can only arise from a humble respect for the cosmic order and the awareness that we are part of it, that we share it and that none of this what we do is not lost, but rather becomes part of the eternal memory of being, where it is judged.