“Nobody pays for a product… What is paid for is satisfaction.” Peter Drucker’s writing is timeless for business, testament to his visionary articulation of system innovation. These words penned decades ago remain fresh today. Maybe you too upon reading Drucker’s words recognised the illumination of an archetypal light-bulb flashing an ‘a-hah’ moment across your mind as you reflected on whatever great challenge your business is presenting you with this day.
Development in system innovation has been exciting to watch unfold, especially this last six or seven years. Increasingly, the opportunities presented by collaboration create new strategies for a changing world. And that means it is no longer cliche to say but true that there really is no such thing as business as usual anymore.
What is satisfaction anyway? As the prevalence of social media makes what happens around us more and more transparent, defining satisfaction becomes increasingly complex and also indispensable for understanding our businesses. And that is where system innovation is now so important for all business to embrace. Moving from business cost to business case. Fresh thinking is needed if we are to seize the opportunities this presents. It is beyond business as usual.
Returning to Drucker, he reminds us that the ability to change and also to have the capacity to respond to change are essential if we are to meet this often elusive satisfaction demanded of business. “We only know two things about the future” wrote Drucker. “It cannot be known” his first point, followed by “it will be different from what exists now and from what we expect.” Innovation is no longer a choice.
There is an alchemy to be found in amongst the ordinary, amongst what is perceived as the everyday. System innovation brings a process to help navigate a changing situation when the complexity of technology and collaboration seem overwhelming. Will you look for it, this everyday alchemy? Accept the challenge of business beyond the usual. Pathfind the future that has already happened. It is all around you. But you must act.
Delivery of satisfaction. We are creating options that do not yet exist. It might not happen today, and it might not make sense now, but slowly we will recognise the glimmer of our treasure if we stay open to letting the new come.