6 Reasons why you must measure your maturity.
Maturity is probably not the most popular term around. For us it is. Measuring and benchmarking it is our core business. We are passionate about it. Since we truly believe it is the ultimate KPI to understanding the overall situation of a company or an organisation in a certain category, such as digital or sustainability.
The whole world is in flux. Everything is changing. Uncertainty is at unprecedented levels. War, climate, crisis, migration, all kind of conflicts, and much more. For people and companies who are prepared, turmoil is a land of opportunity. For those caught unprepared, it means only confusion, risks, and threats. Choose your side.
Since the dawn of mankind, and especially since the industrial revolution, and more specifically since the information age, enterprise transformation was never as important as today. So, everybody is on a journey. Some are dragged around and don’t have a real plan. Some are quite aware, they handle change proactively, and they navigate these turbulent times, as well as they can. Choose your side.
One of our favourite sayings is that enterprise transformation is a team sport. You can’t just leave digital to the techies. You will not get what you were expecting. You can’t leave sustainability to corporate communications. They will only compile a nice report. We see companies, their executives, and their project teams, who are quite dispersed. And we see agile tribes, tightly integrated, communicating effectively, and producing great results. Choose your side.
Those companies who are more aware and knowledgeable about their maturity, even those who benchmark themselves with industry best practices, outperform their competition, and succeed with their enterprise transformation. We identified six reasons why you must measure your maturity to ensure your success, to accelerate your journey, and maximise your impact.
The most common reason for failure is misalignment. This means everybody runs in a different direction, without telling anybody else. In the end, everybody faces a different reality and is quite isolated from the rest. During the old days, sometimes, business unit level objectives and internal competition delivered some great results. But nowadays, in such an integrated world, where resources (especially talent) are so scarce, strong coordination, maximum efficiency and laser-sharp focus are inevitable for success.
When you run a strategic consulting engagement, bring together your executives and relevant business leaders, sitting down and talking about your dreams, your ambitions, what you want to achieve, why and how, and find mutual agreement on shared goals is so refreshing.
We observe great relief when executives are able, unbiased and unpressured, to talk about their business plans, their objectives, obstacles, why and what’s working and what’s not, and to share experiences with colleagues, and realise that many people are struggling with similar things. All of a sudden, a lot makes perfect sense, many pieces automatically fall into place, and that group agrees (more or less) easily on some common goals.
Now, the organisation and its leadership are looking in the same direction, have some agreed minimum common objectives, and will celebrate some joint achievements. John Kotter calls this the “guiding coalition” in his “leading change” methodology and has identified this as the most critical success factor.
If you agree that enterprise transformation is (a rather long) journey, then you better have a map, navigation system or guide who will help you stay on track and reach your target, if possible, on time and on budget.
We believe what’s measured gets done. So, how can you measure your transformation? Our work shows us that measuring maturity is currently the best available method to measure and benchmark your overall situation concerning enterprise transformation. Be it digital or sustainability or something else, these transformations take time, consume a lot of resources, hold a lot of risks, and need careful attention if you want to succeed.
Establishing performance measures helps to better manage the situation. This manifesto has held true for more than three decades. Our DMI 2021 report shows many important findings, which help our customers to stay on track, progress beyond plans, and achieve their goals. Join them to accelerate your journey and maximise your impact.
Charles Darwin said that survival is not about intelligence or speed, but about the capability to adapt to change. Natural selection in our fast-paced business world today is very harsh. Within quarters, winners or losers are decided. In some cases or industries, winners take all, once and for all. You don’t want to be the loser.
We identified that winners are very determined and accomplish one thing at a time, in the right sequence, faster and better than anybody else. And they carry on doing this over a very long period of time, until they have gained market leadership, sometimes even dominance. Amazon is probably the greatest example of our times. Their flywheel model helped them to leverage the network effects of our connected world with billions of connected consumers.
To be on the winning side, measure your maturity, come up with a plan on how to improve it, correlate it with your strategic objectives, and execute it carefully. Monitoring your maturity regularly (we recommend annually), will send you down the winning path.
4. Executive Learning
Just by reviewing your maturity in an organised way (we recommend our maturity models for digital and sustainability), will benefit any team in many ways. Self-reflection on an individual scale is highly beneficial, as a team as well, and especially as an organisation. Discussing your current maturity, agreeing on your score, setting joint targets, and learning about the higher maturity levels is a great learning experience.
We often receive feedback from our customers that our maturity sessions are like a mini-MBA course. They get everybody on the same page. They set a common understanding on certain subjects. And they help to envision where the journey goes, how to get there, and what to do about it.
The validation of this feedback follows. When visiting most of our customers we see that our dimensions are adopted as fundamental pillar/workstreams of their enterprise transformation programs, either digital transformation or sustainability transformation. This is very fulfilling.
We worked very hard to define our maturity scales. The overall average in the digital maturity database is currently 2.8 on a scale from 1 to 5. This means there is a long way to go. Many customers benefit from our level 5 definitions as their north star vision. You will find detailed explanations for each dimension, which then should be integrated, into one bold vision.
Bold visions evolve during our maturity sessions. Looking at the future of your company in a structured, moderated, and informed way is a priceless experience. We wonder why companies don’t do it more often. Via the annual maturity assessment, they do it at least once a year.
The feedback we receive is always a delight. Some of our customers even admit that it’s the first time they have done it in a structured way. Both digital and sustainability transformations have been around for almost a decade now and still some companies are not very well organized. Having a clear vision and communicating it to the wider organisation is one of John Kotter’s critical success factors. We are here to help.
Improved maturity turns into business performance and increased brand value. Digital gives you superpowers. With improving maturity, those superpowers provide huge benefits. Those companies that are able to excel their digital capabilities outperform their peers by huge margins.
The same goes for sustainability capabilities. Those companies who find the right balance of innovation, circularity, and continuous improvement towards their net-zero targets are better off in the short and the long run. Doing good for the planet is usually good for your business.
Again, what’s measured gets managed, gets improved, and eventually gets done. We see a clear distinction between those companies who have well-designed scorecards and those who don’t. The efficiency and speed of execution is much better with those who are measuring and monitoring carefully. It’s possible, it’s beneficial, so please do.
Do you need any more reasons to check your maturity? Good luck with your enterprise transformation. May the force be with you.