There is no doubt that technological innovation is one of the most impactful factors in any market, and that business who fail to evolve with the new status quo are doomed to fail. Business people both young and old all need to constantly revaluate their methodologies and approach to customer interaction in order to maintain an enduring and profitable brand.
With over 20 years of experience helping business transform their archaic business models into something lean, practical and sustainable via the integration of digital technology, Stephen J. Wright has a lot to share on the subject of digital business transformation.
His books, written for veteran business people and aspirants alike, serve as guides for how today’s firms can prepare for and seamlessly transition into the digital circular economy of the future.
We talked to Stephen about the circular economy and his approach to digital business transformation.
The circular economy may sound like a new concept to many, but its basic tenants are based in a common-sense approach to the emerging challenges of modern business. Stephen explains that “the circular economy works to disrupt business models by separating economic growth from the use of natural resources.”
By doing this, Stephen says businesses will become “more efficient, while also developing new sustainable relationships with customers through the use of digital technology.”
In order to make the transition to the circular economy, and enjoy the benefits it brings, Stephen outlines the 4-step process he uses with his clients as “analysis of organisational preparedness, integration of digital technologies, brainstorming innovative ideas and enabling the best operational leaders.”
Stephen says, “before the digital transformation can begin in earnest, you need to make sure all of your team are onboard with modelling a better approach” and that “digital technology needs to be integrated to form links between your different business channels, so that they operate cohesively”.
In the next phase, Stephen reveals that “it’s a good idea to leverage as much brainpower as possible, even from elements outside your business, and collaborate towards the full innovative potential of your new operational model.” He adds that, finally, “the last step is to identify and promote employees who can drive positive innovation for the benefit of both customers and other employees.”
The benefits of making the switch to a circular economy are well-known by Stephen’s impressive portfolio of past clients, whom he says notice “cost savings in the form of resource efficiency and waste reduction via the extension of product lifecycles” as well as “growth in revenue across existing and new markets as well as an improved corporate reputation and public mindshare.”
Stephen also emphasises the importance of businesses meeting new standards of regulatory compliance with regards to sustainable business models. “As global concern over environmental issues increases, the necessity of switching to a sustainable circular model becomes more and more obvious.”
It is certainly true that, at every level of contemporary business, there is encroaching pressure on leaders to take charge and lay out a clear vision for sustainable growth. Stephen insists that, in his experience, “the circular model is the fastest, most streamlined methodology for putting lingering concerns about sustainability to rest and innovating for the future.”
Stephen is also no stranger to the conversation around the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), and says that “it (artificial intelligence) can be leveraged by firms to enhance efficiency in both their operational channels as well as communication channels with customers.”
To conclude, Stephen also talked about how he uses his workshop tours to educate business leaders on how to be disruptors in their industries and promote sustainable change without compromising on profitability. Stephen says that “we encourage leaders to think in an innovative way about every aspect of their business and where it intersects with the world at large”.