Friday, July 1, 2011

A Purpose Leader’s Declaration of Independence - Strategize from the Core & Innovate with the Edge!

With this weekend happen to be the July 4th weekend – we didn’t feel like writing a blog with a serious strategic content - and so, started searching for a topic – that, not only would lighten up the moment, but also, would re-kindle the independence spirit within all of us. It so happened that the topic of “declaration of independence” came to our mind - and to our utter amazement, we quickly learned that the dilemma that drove the founding fathers to come up with their five part manifesto – seem to be very similar to the “core vs. edge dilemma" that is being faced by most corporations today – and rightfully so, it ebbed up our curiosity, and so, we decided to learn more!

As it turns out, the 5C’s our Purpose Driven Leadership (PDL©) framework (as listed below), in conjunction with our strategic planning framework called Portfolio-Thread View (PTV©), seem to have a perfect answer for this core vs. edge dilemma, and so, we decided to summarize our answer, in the same format of the declaration of independence, - with the same language tone of the founding fathers, yet augmented by the tenor of our own PDL©/PTV© frameworks! We hope it lightens up your spirit– as we celebrate Independence Day this weekend!

1. The INTRODUCTION – Setting the new vision with the right tone of "CONFIDENCE”

When the course of “business as usual” is no longer an accepted norm, it becomes imperative for the stakeholders to redefine (reset?) the meaning of their core businesses (and its associated value), which have connected them with one another for so long, so that, they can embrace the truth behind their edge vision (e.g. Purpose Innovation driven VizPlanet©), the separate and yet almost equal planet station, to which the nature’s principles and God’s principles entitle them, driven by the tenets of the free market capitalism, that compels them, not only to “strategize from the core”, by declaring the causes behind their purpose value chain, but also, impels them to “innovate with the edge” with an edge platform like VizPlanet©, as depicted in the picture above!

2. The PREAMBLE – Renewing the “COMMITMENT” for the new vision

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all stakeholders (i.e. core and edge) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of purpose and profit. Those to secure these rights are called upon to rise among the stakeholders, as purpose innovators, deriving their inspiration from their creator and founding fathers!

3. The INDICTMENT – Establishing the “CONTEXT” for the new vision by identifying risks and returns

That whenever, any form of this edge vision, start cannibalizing their core, it is the right of the leaders to seize the moment, and mitigate those risks by exploring alternative paths of returns (or execution), including, but not limited to the option of spinning off a new start-up entity called “Edge Inc”, by laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such a form, as to them shall seem most likely to derive their collective purpose and profitability from their parent core.

4. The DENUNCIATION – Building the case for forming a new entity, with the right CALIBER of purpose leaders!

While self cannibalization of the core in some cases is a real thing, it is definitely not a compelling reason to quench the edge endeavor (as the saying goes, if we don’t eat our own lunch, someone else will!) – and so, edge, would like to peacefully work things out, as edge and core at the end of the day are still conjoined cousins (as they need each other), and so, hereby, the edge constituents, affirm and appeal to the open minded among the core, to accommodate edge’s aspirations and agree to co-exist as sister concerns, under the larger purpose holding umbrella!

5. The CONCLUSION– Closing the deal with the CALL-TO-ACTION

That, these united edge colonies, also envision the need to change the strategy and structure of the holding corporation, so that they can officially declare the existence of “Edge Inc” and of their right ought to be free and Independent operating entity; that they are absolved from the day to day oppression of the core, yet operating as conjoined cousins, to win the competition collectively and decisively, united by the larger purpose, that comes from their creator and founding fathers!

Editor/author’s closing comments:

While "Strategize From the Core and Innovate with the Edge" being the key strategic principle promoted within our blog today, by no means, we are suggesting that forming “edge Inc” is the only option to implement that principle , rather we suggest that, it is one of the most viable options available to large corporations - as history has proven again and again that “moving the needle” with the edge vision, especially within a large established core business, is not an easy thing.

On a side note - one of our business partners – after reading the draft version of the article – was quiet impressed with our timely “declaration of independence metaphor” and jokingly summarized the article with the following mapping. Although we did not mean it that way, it turned out to be that way, and so, we let you be the judge!

  • 17-20th century British Empire –> depicting the Core or “business as usual”

  • All former British Commonwealth colonies led by USA –> depicting the Edge type disruptive innovation businesses (e.g. our purpose innovation enabled VizPlanet© platform)

  • Founding Fathers –> depicting the Overarching Board and Senior Leaders

  • Declaration of Independence –> depicting the Edge manifesto with a proposal to form Edge Inc.

  • Creator –> depicting the Common Purpose or a holding company uniting both core and edge under a common umbrella!

With all due respect, most former British colonies including USA, are still thankful to the British Empire –as they all have derived some of their foundational strengths from Great Britain, in spite of the shortcomings, that came along with the colonization. In other words, a former colony like USA cannot be the super power today, had it not derived some of its core strengths from the British Empire. Similarly, some of the emerging economic powers of today, were also, once colonies of British Empire- and in a way - they also have derived some of their foundational strengths from the British Empire, in spite of the shortcomings of colonization. The most notable one being the English language– which has become the link language for the whole world! In closing – no matter how we slice it, whether it is core or edge, we all need each other – as world is becoming smaller and smaller every day!

Wish you all a happy July 4th!

1 comment:

  1. Charles Prabakar,

    Even though you meant this article to be light; yet it is fat with its originality, scope and areas of applications.
    My five Cs to you goes like compare, correlate, comment, construct and congratulate for the great result. You certainly deserve the C of congratulate. The rest of the 4Cs are up to you to judge

    Congratulations on this timely and convincing post