5HowThe need to own something was yesterday, being able to use and have access to what’s needed is the future. Fact is that not only the market for expensive consumer goods changes, but once again a new generation is setting new standards that slowly but surely turn the market upside down. Having to possess something is water under the bridge, being able to use and always have access to what’s needed is rather important for the future generations.

Value creation through new services

Most notably, services that have been assigned a new value today - like refrigerators, washing machines, or even entire air con- or heating systems - are available for use, rather than purchase, like in the case of a washing machine, paying for the provision of clean laundry.

Quite obviously, the effect on the consumer side is not to have high initial cost and safety in the provision of services over the entire service life. The service providers on the other hand are binding the customer in the long term, therefore doing everything to optimize the product and service quality in the acquisition- and performance process. Over longer life cycles, this saves especially natural resources, but creates new / other activities as well that eventually result in new business models.

Let’s face it, there is no industry in which everything remains the same. Or can you say that your business model will be unchanged in the next few years? How certain can a corporate governance actually be that no event occurs that cuts a company to the quick?

Sustainability is in great demand

We are still far away from a truly sustainable economy - a circular economy. The turning point in the mass consumption, the end of questionable product quality and debatable processes, has been a long time coming. It’s risky to ignore unstoppable new trends and having the wrong attitude of doing business. The term "sustainability" has degenerated into a mere sign-board, which isn’t a solution for the future. Instead, core processes and services of the company must be aligned completely anew, since real sustainability - in terms of lasting future security - is not a public relations strategy, but anchored in the corporate strategy!

Today, companies are basically often hit in their existence by two paths of development that threatens their sustainability:

1. Because their strategy is not coherent anymore, due to the current or future market and environmental factors. The business model is no longer valid and as such outdated, because of new technologies, new competitors, other rules, etc .

2. Because the strategy is tailored too little on sustainability criteria in the core of the corporate activity. Uncontrollable events - like scandals, accidents, etc. - can then easily pull down a company overnight.

What about the Digital Transformation in Asia?

Well, it is already evident that Asian companies will overcome the challenges of the digital transformation. Experts still see a significant pent-up demand, especially in small and medium enterprises, where there is a danger of being left behind, because many still shy away from a comprehensive strategy or even a fundamental change process. They are currently simply still overwhelmed by the complexity of the issue and the changes digitization brings.

Of course, digital transformation has significant implications on all facets of a company and its possibilities appear infinite. Therefore, it should be discussed right at the beginning, what should be done and especially what not, as otherwise there is the danger of getting bogged down by too many projects.

In the strategy and corporate governance the threads clearly converge. Here lies the core of causation, if it went wrong. In a new strategy lies moreover the approach to give the change a new direction. Furthermore, innovation is neither a spin-off nor the result of popular brainstorms. The purpose of a good strategy is to permanently ensure the viability and survivability of the company. Business and management are looking generally for the change to secure the future of their businesses.

The central and most important questions an entrepreneur has to face to ensure the continuity of his / her company read: “Is the company well positioned for the future? If the company future-proofed?” The rest can be deduced from the answer and is the subject of good methodological craft, expertise, innovation and inspiration.

Only the entrepreneurs themselves can give a meaningful answer to this key issue. Based on the company's own DNA, own history and success story. Tackling, for instance, one of the major challenges like privacy and data security, which aggravates additionally for international companies, it becomes clear that without a strategy nothing works.

By Daniela La Marca