The Sustainable Company – Stage 4

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

In a previous post, we looked at the work done by Ram Nidumolu and M.R. Rangaswami in which they stated that there is no alternative to sustainable development. And they identified the five stage process on the road to sustainability. This post discusses Stage 4 of 5.

In this stage, the company is developing new business models and the central challenge is to find novel ways of delivering and capturing value, which will change the basis of competition.

The authors admonish us to not make the mistake of thinking that we can simply rethink the customer value proposition and “tweak” our business model. Rather, we don’t start from the existing model, we start with a view of the future. The competencies needed include:

  • The capacity to understand what consumers want and to figure out different ways to meet those demands
  • The ability to understand how partners can enhance the value of offerings.

Developing new business models is not for the fainthearted. The rewards are innovation opportunities such as:

  • Developing new delivery technologies that change value-chain relationships in significant ways
  • Creating monetization models that relate to services rather than products
  • Devising business models that combine digital and physical infrastructures.

We have known for some time that new technologies provide start-ups with the ability to challenge conventional wisdom thus providing disruptive product innovations. If our companies successfully navigate to this stage of the Sustainability process, then we may well have an opportunity to act like the small companies by innovating in this space and not waiting for them to pick up the slack.

Many companies are looking for new ways to provide products and services because of the present economic crisis. Are you looking for new ways to innovate? Will developing a sustainability business model spur innovation and new products for you and your company?

Previous Posts:
Introduction, Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3.