What you don’t see online with HBR’s article The CEO’s Role in Business Model Reinvention is my favourite part of the article in the print version. The online version provides a forward looking business model framework designed to “manage the present, selectively forget the past, and create the future”. Authors Vijay Govindarjan and Chris Trimble are urging leaders to operate in these 3 distinct boxes simultaneously.
This might sound obvious but typically this is not practiced and even more rarely are they balanced in priority. The most common pitfall I see is ignoring the need to “selectively forget the past”, it never ceases to amaze me how much of what falls into box 1 is sustained purely based on tradition, every company should have a VP of Why, validating the purpose and returns on present day products and services.
On to my favourite part of the article… luckily Infosys has posted the PDF print version which has “The Transformation Process in Hindu Mythology” on page 8. The authors draw parallels to 3 hindu mythology gods and the symbolic relevance of their wives to this framework. The analogy is incredibly relevant, too often leaders are focused on literal interpretation of all things business, forward thinking leaders reach beyond the world of business to find deeper wisdom.