JOURNALThe Big Picture

Our pursuit of relevance

Posted by Gillian Clark, Gareth Evans . Sep 29.20

It’s been a year of unprecedented disruption for New Zealand enterprises... but not the kind anyone expected. One potential outcome of the pandemic is that it will accelerate digital life – it takes us beyond a turning point and into a Golden Age*.

Our pursuit of relevance

We’re inclined to agree. We’ve all been forced into new ways of working and, indeed, living. Online activity has proliferated through meetings, shopping, socialising, learning and being entertained. Behind all of it is software. And it’s made even the most phobic of digi-phobes more digital, exposing them to benefits and the possibilities of digital (as well as a few downsides).

Familiar challenges, renewed urgency

The change is not lost on NZ businesses. We’re experiencing a significant lift in enquiries from enterprises (and through Callaghan Innovation’s reinvigorated Build for Speed Programme) seeking to improve how they deliver digital services at scale. The common challenges we see are about flow, technical debt, contemporary architectures, visibility of value, scaling Lean-Agile and uplifting technical practices. Nothing new here.

But from our standpoint, there certainly seems to be a greater realisation and renewed urgency among New Zealand businesses about the imperative to get better at software delivery. Irrespective of any turning point actually being reached, that’s very good news for everyone.

A catalyst for our own change

We’ve also had our own realisations at HYPR. In the downtimes of lockdown, we decided to tackle the elephant in our room, best expressed by a client: “You’re very good at what you do, but you’re terrible at explaining it to people who don’t know you.” This served as a catalyst to sort that out, but also to do much more than just find a few neat words for the market.

In late March, we started to review and reimagine our business and organise our offer to market in ways that address the key challenges our clients face. Over six months, the HYPR team has worked on our story: our guiding principles (values described), vision, strategy, solutions and points of difference – with customers at the heart, of course.

Indeed, many clients have helped guide our thinking and kept us honest to one thing above all – relevancy. As digital accelerates into its Golden Age, relevancy has never been more important – both for us and our clients. It’s for this reason that, together, we addressed the most important thing of all. Why are we here and what’s going to keep us growing? In simpler words, what’s our Purpose?

The Pursuit of Relevance

HYPR’s purpose is The Pursuit of Relevance. It resonates externally for all our enterprising clients who wish to delight their customers in the coming years. It’s an ongoing, never-ending journey that we define as "uplifting the organisation’s ability to deliver value to customers".

It also resonates strongly internally – with the HYPR team. We do feel we’re in a never-ending pursuit of knowledge and skills which will be relevant to our clients. We are their eyes searching for and exploring the useful things that might emerge.

Over six months, the HYPR team has worked on our story: our guiding principles (values described), vision, strategy, solutions and points of difference – with customers at the heart, of course.

We believe there are four interconnected fundamentals – or dimensions – in improving organisational ability: continuous modernisation of technology, Scaling Lean-Agile, improving practices and shifting from projects to products. We’ve built our solutions in these dimensions. In addition to introducing them on this website, we describe them in more detail in our playbooks which are freely downloadable and shareable. You might wish, though, to start with this blog which explains how we see our playbooks… differently.

Cautioning caution

The strong common theme across all our solutions is the delivery of value. As we were writing our playbooks, we were constantly reminded of the inherent conflict organisations face between investing to drive cost-efficiencies and investing to improve the delivery of value. These are sometimes one and the same thing, but frequently at odds with one another! The pandemic has been a financial hard-hit for enterprises and this may cause them to shift investment towards short-term productivity gains. This is entirely understandable, but it carries with it a real risk.

Our vision is that HYPR becomes a centre of gravity for clients and talent that cares passionately about improving the ability of organisations to deliver value.

As we enter the Golden Age, the big winners will be those enterprises that transition quickest to an operating system (re)designed for the new state, rather than simply making an existing system more efficient for the old state. The move from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge economy, from economies of scale to economies of flow, and from customer-outside to customer-centric, all speak to the delivery of new value. And that requires investment that’s focused on the customer. Getting the investment balance right in these times is the toughest ask of leadership.

Our aspiration and vision

We’ve put those words into action at HYPR. From our very personal perspectives as founders, we revisited our aspirations for the business, our vision and our investment in it.

We believe that we have a responsibility to help enthusiastic and talented people working in software to succeed. All it takes is a moment in time, when someone can be shown a better way of working in a culture of safety and experimentation… it can change their working experience for the good, forever.

We both want HYPR to be a place which creates those moments for our team and our clients. A place where people come to be inspired and achieve great things. Our vision is that HYPR becomes a centre of gravity for clients and talent that cares passionately about improving the ability of organisations to deliver value. We’re invested in this more than ever. We want this year to be our very own turning point and to accelerate from hereon.

*The Golden Age – For the most prescient understanding of turning points and the Golden Age that follows, Carlota Perez’s essay on Techno-Economic Paradigms is a must-read. It was written in 2009 and perfectly describes our current moment in time. For an introduction to her concepts, please read our headline playbook The Big Picture.

Get the Big Picture and discover how to pursue relevance in the Golden Age

Our playbooks are freely downloadable – no contact details required.

Our headline playbook The Big Picture sets the scene for improving your organisation’s ability to deliver value. Learn more about:

  • The Golden Age of Digital & Software
  • Stages of digital maturity
  • The innovation landscape
  • Four dimensions of ability
  • Successful transition (or why transformations can fail)

Gillian Clark

Co-founder of HYPR, our CEO and strategic transformation adviser and one of the first fully-certified SAFe® Programme Consultant Trainers (SPCT). Gillian is always in pursuit of the 'moments' that make us love what we do.

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