The Core Concept underlying transformation strategy began here, in Murren, Switzerland, looking at the Eiger the Monk and the Jungfrau. I had been working on better understanding what the legendary Andy Grove of Intel called Strategic Inflection Points. I had been recruited by the Postmaster General to join the USPS to define a digital strategy just as the Internet was becoming a mainstream communications medium. There had in fact been a tsunami as we had anticipated there would be. The traditional business models of the posts were eroded. I found that my digital strategy was overwhelmed by the force of culture, the leverage of the competitors and many other factors that were bigger than I was. My concept of an “access strategy” was adopted by others or perhaps they came to their own similar conclusions. Yet life happened while I was making other plans.
I found that I had an exceptional vantage point on one of the great transformation challenges of our time. Instead of defining a future path that was quickly adopted by the many skeptics, they were confident to the end that change just couldn’t happen because it never had before. I was given the opportunity to call the turn (we forecast the decline in mail volume in the Strategic Plan of 2000) and to see how important it would be for the successful leaders of the future to bring the others along. I could see that future leaders would have to learn new rules.
So, looking at the shape of the curves across the valley from Murren I could see the Second Curve that they had described to me at the Institute for the Future. But having lived through the experience of traveling the transformation pathway I knew how challenging an ascent it represents.