Evolving the Norms of Mobility with Continuous Improvement

Disruption and complexity in the transportation industry are converging. A driving force behind Mobility as a Service (MaaS), the ridesharing sector is projected to grow eightfold to $285 billion by 2030, presenting a compelling alternative to personally-owned modes of transportation for consumers. In public transit, emerging electronic fare solutions are rapidly integrating multiple payment mechanisms and unlocking new passenger insights, all while mag-stripe ticketing and vendor ticketing machines fade into obsolescence. As the future of mobility takes shape, building 360-degree visibility across the industry ecosystem enables transportation entities to reduce risk, capture new opportunities, and transform to address industry imperatives like customer experience (CX), digital adoption, and workforce enablement.

As a reflection of evolving norms of mobility, industry transformation is continuous: Departments of transportation are tapping into new sources of solar energy innovation to promote sustainable growth. Airlines are redefining how customer experiences are delivered to build customer loyalty. Transit agencies are implementing electronic fare payment systems to improve operational efficiency and personalize passenger experiences.

When it comes to addressing transformation, the stakes are high: 58 percent of organizations in our research tell us that their recent transformation(s) have been “very important” to the future success of their business.1 While transportation industry leaders know they need to change to keep pace, they may not fully understand the opportunity of advancing from their current state to somewhere new and better. This can lead to poor decision-making and a lack of a clear vision, strategy, and organizational alignment around the prospective initiatives in which to invest, and when to invent in them.

75 percent of organizations cite “lack of clear vision” as the number one reason that transformations fail to achieve their anticipated value, according to our research.2 As a result of lack of alignment and clarity on vision, transportation entities may miss opportunities to consistently prioritize improvements that address the converging needs of passengers, partners, and employees, while simultaneously addressing business imperatives like revenue generation, cost mitigation, and operational efficiency.

Establishing a clear vision for change and transformation – one that maximizes value by addressing the interests of all players in the complex industry ecosystem – starts with how transportation entities priorities transformation. Applying Change EconomicsSM presents one path for transportation entities to get started:

  1. Define vision and desired outcomes: Agree upon a unifying vision and guiding objectives that establish the case for change.
  2. Define value levers: Understand value drivers, both internal and external, and determine their priority based on impact to all stakeholder groups.
  3. Identify and prioritize initiatives: Define, rank, and prioritize initiatives according to the importance of the full stakeholder experience.
  4. Build value model and change agenda: Establish the agenda for change and improvement, laying out the sequence of initiatives and supporting business cases.

Future-ready transportation agencies must continuously seek new insights from analytics, generate improved efficiencies, and most importantly a cultivate a workforce capable of capitalizing on new opportunities. Instilling meaningful change and improvement first starts with how entities are prioritizing their focus to address key drivers of value for a diverse set of industry players, including passengers, employees, and partners.

Ultimately, the Change Economics approach results in a set of priorities that are not static or linear, but rather, serve as the starting point for continuous improvement that sustains growth and performance. By strengthening the capability for continuous improvement, transportation entities will be equipped to address not only their top priorities today, but also keep pace with the imperatives brought by the undefined future of the industry.

Click here to learn more about Change Economics.


[1] 1: February 2020 North Highland-sponsored survey of > 400 cross-functional employees at organizations with annual revenues > $1B and that are headquartered in the U.S. or U.K.​

[2] Ibid.

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