The business climate is changing and the waves are coming whether we are ready or not! Companies that identify unchangeable trends in business and adapt early will find tremendous, previously undiscovered opportunities for growth.
History teaches us that technology & process advancements disrupt old business models. For example, ice companies experienced a revenue disruption during the advent of refrigeration, but did not adapt because they thought their product was ice instead of refrigeration. Some railroad tycoons lost significant income when cars and planes disrupted their business, but did not adapt because they thought rail service was their product instead of transportation.
In contrast, let’s look at an industry giant who survived disruption by adapting. Upon realizing that computer and software sales from new market entrants was causing a significant decline in its mainframe and software sales, IBM visionary Lou Gerstner, former CEO, knew change was imminent. Approaching it’s 100th anniversary, IBM did not default to denial, but also did not scrap its entire business model. Instead, IBM realized that it was a technology service company and began to put more emphasis on their service business and less emphasis on what was becoming a commodity, hardware & software.
Similarly, as business owners, you can anticipate that unchangeable trends, such as new technologies, cloud based apps, globalization of outsource services, globalization of economies and supply chains, government regulations and demographic shifts, will disrupt the traditional business model. Facing that reality and adapting your business model to create new opportunities will be vital for your company’s survival.
Like IBM, there’s no need for you to scrap your entire business model. In fact, it’s time to take inventory of your assets and differentiators to place emphasis on the services and products that will add relevant value with a future view. As a business leader, your ability to anticipate opportunities or possible disruptions for the industries within your sphere of influence will be one of your greatest assets.
Like IBM, begin to put more emphasis on the services and products that provide solutions for anticipated disruptions or potential opportunities and less on your what may be evolving into a commodity that will require you to work harder, faster and for less money. The focus has to move from what your customers need to what they want, relevant solutions that add value.
Listen to what Tech Futurist & Innovation Expert, Daniel Burrus, CEO & Founder of Burrus Research, Inc., has to say,
“To thrive in this new age of exponential change and growing uncertainty, it is now an imperative to anticipate both problems and opportunities in the future by learning what Apple and Google have learned – how to use the certainty of Hard Trends to drive innovation and actively shape the future. ”
The trends are moving fast! Will you adapt?
Samuel Kniseley Ballesteros is a Professional EOS Implementer®.