Yes, we all know that umbrellas keep you dry from the rain, they are there to protect you… But really, who needs one in this day and age?
Hiding yourself from outside threats no longer works. In order for our economy and culture to progress, companies and individuals alike require open mind and vision, courage and belief. Being safe is thing of the past, now is the time to embrace the risk and celebrate change… So drop your umbrella, getting wet is the new norm!
Companies have two modes of operation that are often viewed as incompatible; one focuses on the past and the other on the future. Established businesses are great at maintaining value through a proven model of efficiency and effectiveness, but over time, these tend to become inflexible, slow to evolve and eventually irrelevant. Start-ups, on the other hand are great at spotting the market needs and driving a relentless change.
As little as 50 years ago, company life expectancy of Fortune 500 was around 75 years. Today, this number is less than 15 and is continuing to drop. Only 12% of the F500 companies from the mid-50’s are still in existence…
Shape Your Future
It is not if the disruption will come to all, but when. The important task is to prepare and shape your future, otherwise, the opportunity will be there for someone else to take from you.
There are four core elements that all modern and successful organisations should uphold. These are key factors that define modern age and the way we produce, distribute, consume and communicate products, services or information:
1. High purpose through customer’s need
It is so important to look through the 'customer’s eyes', perceive your world through theirs and establish what they really need. You must get on their level to establish what they feel, such as their wants, likes, dislikes and emotions. You need to organise processes around the customer, not around your organisation and current technologies. The customer’s first concern is not the systems you use, but how you interact and engage with them. Helping others to resolve their problems will show the solutions you need.
2. Innovation and Change
It can be difficult to initiate and implement, it can also be risky and frightening. Change can be threatening because it involves moving away from the comfort zone into the unknown. But to move forward however, it is the only option if we choose to care. The focus has to be on being original and creating, instead of what you must replicate.
"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower"
3. Internal Culture and Leadership
Belief in the common good and forward motion is of the utmost importance. A desire to make something that matters is what will push a company forward for the better. Strong and developed leadership, clear vision and courage are essential elements in establishing a strong internal culture of any modern and forward thinking organisation. And it does not end there, it has to be nurtured at all levels and ranks at all times; momentum is built over time and to create the ideal future, it must start with every individual action we take at present.
4. Adapt or else!
If anyone believes they are “too big to fail”, then think about brands like Kodak, Nokia, and Blackberry. We are all familiar with their common and relatively recent story. In mid 90-is, Kodak was the fifth most valuable company in the world employing 150 thousand people globally. 15 years later it went into liquidation. But the fall of one saw the rise of another giant which lead Nokia to become the biggest digital camera manufacturer in the mid to late 00's holding a 50% global market share in the mobile phone industry. In 2012 the company's market share had slipped to just 3.5 percent. Similarly, and only few weeks ago, BlackBerry released a statement confirming that they will no longer be designing and manufacturing their handsets any more…
Change is an inevitable fact of life. Being safe is no longer an option, disruption can happen at any time, in any industry, sector or business. The task of today's business leaders is to act, prepare and shape fast their company’s future, otherwise, someone else most certainly will… and then where will you be, still looking for a cover?