It is often said that the best time to plan is when you least need to. I am sure that those companies who have seen rapid changes in their operating enviroment wished they had looked at the strategic options when the going was good rather than when the rapid shifts came into play. Nokia for example falling from the big growth mobile phone supplier to the big loser in mobile communications, cd manufacturers not anticipating the advent of the on line media revoulution and the ipod’s spectacular rise.
Organisations need to be vigilant, scanning the horizon for the inevitable shifts, adapting and innovating their business model to ensure they are the masters of changes in their own environments.
When you reflect on shifts you should look at a wide range of possible mechanisms and and sources for shifts. For example:
- new products or services that are emerging or material changes to existing offerings; eg on line entertainment
- market changes, customer demands, segment shifts. eg McDonalds and the move to healthy meals
- techology shifts. eg mobile devices and applications
- new channels. eg the move to on line retailing
- competitor behaviour. eg Sykpe versus traditional telcos
- regulatory changes. eg the cancellation of solar system installation rebates to home owners
- supplier changes.
- collaborator or partnership shifts.
And there are lots more. So continually analyse your ecosystem, seek input from your partners, suppliers, customers and regulators. Do senario analysis and prepare your organisation, team or group for the inevitable shifts that are coming.
At least then when the tsunami hits you will be better prepared. What potential shifts can you see on your horizon?