The Keys To Surviving & Thriving In The Next Decade
Change your thinking. When you build your business around the firm belief you can help your clients change your thinking for the better, it just stands to reason you should explain yourself doesn’t it?
This post outlines what I believe and why in today’s world, the ability to change your thinking to adapt to all the changes around you is the only way to thrive and grow in the next decade or foreseeable future.
Who Knows Where The Time Goes
In the early nineties, the minicomputers were introduced and over the decades became smaller and mightier. The same microchips that powered the computers powered nearly every other thing we use. The telephones went from being on the wall or desk to being in our pockets, from party lines to encrypted burners.
Today people carry around terabytes of information on 5-inch phones and 7-inch tablets. But despite all these so-called marvellous advancements, and all this perceived progress, the thing we all still seem to lack is the main thing that all this technological innovation promised….time.
Today, everyone complains of lack of time. Why? Because despite the fact that technology has managed to enhance our analytical ability, it has also created what Bob Dylan refers to as a lot of “useless and pointless knowledge”. And the accumulation and processing of that knowledge or data is the very activity that has sucked up the idyllic time factor we used to have.
The Digital Realm As A Soul-Sucking Curse
In business, there has been a mountain of tools tried and tossed. We have seen assembly lines and quality control processes. Kaizen and just in time. The one-minute manager and the only touch it once gurus. We had the re-engineer it, the outsource it, the 1% squeeze solution, the just a little bit more and then the hive the whole damn thing off. Whatever.
We’ve gone from humans to robotics, from human intelligence to artificial intelligence. We love the concept of drones and continue to be fascinated with the latest and greatest upcoming shiny new objects and toys. We have decimated the retail environment and convinced everyone that offline died and we all need to use only online. Cheap China imports are truly a thing; now made in our country has hardly a ring.
We know that finance and operations and distribution can always be centralized and so too can customer care/customer service and, oh what the hell, send them off to voicemail hell or even better to foreign lands with bad English. Bigger is better, a standardized BIG DATA system works every time. Let’s get out all the kinks, and colour everyone some shade of beige. Rip out the abysmal, cement up the oddballs who stand in the way of progress. Bigger, better, gigantic. Thank you very much. All in the name of saving money or time.
Some of it worked. But, and this is a big BUT…we gutted the soul right out of the business and the human world. We permanently killed-off whole industries. We left far too many people without jobs and unable to make ends meet. And we allowed too many people with bad skills to continue. And others with good skills to wither and die.
Even worse, the next generation of humans does not have a lot to look forward to.
Now no company is perfect. Not one. Not yours; not mine. Every single company has warts. Just like humans. The trick is to be the one with the fewest warts.
So the real question is: How can you survive and thrive for the next ten years? Not the next twenty, the next fifty, or the next century! Just the next ten years.
The answer is both easy and hard.
The Easy Part
Change your thinking for the better means bringing your business back from the cold, hard technical realm to the human world. You do this by:
1. Refocusing your efforts to get to know, understand and love your customers
2. Working with simple processes or systems which allow your ordinary people to do and be extraordinary
3. Giving back (first to your people, then to your community) as much as possible which inspires and motivates
The Hard Part
Not one of these things is easy to achieve. Not one. Because each one means you are either going to have to build back and or strengthen the soul of your company.
Which means you have to truly be a leader.
Which means if you do not have the depth of character, the desire to do so or the resources to acquire the talent you need to help you achieve all of the above, you will fail. Plain and simple.
Have I got your attention now? I sure hope so. Because we both can agree that the last fifteen years have been hard on all businesses. And it won’t get any easier.
In fact, I have a prediction. It will get harder and if you don’t adapt by identifying what needs to change and changing it, you will fail. It is imperative you change your thinking for the better.
Perhaps I Can Help
I am in business to provide custom solutions to standard problems and leave behind solid standard practices that can be maintained independently. I believe the three things highlighted above are the primary keys to positive change. And my focus is purely and simply to help clients survive and thrive over the next decade.
My qualifications are based on lived experience. I have been around for quite a while and been part of the management structure of companies that have succeeded as well as those that have failed, have helped many go on to their greatness AND in the process, learned a great deal from all those different kinds of experience.
I want to be clear about something. The key processes identified here all point to building and rebuilding the soul of your company. Human emotion. There is only one traditional function that has the business savvy to handle human emotion. Marketing. I believe that Marketing is the gold key to your success.
Marketing, when it is done right, demonstrates a company’s understanding of human emotion. The soul, the human emotion is what has been robbed from so many businesses and is the ‘something’ that all businesses need to get back or dramatically enhance.
And frankly, anyone schooled primarily in finance, operations, sales, distribution, and administration typically does not have the depth of understanding of human emotion. Until they learn it, they will have a very hard time leading any company in the new world we are facing.
If you don’t have marketing as a prime talent, learn it, contract it or hire it. And I mean that seriously. Because that is where your humanity, your company’s soul, and all your future success will come from.
I’ll help you change your thinking for the better…For YOUR better!
To your success!