David Frederick's | iAIR BLOG

Consulting, Innovation, Strategy, Vision, Education, & Ideation

All Bets Are Off, All The Time!

I’ve recently been thinking about the current economic and business challenges many businesses face in today’s economy and why some succeed and others struggle or even fail. I have concluded that in times of rapid change, like the current times we are in, you have rapid turbulence and chaotic volatility. That means all bets are off, all the time. What this means for a business is that you ultimately have to throw out your assumptions and models every six weeks because things change so quickly. Think about this, it only takes one tiny piece of information to entirely change your thinking and planning. One new competitive, marketing, advertising, product, service, innovation, development, technology deployment or strategic step can fundamentally change what you do in your business. It could completely change your entire business model if you’re not careful!

In my experience, many organizations spend weeks, months and even years to plan a complex multi-step strategy when one external event can force your business to change quickly to merely survive. Those that can adapt and change, survive. Those that cant or wont, get left behind. Business today needs to be constantly open to the radical idea that you may be on the wrong path and need to adjust accordingly. Or, what seemed like the right path six months ago may now be the wrong path. Planning concrete, locked strategies, assumptions, models, etc. 6 months to a year out is not only unrealistic, its dangerous to the health and success of your business. With the plethora of new information, models, strategies, statistics, activities, research, processes, etc. being released into the world on a daily basis, organizations must constantly be open to the idea that there may be a better way and that your organization may have to change. More importantly is determining when, if and how to change. Making knee jerk reactions to data points and information can be equally disruptive and dangerous.

The key is flexibility and adaptation. Organizations that are dynamic, responsive, adaptive, and flexible are typically more innovative, creative, optimistic, and ultimately more successful than organizations that are inflexible and rigid in their thinking and execution. In order to be successful in the uncertain, dynamic and ever-changing business and economic environment of the early 21st century, flexibility will be a key factor in determining who is successful and who is not. Keep that in mind when you are planning your strategic and execution plans. I am not saying don’t plan, but plan on having to make real-time adjustments and contemplate how they will impact your business. In the early 21st century, nothing stands still for 6 months, let alone 6 weeks.


%d bloggers like this: