Gee, about a year ago, things were simple. Put together a good strategy and ride it into the future. Sweet!
Since then every consulting firm, every journal, every magazine has been trying to explain “the new normal.” Unfortunately, there is no data from the future, so we are all guessing. Some better than others, but we are all guessing.
As we looked into our not-so-crystal ball there were a few things we could see for sure. So, excuse me for telling you the obvious, but it’s the only place for many businesses to start. Here are five things we know “for sure.”
- Strategy will change and will change often. Customer needs and wants, supply chain capabilities, and existing and new competitors are all in flux.
- Financial pressures will increase. Sorry Wall Street, Main Street is hurting and hurting BAD!
- Speed and agility will be more important than ever. Since strategy will be hard to pin down, making strategy real will be a game of speed and quick pivots.
- Complex problems will proliferate. All stakeholders are involved in finding the new normal and there are plenty of competing needs and wants. System complexity is increasing and “simple” problems seen only a few years ago have become nastier than ever.
- We must prepare for a new normal (whatever it is). “Chance favors a prepared mind” and we have too few people who have had the time to prepare their minds. Why? Because we have been chasing efficiency for decades and have driven “thinking time” out of our businesses. Pity us.
We will be commenting on all five of these knowns in the coming couple of weeks. What would you add to our list? Seriously, what would you add?