are conditions changing?

When changing conditions require rethinking your strategy

The local grocery store was going to close. There were two other stores close by and foot traffic wasn’t where it needed to be. Both received a significant facelift, but this one had the hallmarks of a store from decades ago.

And then conditions change. A new freeway offramp was constructed that increased the flow of traffic to the store.  And all of a sudden its fate changed. The economics of the store made sense to keep it open.

Conditions change all the time in the business landscape. And many times they are out of your control. But the change can have a significant impact on your business. Do you have a mechanism to note the changes and adjust your strategy accordingly?

What is your evidence of that?

What evidence supports that?A number of recent articles and press releases have touted the successful launch of products and progress of companies. Folks have interviewed these companies and praised their success. Interestingly, as I’ve reached out to congratulate some of these CEOs, their response has been a surprise. They aren’t actually doing that well. Sure, there is a win, but the underlying financial results aren’t there yet. If you did a poll on the streets, you’d think these companies are wildly successful. But, the perception and reality don’t line up.

It is an important lesson in business. Whether it is the performance of people, the progress of the business, or the interests of customers, it is important to be able to point to facts and not just perceptions. As a leader, working off perceptions and not facts can lead you down a problematic path. So, the next time someone is trying to influence you, ask: what is your evidence of that?


Why is it easier for startups to disrupt?

why is it easier for start ups to disruptStartups typically exist because there is a need that is not being met. Businesses either don’t listen to what is creating dissatisfaction from customers or are so wed to the current structure, system or process that it doesn’t move to address the need. Startups are not encumbered by the past. They don’t have prior investments weighing them down. They don’t have a massive change initiative to redirect focus. They just need to enter the market and move quickly.

What does that mean for companies that are being threatened by disruptive forces? Here are a few thoughts:

  • Investment decisions should not be made on the basis of sunk costs. If you need to invest to innovate and compete, history should not weigh you down.
  • Decision making should be rapid and effective
  • The culture should be adaptive and innovative

How are you creating a culture in your organization that allows you to be agile and decisive? How are you looking for disruption in your industry?

Counter surfing

counter surfing. don't be afraidIt has been just over a year since I adopted my dog. She was incredibly timid and had lots of anxiety when I got her. So when she started counter surfing last week I had mixed emotions. There is an art to counter surfing. The dog waits until the coast is clear then helps themself to the tasty morsel on the counter that calls out to them. No one wants their dog to counter surf. It is totally unacceptable. But, I was happy that she feels comfortable and is coming into herself. She saw what she wanted and she went for it. She was no longer held back by anxiety and fear. She just went for it. In business, there are so many things that can hold us back from going for it. Whether it is a growth initiative or introducing a new product, or hiring key people, what is holding you back from going for it?