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Expanding Horizons

If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near.
Jack Welch

There are many examples where successful businesses have failed to anticipate shifts in customer appetite. Obvious examples include Kodak, Nokia, Blackberry, Borders Books and Block Buster Video. So it is essential for all organisations to develop methodologies that bring new ideas and perspectives into the collective knowledge of the business beyond incremental New Product Development initiatives.

Hang out with weird, and thou shalt become more weird. Hang out with dull, and thou shalt become more dull. It’s as simple as that.
Tom Peters

Wayne Burkan holds a similar view to Tom Peters and believes that great sources of innovation can be “rogue employees, disgruntled customers, off-the-scope competitors and fringe suppliers.”

Other ways to expand your horizons include exploring business models from unrelated industries, and following developments in key international markets.

Innovation for Lead Your Industry

To ensure my own field of vision is sufficiently broad, earlier this year I attended the annual conference of the Association for Strategic Planning in the US. The fact the conference was in San Francisco this year was an added attraction. It was a great opportunity to network, connect with and learn from peers and thought leaders in the strategic planning space, but there was yet another bonus. I’d been looking at options for developing a client portal that would streamline our processes and incorporate real time document sharing with clients, and while at the conference I discovered an established platform that can be customised to incorporate the LYI process. I’m currently beta testing but it looks great and I plan to introduce it to our clients shortly.

BRiN – Excellent ‘training’ app for business leaders

Talking of innovation – I must commend Dale Beaumont Founder and CEO of Business Blueprint for an incredible innovation. Dale and his team have created BRiN, a free, intelligent app for every business owner. In the app there are literally hundreds of video presentations from excellent speakers on a range of business topics including sales, marketing, finance, people, operations, technology and more. Once you have the app, click ‘topics, latest videos’ then the ‘Strategy’ topic and you’ll see two presentations from me: Developing a Strategic Plan to Drive Performance and How to develop an Advisory Board for your Business. BRiN is a phenomenal innovation – you’ll find more information here. Check it out and let me know what you think.

The problem isn’t strategic planning…

According to the authors of this Boston Consulting Group article, the real problem is that “most companies lack an effective strategic planning process.”

Does your business strategy incorporate processes that allow you to “hang out with weird” and to see and consider how “the rate of change on the outside” could impact your business? Drop me a note and let me know.

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