We often hear about being resilient to thrive and survive in business today. Why does this matter and what does it mean?
The pace of change driven by fragmenting political and economic ideologies, changing socio-political environments, accelerating access and advances in technology and increased competition is happening faster today than before. And this was before Covid dramatically shifted and accelerated change across the globe.
Staying relevant in this changing world is vital to ensure a future for your business. Think Kodak. One day they dominated, the next, gone. Think Nokia, BlackBerry, Sears, Studdafords, Commodore Comp and the list goes on! We know this, yet, every day I see established businesses facing similar fates.
On The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, Pavlo Phitidis outlined how to build resilience into your business.
If you don’t get this right, your business will die. A business that is not growing is a business dying. Sure, one can blame a multitude of factors from the no-growth economy, aggressive anti-growth legislation and government policy, scarcity of funding and so on. Yet, in the exact same environment, businesses like yours are growing.
To not be relevant in the changing environment stalls growth and retards it generating a fateful future. Without growth you have a business that is hard to sell and further, you will not attract talent, new customers or funders compounding your no-growth scenario and blame.
Your years of sacrifice, investment and risk must turn into a successful exit and capital gain. That is your final reward and it is the pension that you need to care for your family and self.
Most of the content on resilience focuses on human behaviour and psychological analysis of top-level sports people or rough and tough specialist soldiers. There is great value and inspiration in accessing this content. But reading it does not make it so. The human behaviour piece of resilience takes specific experiences, time and pain. Without it, you will suffer. But with it, you are only partly there. Resilience can be built, through design, into your business. When you tire from the ceaseless fight, when you fatigue from the constant assault on your business and future, you need your business to have resilience “baked-in” through its design and method of build.
Today, customers buy experiences that solve their problems. Being clear on who your customers are and what problems you solve for them is the single most important factor in designing a resilient business. Beware to let your product or service guide your business design and mindset. This means that your eye, ear and heart are all focused on the product and its features when in fact, the market is buying solutions to problems and experiences. Remaining “tuned in” to your customers and responding fast to their changing world builds a resilient business.
To get a clear message from the market, a resilient design is one in which the business does not try to offer everything to everyone. Resilient design means being super-focused, niched, a specialist in both the product or service you offer, as well as the customer groups you target and serve. It remains the single most challenging thing to get right.
With clarity at hand, resilient design means that every activity in your business is developed to market, sell, deliver and enable response to that well-defined customer group. These systems need to orchestrate and act to create the right pitch and melody that your customer will hear and resonate with. Get the melody wrong, that customer switches channel or skips to the next tune on their radio. Get it right, and that customer will stick and stay. They will also lead the development of your business into the future. As their world changes, you will be able to understand what that means. That understanding leads to your actions leading to the investments and changes you make in your business to respond.
Designed resilience means a team that is tuned into that customer and their changing world. In a service business making each and everyone’s bonus or incentive structure linked to customer experiences is a lot easier than in a product or manufacturing business. You may not like a member of your team but if your customers rate them well, they’re an asset and key tool to the resilience of your business. Remember, structure determines behaviour. Incentivise people against a structure that ensures resilience and responsiveness, and they will be true assets to the business.
It’s not simple to get right. It’s harder when you’re established. Without this design baked-into your business, it’s all up to you, 24/7. With this design in play, your efforts will act to deepen and ensure that the success you enjoy today, will be the success of tomorrow. Funders love it, buyers even more and your employees will thrive on it. Finally, your reward will be greater than you could ever dream of.
We work with established business to get to the next level of growth and value. That means resilience is baked-in, built-in and an absolute necessity in how we work with you. Get in touch and let’s ensure that your future remains brighter than your present day.