How to have a happy new year, live long and prosper
Over the last three years, there have been a number of changes that have occurred in the marketplace:
- Easy bank loans are harder to find
- Governments spending is a little less abundant
- Consumers are more cautious
So right now, things may be a little harder.
If you want to prosper in 2012, you may need to evolve.
Those organisations who fail to adapt to the more stringent conditions may find it harder to survive much longer.
In business, people do not act out of the principle of "altruism" but of the principle of "trade".
Trade means "the mutual exchange of values".
Adam Smith, The father of modern economics wrote in 1776
"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest."
People won't do business with you unless you offer them a high degree of value.
In order to improve your ability to add value to others, you must evolve and improve your products and services.
"Evolve" here means three things:
- The ability to improve and capitalise on what it is that you do well
- The ability to identify and correct those things that you don't do well
- The ability to adapt to and profit from the changing economic conditions
"Evolution" and "survival" are linked
The free market acts like a natural ecosystem in which life-forms (i.e. businesses) compete for their share of a limited, food supply (money).
In order to survive they must perfect themselves by evolving at a faster rate than either:
- The threats imposed by the governing environment
- Their competitors
Charles Darwin explained evolution's link to survival like this:
"It is not necessarily the strongest that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."
More from Darwin:
"Because there are more (organisations) born each year that can possibly survive, an individual possessing any advantage, however slight, over its competitors will have the best chance of surviving.
And on the other hand, we can feel sure that, any variation in the least degree injurious will be rigorously destroyed.
This preservation of favoured variations, together with the destruction of those that are injurious.
I have called Natural selection or "the survival of the fittest".
The survival of the fittest
You must adapt to the new conditions.
By adopting a philosophy of constant and never ending improvement.
How does one constantly improve?
Here are the steps:
1 Decide to!
You must make a conscious decision to improve all aspects of your products and service. If you don't try to improve, then you won't improve
2. Beware of the phrase "if it ant broke, don't fix it"
This phrase is the death knell of continuous improvement.
This phrase could put you out of business.
Eliminate the phrase and replace it with this "No matter how good it is: improvement is possible".
3. Keep up with technology
Genetically, mankind has not changed for 100,000 years: but technologically he HAS changed.
The difference between a savage and Bill Gates is technology.
The difference between the Stone Age and the Information Age is technology.
Keep up with technology and make it work for you.
Failure to keep up with technology will mark you out for selection.
4. Keep looking at what the public wants
Capitalism means you need to provide:
- What the customer wants
- Where he wants it
- At the price he considers a mutual exchange of value
Don't neglect your customer
They have the upper hand because the technology has made competition much more open:
If they don't like your terms they can get it from your competitor.
5. Keep an eye on the government
The operation of the free market is distorted by actions of governments, who are themselves affected by pressure groups and special interest lobbies.
The free market in energy production is distorted by governments who are themselves affected by special interest lobbies.
Alternative fuels and green energy are a growing market MOSTLY because of government subsidy.
Europe's political classes created a lucrative market for the "sustainable energy lobby" based not upon economics, or market forces, but rather, the "Eco-green ideology".
In 2007, the Heads of States and Governments of the 27 EU Member States adopted the
Renewable Energy Sources Directive:
The RES Directive sets mandatory targets for renewable energy production. If the next generation of politicians were to change their minds, then the industry would suffer due to a lack of a sound economic base: i.e. Funding through individual customers, as opposed to funding through Government grants.
Although governments say they are cutting back, they are still big spenders.
And a large amount of public money goes where the government decides it will go.
Look at the trends of political change and try to match your offering to the current political environment.
Always keep your eyes on governments and be ready to:
- Profit from their decisions
- Avoid the disasters caused by their decisions
6. Always strive to improve your personal knowledge bank
Don't let a day go by without improving your stock of knowledge.
You are paid for your ability to solve problems.
In order to do that, you will need to improve your:
- Knowledge bank
- Your memory and recall
- Your powers of reasoning
- Your powers of decision
- Your mental endurance
- Your powers of verbal expression
All of these things are improvable.
All of these things have high value in the marketplace.
They may give you just the advantage you need to make 2012 your best year ever.
For more information about change management training courses visit the Corporate Coach Group website
You or your colleagues might also be interested in our newest Change Management Questionnaire