Miller's Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.
Andrew Miller on strategy, operations, life balance and everything in between
Toronto – August 22, 2011 – Borders just became another victim. Blockbuster and Kodak have suffered, or will suffer, the same fate. It almost happened to General Motors. Companies that used to be market leaders are closing their doors. Why? Because they forgot what made them market leaders in the first place, innovation, and they recognized a changing industry much too late in the game. Borders became a victim of the digital age…people ordering digital books and ebooks online to read on their tablets and e-readers. I use the word 'victim' but that is not the correct word. Borders was part of a changing industry and they didn't recognize early enough how to capitalize on that change, so they got left behind. Market behaviour is always going to change as a result of innovation, technological enhancements and changing customer habits. The companies that thrive are the ones that not only recognize this fact, but look for opportunities to exploit it. Being first or second out of the gate definitely has its advantages. Here are four things to think about to ensure you can thrive in any environment, especially in a declining industry:
- Be constantly aware of what customers want – This can only be achieved by talking to them and involving them in the development of new ideas and innovations.
- Be aware of what technological advances might impact your industry – Know how you can leverage those advances to rise above your competition. Know what the next big thing is before it hits and be the first one to take advantage of it.
- Approach every new development as an opportunity, not a setback – This needs to be ingrained in your corporate culture and permits you to attack opportunities quickly. Develop ideas that not only ride the change, but even get ahead of it so you control how the industry changes (think Apple and the iPod).
- Never get too comfortable – Always be innovating and take what Marshall Goldsmith said to heart, "What got you here won't get you there."
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