The news is full of negativity. The financial crisis is scaring everyone.
How are you reacting?
Cutting costs and being prudent about spending make sense. But that's not enough. Innovating and adapting are ongoing challenges.
Remember the timeless proverb, "necessity is the mother of invention." Necessity demands that you face the reality of the marketplace. You can not just hope for a return of the "good old days." It's important to think ahead, strategically, about how you / your business will adapt to the changing environment.
A couple of examples of creative innovation from Thomas Friedman's book The World is Flat include:
UPS – "Insourcing"
UPS is not just delivering packages anymore – it has reinvented itself by offering value-added services to its customers.
For example, to help Toshiba improve the speed with which computer repairs were handled, UPS designed a better system. UPS handles the repairs for Toshiba in-house at its hub in Louisville, Kentucky. UPS picks up the machine, repairs it and delivers it right back to the customer, cutting out all the middle steps of physically returning the machine to a Toshiba facility.
UPS also handles order fulfillment for Nike.com. If you order a pair of Nike's from Nike.com, the order is routed to UPS and "a UPS employee picks, detects, packs and delivers your shoes for Nike online from a warehouse in Kentucky managed by UPS." Similarly, UPS handles order fulfillment for Jockey.com and provides field service repairmen and replacement parts for HP in Europe and Latin America.
JetBlue – "Homesourcing"
JetBlue outsourced its reservation system to housewives in Utah. According to David Neelman, founder and CEO of JetBlue, people working from their homes are "30 percent more productive – they take 30 percent more bookings, by just being happier. factor. "
In both of these examples, the companies had to overlap new, unproven models of service delivery. First, they had to figure out a creative innovation. Then, they had to implement the change.
To position yourself / your business to successfully adapt, you have to figure out how to build on your core competencies and enhance your product or service delivery. Then, you have to follow through.
The only thing harder than conceiving the change needed is actually implementing the change.
Implementing change is extremely difficult. It takes focus and follow-through to push through the compiling human tendency to fall back to the comfort zone of the "old ways."
So, in these turbulent times, resist the urge to dwell on the negatives. Open your mind to new possibilities. Learn as much as you can. Try to maintain a sense of humor. Take constructive action.
To get started, I recommend calling a meeting of your key advisors and starting a discussion to engage in problem solving which leads to creative innovation which leads to implementation.