Companies that adapt to the new economy have to innovate and slim down.
We understand pretty well now that today’s global economy is fast-paced and highly competitive. Many CEOs are asking themselves what they need to do to survive in this new, ever-changing global marketplace in the face of an ongoing recession. We’ve talked about what successful companies are doing to adapt: preparing for change, investing in green energy, branding…now I want to talk about the final two attributes that make today’s businesses adaptable and successful in this economy: the ability to innovate and slim down processes for maximum efficiency.
The necessity of innovation
In today’s global economy, it is highly necessary for businesses to make innovation one of their dominant philosophies and to take measures in carrying out innovation on a practical level, which relates back to the article in which I stressed the need for businesses to be change-ready.
The market is constantly changing, and very rapidly, with the incredible speed and availability of information. New competition is entering the marketplace all the time and this competition is constantly offering new ideas, taking advantage of previously untapped and unrealized consumer power. Technology is constantly changing as well, posing new problems and providing new marketable solutions.
The highly adaptive companies that are surviving are the companies that are constantly innovating to keep up with the market.
Innovation itself can pertain to technology, product ideas, marketing, or even the organization of the company. It doesn’t simply have to be about coming up with some new gadget or style, it could just mean restructuring the company as a whole or radically altering a company’s image.
Innovative companies are best able to remain relevant and appealing…and thus successful.
On slimming down
I approach the topic of slimming down with caution, especially when coupling the topic with the topic of innovation.
One of the main barriers to innovation is when a company insists on efficiency and profit-making ability as opposed to nurturing innovation and taking risks. Slimming down business processes can go two ways: either you make your processes more efficient and more effective, or you halt innovation and suffer for it.
Adaptive companies can restructure their processes and trim unnecessary waste in order to become more efficient, but they must also take care not to stifle much-needed innovation, and they must not be afraid to take risks either.
The optimal strategy is striking a balance between lean business processes and bold innovation. Not easy to do, but the successful companies will keep in mind both elements.
We’ve seen that the new economy poses quite a challenge for businesses. But with challenge comes innovation and change, and the emerging victors will be stronger and more successful than ever. To come out on top of the competition, it takes a business that can adapt and pursue bold new ideas, while taking advantage of existing methods and infrastructure to keep moving.