We have entered a new and exciting epoch in American business. All of the characteristics that defined success in the post-industrial age do not guarantee success in the future. The global economy has simply changed the game for evermore.
Consider for a moment that large may mean too slow to respond to market changes, that low cost structure may not be able to remain low, that established product sets can be replaced by foreign substitutes, that domestic advantages will not be strong enough to withstand the global reach of other rivals; and, one begins to appreciate how dramatically the competitive landscape has changed.
The businesses that will dominate industry in the first half of the 21st century will be those that are nimble and quick, interconnected and diverse, committed to service delivery while location independent. The successful enterprise will thrive in a state of continuous transformation, ever changing to remain competitive.
What Can Be Done for Slumping Businesses?
Consider a world-class athlete for a moment. When an athlete goes into a “slump” in their chosen sport, whether it’s a baseball player who hasn’t had a hit in his last 25 at bats, or a figure skater who can’t seem to nail a triple toe jump, their coaches immediately help the athlete to focus on the fundamentals – reinforcing key aspects of athletics like speed, quickness, strength and endurance. Once fundamentally sound, the athlete can then concentrate on refining the finer skills that make them world-class.
The same is true in business. It’s the adoption of a “Back-To-Basics” philosophy that is needed. Indeed, organizations must return to Best Practices in order to respond effectively to the challenges that today’s competitive paradigm has is store. If we don’t adopt a new approach, our slump just may continue.