3.5 min read
Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday”. These were the words of Steve Jobs when he was reinstated as head of Apple Computers in 2007. The idea of looking to the future rather than dwelling on the past certainly resonates in our ‘new’ world. Covid-19 has undoubtedly had a huge impact on all aspects of life and made us take stock and consider how we can create a competitive advantage.
For many companies, Covid-19 has been an accelerator of both digitalisation and flexible working, and it has also changed the way many customers think. Old models have laboured, yet there is boundless opportunity in both consolidating companies through M&A and applying a fresh approach.
Create a Competitive Advantage
These are challenging times but in adversity, a growth mindset wins. What companies do you need to buy? Which services do you need to add? What strategies do you need to employ to engage with your customers better? How are they thinking and what are they going to want from you in the future?
In our book “Creating Competitive Advantage in Dynamic Markets”, we examine this in-depth. Markets can change rapidly and yet rarely do leaders properly anticipate these changes. The technique recommended is to map what we call the ‘line of probability’. This means identifying the historical steps taken to get where you are in your cycle and then model by extrapolating forward with assumptions for the next 5 to ten years. For example, will virtual reality be the future of kitchen showrooms so they can operate with less showroom square footage? If headsets pricing reduces, why not buy 100, send them to customers and close the showrooms?
In the line of probability, we also plug-in the macro trends, in terms of what is happening in the wider world, and the micro trends. What is your data telling you that your customers are looking at or thinking about and are they getting younger or older, and so on? We can then work backwards to assess what new products, strategic alliances, acquisitions, or territories we need to engage in to lead our companies forward.
If we can see the line of probability for tomorrow, we can really start to invent it as Steve Jobs suggests. I would also add another famous quote from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right” – or simply put “however challenging today is, if you believe you can design and invent positive outcomes you will”.
Kevin Uphill is Chairman of Avondale and author of “Creating Competitive Advantage in Dynamic Markets” published by Kogan Page. This week we are offering direct access to Kevin – book your free, 30-minute conversation and start inventing your tomorrow. Please call +44(0)20 7788 8250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.