Are you content with reaping the benefits of some past innovation, or are you continuously re-thinking your business?
See how an entire country as massive as China is working swiftly to change its reputation from a technology copycat to a driver of global innovation.
All businesses are subject to the unpredictable evolution of the market place. The danger you face is of misjudging or ignoring trends that can make your business become obsolete.
To demonstrate this I’ve previously used the anecdotal example of the ancient city of Pompeii as it was overtaken by volcanic ash. In my latest example I look towards the future of communications as recent reports show that instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Skype continue to overtake the more traditional standard of mobile messaging, SMS. And although SMS continues to remain widely-used, especially amongst those without smartphones, the continued rising trend of mobile messaging apps poses a danger for industry titans that fail to innovate.
Companies must understand that they are not in the business of making a certain product or providing a certain service, but rather something much more encompassing, much more fundamental: they are in the business of enriching people’s lives.
They are in the business of making people’s lives more fun, more thrilling, simpler, more comfortable, more liberating, safer, more meaningful, more efficient, and more harmonious. This seemingly small shift in strategic thinking is huge. It allows companies to infatuate large groups of consumers and to do so continuously.
There is an exciting shortcut to becoming market driving: you don’t necessarily have to invent something completely new; instead you can repackage already existing components in a meaningful, new way.
See how the former CMO of NetJets, which was a Blue Ocean Strategy case study, is applying this exciting shortcut. He is market driving by repositioning the classic time share model in a way that creates new value for connoisseurs of luxury timepieces.
There is a growing recognition that creativity—or resourcefulness, as I like to re-label it—is a vital component for successfully handling unexpected, unprecedented, and rapidly changing surroundings. As an example, the Bloomberg Businessweek article “What Chief Executives Really Want,” in May 2010, noted: “According to a new survey of 1,500 chief executives conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, CEOs identify ‘creativity’ as the most important leadership competency for the successful enterprise of the future.” Think about this for a moment. Of all personal qualities, business leaders picked creativity as the key foundation for future success, ahead of such traditional pillars as operational expertise, industry know-how, interpersonal skills, or even innovation.