Yesterday I commented that the business world is changing more rapidly than it used to. That's obvious to all of us. The implication for companies is that reacting to change is no longer enough for survival. For a company to survive - and certainly to thrive - it must proactively adapt to change. It must spot trends before and as they emerge, and innovate in order to enjoy success in the future.
How can a business do this? It isn't as mysterious as having a crystal ball. The great innovative companies that I've seen do it through these four tools:
- They use customer insight and competitive intelligence tools that work, and they try new ones as they emerge. (I'll write about some cool new competitive intelligence tools in my next blog.)
- They have internal and external feedback mechanisms to track customer and employee satisfaction and capture ideas.
- They have structures that are lean and nimble so they can innovate and implement new ideas quickly.
- They are open to the possibility that they don’t know everything, and build structures to allow them to tap into market movements that are difficult to foresee. One tool for this is a Gambling Fund. I’ll also write about this in a later blog.