“We all have 20/20 vision in hindsight” – Anonymous
Think of the Candle Stick Maker. How many are still in business in your area today? Market transitions are usually not single occurrence events, but often a series of transitions along a larger continuum of change. Candles gave way to oil and then gas lamps, which were in turn replaced by electric light when Thomas Edison invented the incandescent electric light bulb in 1879. Conclusion: be highly attentive to change because disruptive change (technological innovation in this case) is a pre-condition for all market transitions.
Market Transition Mindset:
“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” – Wayne Gretzky, former professional Canadian ice hockey player
Nothing stays the same forever. What you are doing today may be still working, but you know that it is getting harder and harder to achieve the same level of results. OK, it is still working but the real question is for how much longer? You have to move from denial thinking “destroy the forces of change” to status quo thinking “don’t change anything” to possibility thinking “what could we change” to transformational thinking “what would we like to see changed”. By the way, did I say that this was going to be easy? No? Good! Why? Because you (and your organisation) tend to stick to what you (they) are best at, not what is required. Transitions are inherently unnatural acts.
Seek Indicators of Change: The Tipping Point of Markets in Transition.
Today, we are right in the middle of a ginormous market transition – the Cloud. The IT industry is facing an enormous period of brutal change as everything moves to the cloud, allowing users to use their computing devices of choice (PC, tablet, smart phone, other) and those applications they prefer on the OS of their choice. BYOD has gone from being a luxury to being a necessity.
Who will be the Winners and Losers?
Market transitions favour the instigators, the innovators and the early movers i.e. the perpetrators of change. They favour those who upset the game, those who innovate and those who change the rules of the game. They penalize, punish and sanction the rest; the laggards, the slow movers and the ‘no movers’. Will you be a winner or a loser?
The most destabilising aspect of Markets in Transition is that there are no established rules to follow. No established market leaders to compete with. There are no role models to copy or learn from. Your ability to adapt, try, correct, learn and try again is the key to navigating a successful market transition. Be quick to recognize, respond to and take advantage of transitions in your market. Re-think, re-strategize, re-invent yourself and re-position your business to benefit from change. Conclusion: Change before you have to change.
Learn from your Taxi Driver:
Every time I take a taxi to the airport I ask the taxi driver the same question: “How long will it take to get to the Airport today?” You would be surprised by the answers I get. One day my confidence in mankind was restored when the Taxi Driver took out his smart phone, tapped the screen a few times and announced with great certainty that it would take 47 minutes. I was impressed, to say the least! When I enquired about what app he was using he asked: “do you have an iPhone?” Then he told me where to go online to download and install the app and was quick to point out that it was free.
When your Taxi Driver tells you how to get to the cloud, the cloud’s time has surely come.