Is Your Business Ready For The Future?

Business and business models all around the world are changing, as technology helps organisations to harnesses the knowledge and power of customers. The traditional approach of controlling decision-making from a central headquarters is dated, as customers and trends from the fringes grow in influence.

Old Business Models, New Business Models

Old models of doing business focus on what companies own, control, buy and sell; new models tap into the power, resource and ideas of customers and use their energy to effect and direct change.

The old way of doing business saw businesses manufacture, market and distribute products to largely passive customers who took what they are given with little question or complaint.

The new way of doing business sees businesses reach out to people and engage with them to share, shape, collaborate and create new products, services and experiences.

In the new world, businesses involve customers in testing ideas and developing and delivering new products through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat.

Businesses share, explore and develop products in collaboration with customers through the crowd-sourcing of ideas; and even raise finance through online crowd-driven funding platforms rather than through traditional banks or financial institutions.

New business platforms encourage people to go further and create their own products with current examples like Youtube, Etsy and Airbnb leading the way; or make their own contribution on sites like Wikipedia as part of the process of tapping into and leveraging the knowledge of others.

Old Style Thinking, New Style Thinking

The shift from old business models is causing a similar shift in thinking, as people experience the power of sharing and organisations work with customers to bypass traditional hierarchies.

Even though businesses realise that such a shift is taking place many struggle to appreciate its significance or how to make the transition from old to new.

The starting point for any organisation lies in thinking differently and understanding what the new model means today and, more importantly, what it will mean tomorrow.

Thinking differently begins with asking some simple questions: what does our model look like? What should it look like? What do we want it to look like? How do we embrace change? How do we compete?

It also means moving from a competitive win-lose conflict-based state of mind to a collaborative win-win mindset that embraces ideas regardless of their origin or domain.

The next step highlights the need for common sense to ensure the new model retains aspects of the old particularly where they add value and are transferrable.

SO, new business models are replacing old ones and new thinking is replacing old thinking. Our challenge, therefore, is to prepare for a very different future.