Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Last week I was reflecting on the changes which occurred in the business world in the last ten years. I am inclined to say that that there is a massive shift going on. On the other side not much is happening as well.

This a bit cryptic, what do I mean?
Massive change is occurring in the marketplace. For example, have a look at new (mobile) technologies, the influence of customers via social media, globalization, shortening product life cycles and so on.
However, when you look at the way most big companies are working and marketing and selling and automating........ Well there hasn’t changed much. It looks like they have put a big wall around themselves to prevent any outside influence.

Of course they still have their R&D and marketing departments, but they observe from a distance only. And leaders are not willing to change themselves either, so the comfort zone rules. Yes, yes, there is still quite some change happening. But I would call that ‘protective’ change. They protect their financial position in the market by laying off people and outsourcing. And then they hope that the market will grow again and that – as a consequence- they will also grow.

That will not happen. And only observing is not enough. You have to emerge yourself in these new developments, whether it is social media or collaborating with Millenials or cloud-computing. Let me share two examples.

I can still remember when I was a young kid and I did get my first (child) watch. That was a significant moment in your life. And there was a market for these watches for children. The widespread use of mobile phones has almost completely wiped that industry off the market. You could not have anticipated this change, based on research reports only. Only by using mobiles and seeing the behaviors of children you could sense what was happening.

The same thing will happen to print business cards. If you use apps like Hashable or Bump, you immediately see why there is no need for print business cards anymore. These new electronic cards are automatically added to your address book. So, you don’t need to type the data in your book and you can throw away your shoebox with printed biz cards. Again, you can only see it, when you experience it!

Are you also emerging yourself in these new developments or are you still in hibernation and hoping that it will disappear by itself?


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