“The world is in a constant state of flux.” - Heracleitus, 540-480 B.C.
Little did the Greek philosopher know how well his observation would apply to today’s business world. With all the creative minds in the world, innovations are following one another in rapid succession, changing the way we think of our companies, markets, competitors - and ourselves! Even more so now, where business owners are focused to think outside the box to remain open and functioning. Every time an entrepreneur rolls out of bed and gulps down their morning coffee, they better be prepared to face a world that changed from the one they fell asleep in!
To borrow a phrase from Peter Drucker, this is the Age of Discontinuity. Most of us have been taught that business is relatively constant. Instead of anticipating future business scenarios, we often strive to create strategies and systems to fit the world of today. This is a disastrous track. In the Age of Discontinuity, the time to rethink technology and business strategies is precisely when they’re working best - to attack tomorrow from a position of strength.
“The purpose of any business is to make and keep customers: Profit is the lifeblood, not the purpose of business.” - Peter F. Drucker
Richard Foster, a director of the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co., illustrates this point with an “S” curve, which describes the life cycle of new ideas, systems, and techniques. At first, he explains, an innovation is slow to catch on. Then it grows more successful, rising quickly up the neck of the curve, only to taper off once it has become the industry norm. The trick, he says, is to time innovations one after another so that if plotted on a graph, the S’s form a chain.
“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” - Anonymous
The key is not to let change overtake you. Acquire all information you can on every aspect of your business. Talk to veterans in your field. Read avidly. List all the changes that may occur and prepare yourself to survive in every scenario - in other words, find order in this Age of Discontinuity!