Navigating a business through the 4IR

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Geese use team work to help them get to where they want to go.


“The road to success is always under construction.” Arnold Palmer 

Today’s business has to embrace change and make it a central part of its culture, it may well have to reinvent itself several times. If you accept that this is likely to be the case for your business, then it ceases to be a question of “if” but a question of “when” and “what” change is needed. For the small medium enterprise (SME) you can add to this the factor that the entrepreneur’s own situation, his/her wants, needs and aspirations may change resulting in different objectives needing to be set. You now have a very fluid situation.

Let us just remind ourselves of what is actually happening:

  • Digital is the main reason just over half of the companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000.Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture
  • Work completed by Professor Richard Foster of Yale University which shows that the average life span of a company in the S&P 500 index has decreased from 61 years in 1958 to just 18 years in 2015.
  • The Governor of the Bank of England in December 2016 said the world is “in the midst of a technological revolution that is once again changing the nature of work” and quoted from Andy Haldane who believes 15 million British jobs could be automated over time and whilst new jobs will be created they will be very different from the ones they replace. 

It is virtually unanimously agreed that we have a skill shortage in this country already, throw in the above and it is only going to get more difficult to recruit the people we need and want. So maybe it is time to rethink the business model or at least be mindful that adjustments to the traditional structures may be needed.

Today there is a lot talked about the importance of not just working “in” your business, doing the day to day, but also of working “on” your business. Working “on” your business involves standing back and ensuring that the business is going in the direction you want it to be going in and it is in tune with the market it operates in and the customers it serves. That there is a process in place to ensure that changes that are needed for long term success will be actioned and not overlooked as they don’t impact on the here and now. All very good in theory but how do you actually do it?

The 3CirclesofSuccess is a simple model to help give structure to what is an ongoing process, in order to ensure that you don’t get left behind in this rapidly changing world that we now live in. The model will help you to ask the right questions which is essential, as the right answers to the wrong questions won’t get you to where you want to go!

To delve deeper:

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