Adaptability: The New Competitive Advantage:
This article was about how increasingly important it is for companies to be fluid and open in their company structures if they want to be successful in the new business age. Several key points were highlighted: the ability to read and act on signals, the ability to experiment, the ability to manage complex multicompany systems, and the ability to mobilize.
This article started off by emphasizing how volatile and unpredictable any company in any industry can be. There are multiple reasons for this, whether they are new entrants into the market, a change in information technology, or the environment, and all of them can affect our position in the market from year to year. Classic examples which I can think of include the current slump in the US economy, the tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan, or the legislation which will soon require restaurants to post nutritional information about their dishes. All of these have an impact on a business’ position within the market.
There is a good point about your ability to react to the signals of the external environment. Using detailed analyses to focus in on individual customers has allowed companies to provide an individualized service and powerful marketing tool. The article mentions Tesco’s use of such a loyalty program, and I know that Safeway and Sam’s club has been using such a platform for some time as well.
The next point mentioned in the article deals with experimentation, and this is another area which often gets overlooked. Experimentation, or R&D, is how new products and services are created. Companies like Procter & Gamble and Apple recognize the value in being first to offer something new to the market are usually the ones who profit most from it. However, as the article mentioned, there is often a great deal of financial investment and a high rate of initial failure in pioneering new products, so R&D is often one of the first to get hit with...
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