Before you embarked on your career journey or started your business, you probably spent many months - if not years - imagining what that career track or business would look like. Put another way, you imagined the 'finished product' - the location from which you'd work, what you'd be selling, your branding, work processes, how many people you'd employ, and so forth. Now that you're sitting in that glass and chrome office (or even your dream home office), you can put your feet up on your desk and, with some satisfaction, think to yourself, my work here is done! Or can you?

Is Your Business Model Prepared to Change With the Times?

Newsflash: To Remain Relevant, You Must Re-Imagine!

Says Peter Schwartz, American author and futurist, resting on your laurels - no matter how big your past achievements - is a sure-fire way to slip into become a relic of the past, rather than a player of the future. In a lecture he gave for The Economist's annual The Big Rethink event, Schwartz asks us to ponder the fate of these organisations, as the digital age pitted them one against the other: 
  • Sony versus Apple - as a record label and the innovator of portable music devices like the Walkman and then the Diskman, Sony were surely poised to innovate a device like the iPod and to capitalise on online music sales. But they didn't. Why not?
  • Britannica versus Wikipedia - once the world leader in curating and disseminating knowledge, Encyclopaedia Britannica failed to see or take seriously the threats and opportunities presented by the Internet. Why? 
In considering whether your business might go the way of the Dodo of Encylopaedias, Britannica, consider these key takeaways from Schwartz's fascinating presentation:
  • What threats or opportunities does the transfer of knowledge present your business model?
  • How can you drive change in an uncertain and unpredictable world?
  • Is your business model applying old rules to new concepts?
  • Are you at the forefront of re-inventing your industry, or merely going with the flow?
  • Are you considering what the world might look like in five, ten, fifteen or fifty years from now and planning accordingly?
Be Dynamic or Be Dead in the Water

Schwartz reminds us that what got us here may not get us there. To find the path forward, we need to imagine future scenarios and work back...just as we once imagined the first incarnation of our business or career, so we need to re-imagine its second (and more) incarnations if we're too remain at the top of our game. Watch his lecture to find out more...