Claire Kinloch shares her thoughts, following The Business Insider Top 500 Business Breakfast 2020.
Every business must come to terms with the fact that change and uncertainty is indeed the only constant. Waiting for normality to return only serves to ignore the fact that this is the new normality. The key is to block nervousness, fear and insecurity and capitalise on that fact that with change comes opportunity.
Indeed last week at The Business Insider Top 500 Business Breakfast 2020, Lord Smith of Kelvin reasserted that “Uncertainty in the only certainty and the best leadership qualities we can offer is informed opinion”. And there is the trick. This uncertainty must be used to fuel an appetite for opportunity which can be unlocked through knowledge, data and insight. Business leaders can drive growth and/or move ahead of the competition by capitalising on opportunities and creating pathways for their business to help them reach their goals, even if these opportunities are not immediately apparent.
A business strategy is not about having one path. It is about how to best maximise the resources available to you to achieve your goals. Your resources (people, money, ambition etc.) are by their very nature largely finite but they are also flexible. And it is this flexibility that strategies can exploit when coupled with an identified opportunity.
This is particularly important to think about in larger companies where processes and systems can prevent business agility and dynamism and hold organisations back from moving quickly. And for smaller companies where agility is not always seen as a strength, your ability to pivot can be a defining moment.
A strategy should be clear and simple. It does not need to be 100 pages or even 30. But it does need to be informed, have context and be born from experience.
And with powerful information, data and knowledge about new markets, regions, competitors, alternatives, customers and other key stakeholders, perfectly balanced with reference to global and business context, strategies can then be designed, developed and delivered to harness your unique strengths. And help you confidently walk away from ideas that will not reap reward.
Sounds simple and sounds obvious, and yet history has shown experienced business leaders in companies such as Kodak and Thomas Cook, often charge ahead on the back of a single positive notion without full due diligence or investigation.
By completing a more thorough, informed and confidence building approach, uncertainty can be mitigated.