We are sweltering in the Northern Hemisphere with record temperatures, so here’s a “cool” idea on how businesses can get ready for anything by applying these success factors.
Every winter, the media is full of stories of record snowfalls somewhere in the world, whether in the US, Europe or in the Far East. Despite all the sophisticated technologies at our disposition, we just never seem to be prepared. So what are the success factors of readiness?
Remember winter storm Juno in the USA in 2015? It dropped a couple of feet of snow on the Eastern coastline of North America. According to the Weather Channel its snowfall broke records in Worcester, MA, although in most other places it fell far below that of other storms from 2013 all the way back to 1978.
In the same year, in the North of the UK, the region was battered with a rare blast of thundersnow – an unnerving combination of thunderstorms and downpours of snow. As if that wasn’t enough, they were soon preparing to do battle with the elements with yet another storm shortly afterwards.
Now what do all these storms have to do with business you might wonder? Well for me they are a great illustration of the problems that many companies can face from time to time. Governments and city maintenance teams prepare for winter by organising vast stocks of grit and salt, as well as heavy snow-clearing machinery. But despite all this preparation, they still seem to be caught off-guard when they need to use them.
The same goes for businesses. Companies follow trends and expect to be ready for anything; they’re not!
The reason is that there are two serious problems with that way of thinking:
Firstly they are all following the same trends, attending the same trend “shows” & conferences, and getting the same or at least very similar trend reports.
And secondly, they think that knowing the trends will somehow protect them from future risks and catastrophes. However, having the right material still doesn’t stop bad things happening, as we’ve seen this winter.
So let’s take a look at what you can do to be better prepared and not get regularly “snowed-in” as many countries are this winter.
The Problem with Trend following alone
As I already mentioned, trend following suppliers are providing almost identical information to all their clients. This results in their clients then working on the same ideas & concepts and eventually launching very similar, non-competitive products and services. Have you never wondered why suddenly everyone is talking about a certain topic, or using similar slogans in their advertising? Simplistic trend following is probably the reason.
As an example, think about how many companies have used the idea of “YES” and “NO” in their advertising in the past couple of years. These include:
- The Swiss Migros Bank: see the videos here – sorry only in French & German but still easy to understand
- BMW 320i YES, YOU, CAN
- Orange telecom mobile exchange
Clearly the current trends of independence and freedom have been emphasised in all three organisations mentioned above, and probably many others as well. Continue Reading