A matter of life or death (of a business)

One of the biggest challenges facing business in these last twenty years is that of adapting to the change brought about by outside forces.

Technology is perhaps the most manifest but so is so social media, social change, globalisation, accelerated competition, disruptive innovation, the change in leadership styles, regulation and enhanced management competences.

The point here is:  has your business done anything about it? If you haven’t, there is a big chance that you have lost most or all of your business. But perhaps you have not done enough and your company has lost its leadership in the industry or the market.  It is now relegated to the margin with competitors running ahead of you.

Can we sketch a checklist to assist business to gauge its manoeuvrability in face of these changes and its effectiveness to manage in fast changing times?

Has your board of directors and top management retreated enough during these last years to examine your business’ strategy and to have it reviewed regularly? Do you conduct a SWOT analysis on an annual basis, and review your PESTEL regularly?

How has your company lived through the technology revolution? Gauge its effectiveness on social media, its customer relations management systems, its use of business intelligence and its awareness and management of big data.

Is management adequately prepared and open minded and willing to face changes? Or is it tired and unmotivated and safely operating in its comfort zone?

In other words, have we recreated our business to reflect changing customer need patterns, technological innovation and leadership styles?

Of course, we need to be motivated to do so, and have the right leadership that inspires the board of directors and management to spearhead this change.

And what happens if the trigger is not there? Is it time to look around for buyers or the opportunity to merge with another business that has a vision and the stamina to move ahead? Our business may still have enough goodwill and reserves to attract others to look at us and to encourage them to embark on a make-over and to reignite and lead the company up to a new phase in its life cycle.

About the author(s)

Joseph F.X. Zahra is a Malta based economist with over thirty five years of corporate leadership and business consultancy experience.