Packing a punch: big businesses must be on the lookout for fresh new ideas to avoid falling prey to agile new start-ups
“Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face, and then they don’t have a plan” – Mike Tyson.
The great thing about Twitter is that you get to read some really good stuff. I saw this quote the other day and it made me smile. It reminded me of time spent with some senior Army people discussing their Mission Command strategic planning framework and how unexpected blows and outmanoeuvring can destabilise an enemy.
You can only ever deliver those punches if you spend time creatively thinking of new ways to disrupt your service delivery or your sector. If you continue to trade blows on the same terms within the conventions of your sector, one day the equivalent of Mike Tyson is going to turn up and give you a bloody nose.
A highly effective strategy would be to devote time to be the person that delivers a bloody nose. You don’t need to be the business equivalent of Mike Tyson to do it. In fact, quite the opposite.
Many a boxer has been outsmarted over the years by a clever opponent: Muhammad Ali was the master of it. Many a large business has been frustrated by a smaller, more agile entrant with a cool new idea. They normally end up buying them to either adopt or destroy their impact.
Looking outside of your industry is a great source of new ideas. What can you learn from Tesco, Amazon, eBay or easyJet? If Michael O’Leary were to enter your industry sector, what would he do?
For a start, every part of your offer to a customer would be de-packaged. Things that you do for free, such as delivery, would become chargeable.
Your pricing policy would come under strict review. Every element of your costs would be under the microscope. Lavish offices would be replaced with functional ones. No more free coffee. You get the picture…
Thinking in this way really drives you to understand where a new entrant might deliver you that “punch in the face” they think you deserve for becoming complacent. Agile organisations can roll with the punches, take the hit, get up and continue. Innovation is simply “creativity implemented”, so action is the key part of any idea.
With the speed of the market now, it really is “seconds out”. Ding ding, you ready?