” Adapt or die” is a phrase that comes from the world of natural selection, but could apply equally to business.
When operating your business, major events will occur that will put you off course: a new competitor opens up in your marketplace with a much more powerful promise than yours; you cannot get the funding that you anticipated; you cannot enter the new market you had hoped; your product is delayed to market or you have a major challenge to your reputation.
How you deal with these “game changers” will determine whether your business survives and thrives, or dies. In both my accountancy and coaching work I have unfortunately seen examples where businesses have continued doing exactly the same activities when the world has changed around them and expected to survive. It is only by being able to adapt and change that they have been able to progress. In flying if you get blown off course ( which happens a lot, especially in a small plane) you must take correcting action, or even work out a completely new route to get around a large obstacle.
In the same way in business, you need to have the destination fixed in your mind ( the three year plan broken into annual goals) but be able to be flexible about how you achieve that.
One way to do that is to “take stock” on a regular basis – depending on the size of your business either monthly or quarterly….in fact, now would be a good time :0)
Look at your final destination and your annual goals and ask yourself:
- What happened ( be as factual as possible) with this game changer? What did we except versus what happened in reality?
- Given this ( insert your own goal here) is what we have committed to achieve by the end of the year, what innovations do we need to do now , with the new circumstances, in order to achieve that?
- Which actions will have the most impact?
- Which actions will have the quickest results?
- What beliefs and assumptions did you make that you now need to alter to the changed environment?
- In order to meet the annual goals what resources do we need to meet those goals?
If you are in a team it is important that there is someone who is accountable for the delivery of that. If you are not in a team you may need to consider buying in resources from elsewhere to meet those goals.