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Innovate or die

New customer needs and technological developments: do you adapt?

The world is changing. New customer needs and technological developments are constantly changing the rules of doing business. What does that mean for your company?

Do you benefit from these developments? Or do you see the long-term sustainability of the business model at risk? How future proof is your business model?

How do I adapt my business model to changing all the developments?

How do I respond to all developments as a company? A question that passes through my desk every day. And how to divide attention between current and new business? An understandable question but one that needs to be answered. Because not innovating means sooner or later the downfall for your company. Learn why a future-proof company must pay attention to both execution and innovation.

The expiration date of business models becomes shorter and shorter. A hundred years ago, if you were able to cope for decades with a once-working business model, today we see that changing business needs and new technology mean that existing business models are being overtaken faster and faster by new models. For a company that also wants to remain successful in the long term, that means investigating how value can be created in the future.

Do you adapt your business model to changing customer needs?

The tree in the visual shows how a healthy company continues to thrive. At the top right is the current business model. Where the company today creates value and / or earns money. With the shelf life of business models becoming shorter, the current business model will eventually lose value and sink to the bottom right. Therefore, future ways of value creation should be sought on the left side of the tree. But how do you do that, in addition to running your existing business?

First of all, it is worth remembering that the execution of existing business and the search for new ways of creating value require totally different competencies. The execution of existing business is about fulfilling the agreements that you have made with customers. Deliver what you have promised. Within the associated costs, timelines and quality standards. You do not want to take any risks and work efficiently and accurately.

Finding new business models is about searching. Experiment, learn quickly, make adjustments immediately based on the insights and thereby become distinctive compared to other (new) providers. This requires curiosity, risk and flexibility. Ensure that the goals and targets are set up in such a way that both execution and investigations are rewarded. Make sure that both competences are valued and developed.

A second precondition is not to lose sight of your current business model and to continue to optimize it. This way you create time and budget to invest in the left side of the tree: the search. Moreover, there are all kinds of insights within your current business about where future value can be created.

Finally: innovation requires a different mindset. One that is aimed at discovering what you didn’t know you didn’t know. Thinking in options. Accept that there are many variables that cannot be estimated. Variables that create countless opportunities for new forms of value creation. It all sounds very logical but still … Is your organization organized in such a way that you can really cash in on all these opportunities?