We always hear it. In the competitive, fast-paced and global business marketplace, we are often told that we must be more ‘dynamic’ in order to survive. But exactly what do people mean by that and how do we be more dynamic? Referring to the Oxford Dictionary, we can see that the word dynamic refers to a “process or system characterised by constant change, activity or progress”. With reference to a person, it denotes someone “positive in attitude and full of energy and new ideas”.
If we take keywords from both definitions, we can create a consequentialist statement. The modern business environment is characterised by constant change and business strategies require new ideas in order to be successful - to put it very simply. Economic pressures, industry changes, globalisation and shifts in consumer tastes and behaviours are a mere few of the changes and challenges impacting business’ today. The ability to modify, innovate, adapt and implement new strategies in a timely manner is therefore critical - requiring the business to be dynamic. So how does a business be more dynamic?
Speak to Your Customers
A simple but effective tool, which is often overlooked as business’ constantly search externally for trends or technologies to engage with in order to be ‘dynamic’. Engage with your customers as they will often provide you with the honesty and insights needed to develop changes or adaptations to your business in order to best appeal to your market - in the most effective and efficient manner. Ask them what they like, what they don’t like and how they would improve your product or service. Utilise their advice and you will be in a position of success.
Whilst it usually pays to be the first mover, in reality 99% of business’ are followers. Watch what your competitors are doing, but most importantly, watch what they are doing differently - especially if they are out-performing you in the market. If they have adopted a strategy going from zero to one, you must not replicate it, but you must build upon it in order to differentiate and take it from one to two.
Take (Calculated) Risks
The nature of constant change and emerging shifts in consumer trends will often require innovative strategies and solutions - which have not been trialled before. In these instances, fortune often favours the brave. Companies such as Apple owe much of their success to their approach to risk. However, risks must be proportionate and should be solidified through fundamental research and analysis of current and future market trends and conditions. Trial strategies where possible.
The days where your 10 year business strategic plan (or even your 5 year plan) will be developed in hard copy are gone. Everything nowadays is a soft copy - constantly being revised, edited and added to. No function, process or element of your business should be so rigid as to discourage the change needed to stay relevant and competitive, and to move with broad environmental trends. Yellow is the new black, and tomorrow it may be blue.