Anticipating Client Need “The Megatrends”

There are phrases that start out with a clear meaning and over time they lose their original intent through poor usage. Nowhere is this more commonplace than in the megatrends sweeping through corporate boardrooms and beloved of consultants. Here are three trends today impacting every mid and large sized corporate firm and which are the catalyst for a huge shift of internal funds to dramatically improve the firm’s condition. The difficulty many face is understanding what is the impact behind the sobriquet (seriousness, urgency and gravity of the issue), knowing where to start (focus) and what language to use (maintaining control of the discussion). Here is a quick primer:

1. Digitisation: put simply the synthesis of your firm’s operating model and technology. What started out as “external improvements” (the leveraging of technology to dramatically improve the customer experience, the customer sales channels and so forth), is rapidly moving to “internal improvements” (technology as an enabler of faster, more responsive and higher quality internal processes).

Starting Question: “Where can technology heighten and amplify our interpersonal relationships and dramatically increase the speed and quality of our dealings? (priority) How do we make that happen while minimising the internal disruption? (changes required)”

2. Simplification: after a period in which many firms have focused on removing cost from their businesses, today the focus is on simplification. Making the complex simple. Whether your focus is on client acquisition, marketing, R&D, operations, finance, human resources and IT, operational improvements can be readily found in simplifying the process.

Starting Question: “What ideally do we need to be able to do? (result) How can we best remove the complexity in so doing? (excess steps, time wastage)”

3. Globalisation: technology (super-fast broadband) has enabled in 3 years a tiny upstate New York fishing rod maker find a new client (a Finnish distributor) and increase his sales five-fold. Globalisation is really about the ability of businesses to dramatically increase their relationships cross borders (new markets, new production sources etc) and the speed and quality of their dealings. Technology, people and knowledge are the big enablers.

Starting Question: “What attractive global opportunities are there open to us (or ones we could realistically develop) consistent with our strategy? (ideas) How do we best exploit them and leverage the success (conversion into action)?”      

If you are not discussing these questions right now or bringing them to the attention of your clients, you can bet your competition will be doing so.

© James Berkeley 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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