Enterprise 20.12 (2)

Business has a life cycle. And each stage of this cycle introduces a new business order or dispensation that would partly, and in some cases totally alter what …

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Tony-AjahBusiness has a life cycle. And each stage of this cycle introduces a new business order or dispensation that would partly, and in some cases totally alter what we may have known. Everything has a shelf life, whether it is a product or even a business. Undoubtedly, we are in another phase of enterprising, and it is apparently going to be strictly business unusual!It is risky and very dangerous to continue doing business as usual when it’s no longer usual. We must agree and align with this pattern if we must remain relevant in the business world.

As we have already hinted, this new era of enterprising was necessitated by the effect of the economic holocaust affecting the low and the high across continents of this globalised world. We should not be utterly shocked by it but must be better prepared for the unknown. (I don’t mean to scare us but that is the bitter truth).

One thing is very important: business as we see it today is still in the process of evolution. This is part of the necessary huddle or rather cycle that we must witness in order to fully mature. We’ve come so far to go further, and must take bold steps and responsibility to getting there. When we fail to realise this truth by taking it for what it is, we would start take decisions and actions that may badly affect our business future. It’s so obvious then that adapting to the ever-changing present is the sure security for the unpredictable future! So, first aim and then fire.

The cheering news is that this wave that is blowing in the business shore will create new business challenges as well as more and more entrepreneurial opportunities. But opportunity is solely in the eye of the beholder. The question now is: ‘Have you trained your eyes to spot business opportunities? Or are you still shiftless?’No one conquers a new ground by remaining where he is. What do I mean by that? Every one of us should stay flexible and creatively master the change process just to stay on course. Nothing kills a business faster like rigidity in your methods and approaches.

In one of business development training workshops organised by my team, one of the participants asked me a question: ‘What is strategy?’ And my response was precise: ‘Strategy is a combination of several factors peculiar to a given business situation to delivering the desired result. However, I can summarise it as first focus, then flexibility. While the former show you what you want to achieve, the later brings you there.’There is no known strategy that can beat this! What is my point? We already have our eyes focused on what we what our enterprises to become (or so I think). Now we need to re-strategize, and that demands flexibility!

One of the primary keys to remaining in business is flexibility; it is a good business intangible asset. You must be flexible to reach your focus, whatever or wherever it is.Again, flexibility is your ability and willingness to adapt to the situations at hand wisely that enables you exploit new realities. To do this, you’d have to creatively know what and where to adjust and consolidate, and what to pay less attention to. This would assist you to eliminate the unnecessary.We can’t afford to waste our time and resources. Anything less than maximum return may not be acceptable.

To remain competitive in this ever increasingly harsh business climate, enterprises have to adopt a positive attitude that completely tilts towards unending business model reinvention and creative innovation. Innovation is often used as a term to mean progressing and adapting to changed and unstable conditions as we have them today. True innovation means demolishing and recreating an entire business concept so that you won’t be limited by your past experience, some of which might not be applicable in the now. (I will be discussing further on this topic in my subsequent series captioned Business Outside the Cube).

The hardest part of our human life is throwing out old assumptions to make room for new truths. Anything new is a distraction from the normal routine because new things would require commitment of some resources to match it. Sadly, not many of us want it or are prepared for such occurrence.It’s not going to be rosy business year, but we should toughen-up for only the rugged, the flexible, the open-minded and the most creative amongst us will pull through in this new season. I am sure that you will like to be left out. It’s up to you to make this your most rewarding business year!

Tony Ajah is a business growth strategist, and the Principal Strategist, TA Strategic Solutions, a Lagos-based firm that is into business growth and development. tony@ta-strategies.com ajahxt@yahoo.co.uk.  +234 1 958 7802

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