The Second coming of Business (3)


tony-AjahEntrepreneurial minded talent-force

Another main way of weathering the storm is to go back to the basis – entrepreneurships. Everyone has got it, not excluding you and me. There is a focus on entrepreneurship no only outside but also inside an organisation. Today’s challenging economic environment demands entrepreneurs who truly have the eagles’ eyes to see creeping opportunities and use them to create new possibilities for their organisations. Any individual or organised body that meet a need can never be in recession, or be overwhelmed by it.

Obviously, entrepreneurship springs out from a niche market needs. In other words, every problem is a business, and every business is a solution to a problem. This present business dispensation has already created a problem that only entrepreneurial minded talent-force can find an answer to it. So, it is the duty of every executive to nurture entrepreneurial oriented team who would identify sneaking problems, and also find solutions to them. ‘The entrepreneur is the most important player in the building of global economy. So much so that the big companies are constantly reconstituting themselves as network of entrepreneurs’. This is from John Naisbitt, a writer I respect so much because of the way he thinks.

These ‘new entrepreneurs’ do not start businesses, as it were but would improve the face of the existing ones. This army of talent-force would find opportunities for business growth in nearly any setting or situation. They would understand clients’ needs and match the company’s product-service to meeting those needs.

In the time past entrepreneurial spirits have been seen existing outside of companies alone, but it’s going to be different in the new dispensation. And any outfit that tries to stifle that spirit would jeopardise their opportunities. Organisations must create conditions that would enable individuals to experiment, wherever necessary; empower them to create, and to explore uncharted business territories as the need arises.

Someone once taught about corporate-entrepreneuring that perfectly fit in here: ‘Entrepreneurs – and entrepreneurial organisations – always operate at the edge of their competence, focusing more of their resources and attention on what they do not yet know than on controlling what they already know’. The same continued, ‘They measure themselves not by the standards of the past (how far they have come) but by visions of the future (how far they have yet to go).’ That’s very remarkable.

Businesses that are not meeting needs would collapse, and become a tale or business dinosaurs! What is your business model? What solutions do you sell? Who are those buying it? Where are they? How can you reach them better than others at the lowest cost and time? Watch it, the public will love anything that would make them spend less or pay less. Make your product-service one of such.

In order not to make a hasty conclusion on a critical issue like this, I tried to check what other authorities said about days like this. Here’s Peter Drucker’s assertion before he passed on: ‘The present is a time of great entrepreneurial ferment, where old and staid institutions suddenly have to become very limber’. And C. Wright Mills statement was more like a prophecy, and I quote: ‘The new entrepreneur represents the old go-getting competition in the new setting. The general milieu of this species of entrepreneur is those areas that are still uncertain and unroutinised…The areas open to new entrepreneur…are those of great uncertainties and new beginnings…The new entrepreneur makes a zigzag pattern upward within and between established bureaucracies. He serves by fixing things’. And there are surely so many things to ‘fix’ in the business place today. Are there not?

I want to emphasis at this juncture that efforts should be measured by result; promoting personal performance even when we work as a team. It is needed at this time more than ever before! This definitely would encourage every player to do more.

Business socialisation and collaboration

We have more options today than the years before. In fact, you have more preferences today than you probably had last year. Am I right? Buyers of whatever product-service that we sell are also empowered than times before, and so demand something more (not minding the limited resources). We must get this business truth into our head. Every step that the market takes is an expression of this choice that could hardly be restricted in a capitalised and globalised society like ours (with ever-increasing hyper-competition). And so, buyers associate themselves with what they chose to buy, or the outfit that they want to identify with wholly.

You can’t survive this heat being alone; strategic alliance would win the day, whereas lone-rangers would lose. Before, a single organisation can dominate the business scene but it’s not so today. The issue of interdependence would play a critical role today than before. You’d struggle if you fail to specialise. And specialisation can be comfortably achieve as you work as a team, and have those who compliment what you do, so that you can fully concentrate in what you principally have a competitive advantage in. You have no excuse. Through technology, you have more people (individuals and enterprises) at your disposal to collaborate and interact with. Each is going to serve and play a complementary role; a synergy that’d give both businesses a huge market advantage.

Tactical co-dependence amongst companies and individuals would play a major role to the growth of next phase of business, which we have entered. . This time around, there would be a necessity for a mutual interaction that would deliver maximum returns. The word: merging and acquiring would resurface in this new business dispensation, in a new-light. As a warning: those who want to play alone would be acquired, and those who have formed strong alliance would keep acquiring. The ball is on your court.

What’s your next line of action? Find a strategic alliance partner in your selected market (segment), both within your locality and outside your locality. In a globalised society, there are no barriers to business collaborations. Wherever you can find a good partner, go for them! I have a couple of partners outside this domain, and it’s paying off. It might also interest you to hear that we are not relenting still. Now that you know, what will you do about it?

The ‘Sovereign’ in business

In the world of business, there are still a lot that we are yet to learn as each business day and its attendant challenges arise.  No matter the volume of business and management books available in so many business schools, we still have much untouched and untold largely because what would cause some of us to write them have not arose.  I consider calling this the ‘unwritten-side of businesses’. (I have included some of them in my next business book to be published soon). What does this ‘side’ of business talk about?

Don’t really expect me to give full explanation to this. But the result that would come with time would provide all that we may need to know and also give ‘doubtful gazers’ enough to believe. We may not see this aspect of business but we are well convinced that it’s there. The Sovereign I am talking about here is God. Yes, God, the originator of every business activity. Should we continue to leave events of our life and business to that which may have ceased to work? The ‘Sovereign’ has an idea that would address your business questions like no other, whatever they are. There is no human problem without divine-wisdom solution. I wonder how many of us have access to it.

There is a Confucian saying that advised, ‘Use one unchanging thing to respond to 10,000 changes’. It makes a whole lot of sense, doesn’t it?  And the time to act of this word might be now. The ‘Sovereign’ is the only Universal Constant in whichever human equation it’s applied. I think that we need extra strength and encouragement beyond human provision to carry on at a time like this. That’s only when we can comfortably overcome the prevailing time, or rise above it. The recession brings us back to humanity and the fallible nature of man’s wisdom, and its limitations, so that we can go back to infallible divinity.

‘In problem solving, it is necessary first of all to believe that you have with you the answer. And then you must get into contact with God so that he can guide you to that answer’. Those words from Norman Vincent Peale summarises the whole point. For us to tap from this divine source, we must play by His rules.

I was reading book sometime ago, written by an author that I esteem so much. He had one remark about the present economic situation: it was cause by greed! Did you see that? What do we do then? Swallow our pride and do it right. Every player in this scene must learn to manage judiciously, with all sense of accountability, honesty and integrity. It’d require high degree of discipline for us to make it a way of life. It may be then that we would receive divine assistance to scale-through. Please bear in mind that no business competence or skills can function well without the character to match.

It would be difficult for not few people to adapt to the second coming of business.  I don’t expect everybody to; of course it’s not popular. It would have few adopters because the rest of the divide is not used to the novelty of situations that has burst forth. I think that should be the major reason we should try it and watch the outcome. I have come to the awareness that people might doubt the process, but not the result.  Only time would prove some of us right or wrong.

We have been doing what is ‘businessly fashionable’, and it has landed us to where we are now. It’s wisdom to do something very differently. When times changes, whether you like the change or not, you have to re-adjust or be run-over the coming circumstances. As L. C. Thurow once observed, ‘A competitive world offers two possibilities, you can lose. Or, if you want to win, you can change’. And as a warning, take a position that would give you a safe landing in case of eventualities, in order to rise above the turbulent waters.

On a last note, the economic depression is what it is because the human state – the engine room that drives the economy is depressed. We can use any other word to qualify the economic state and would so respond or react to it. Observably, we have every reason to be depressed going by the current happenings, but they shouldn’t overwhelm us. Can you see the writing on the wall? It simply asks us to reinvent. ‘When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge’, so taught Tuli Kepferberg. And the earlier we embrace this reality, the better for us and our business future. What are you waiting for make a business come back in a grand-style. The stage is now set. It’s up to you to make your business happen!

Tony Ajah
Tony Ajah is a Business Growth Strategist, and the Principal Strategist, TA Strategic Solutions, a Lagos-based firm that provides strategic business development services for budding entrepreneurs. His ideas are highly sought after by leading Nigerian print media such as Punch Newspaper, Daily Sun, Effective Managers Series- Daily Independent, Financial Standard, Business Day, M2 weekly, BrandWork Nigeria, BrandCrunch, ReguLetter (an international journal), amongst others. Tony has written hundreds of business articles that have been shared on several media platforms around the world both online and off-line. He is also a seasoned idea strategist, trainer and professional speaker and his voice has been heard in numerous establishments across Nigeria and beyond. Tony has worked closely with some of the brightest minds in the industry. He is a member of several professional organisations within and outside the country, and also an alumnus on Federal University of Technology Owerri.

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