As it appeared in the Daily Nation on January 7th 2020
Dr. Lucy Kiruthu
Happy New Year to all our readers! As we celebrate this New Year, we need to remember that we have not only started a New Year but also a New Decade. Looking back the last 10 years, a lot has happened. In the world of business, new businesses were established, disruptive business concepts conceived, mega technology companies founded, once leading businesses shut down and much more. Looking forward to the next 10 years, what should businesses expect? Should they expect a more conducive or a harsher business environment? What disruptions should businesses expect? What businesses will survive and which ones will not?
I have no doubt that in the twenty-twenties, innovation will remain at the center of business success. Businesses will continue to look for new ways of doing what they do. In particular, technology will continue to be a key business driver on matters innovation causing more disruption than ever before. As such, companies should be ready to utilize new and more advanced technologies this decade. At the heart of smart businesses will be the creation and adoption of innovations never seen before. Lack of innovation is likely to lead to the death of certain businesses. To survive, companies must be on the lookout for innovative ways of running their businesses and scout for innovations that could completely disrupt their industries. Does your business have the ability to innovate and to survive innovation?
In the twenty-twenties, it is also expected that customers’ expectations will continue to rise at an even faster pace than they did in the last decade. Customers will demand faster services. They will expect to continue using multiple channels such as calls, text messages, social media, customized applications and more. Most customers will look for the very best deals possible through online comparisons. In addition, customers are likely to detest anything that does not add value to their interactions. Mass marketing, for example, is likely to die as personalized marketing takes over. To survive in this new decade, aim to understand your customers’ expectations and provide them with an experience that is seamless, painless and frictionless. Are you ready for higher customer expectations? How will you hold on to your customers?
From a resource perspective, people will remain a key source of differentiation. Every smart business must recognize that its people make the greatest difference. Not only will the identification of talent be crucial but also the provision of the best working environment in order to retain the best people. The work environment is likely to change significantly with more employee-friendly policies being introduced. Without the right people with the right skills and attitudes holding the right positions, it will be difficult for businesses to survive this new decade. Are you ready to build the best team and take good care of them?
Do not wait to be disrupted by the changes in the marketplace. Instead, consider the start of the twenty-twenties as a golden opportunity for your smart businesses to plan to disrupt itself. This will possibly ensure survival. Is your business willing to disrupt itself? How will it survive in the twenty-twenties?
Dr. Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy