In a recent article on Forbes.com, Niall McCarthy shared an infographic on CEO’s top business concerns. Chart-topping issues included over-regulation, geopolitical uncertainty, and exchange rate volatility. These macro issues may be weighing on the minds of many CEOs.
Does That Mean Your Company Won’t Grow?
When the world is uncertain, it’s easy to sit back and say, “This isn’t a good time to invest.” Lots of executives, CEOs and boards are risk-averse, reluctant to make big changes in a bumpy market. At the same time, there are others who are mindful of the trends without getting distracted from the business of growth.
There are tremendous growth opportunities in every market, and it’s a pretty sure bet that someone will profit from them. The question is not if there will be growth, but who will most benefit from it.
Dare to Be Distinctive
Some say breaking away from the herd is a good way to get killed. Ask the old antelope. The lion wasn’t there to take him to tea.
Thankfully, business isn’t a safari. It’s a strategic game that requires thinking ahead, daring to be counter-intuitive, and taking calculated risks.
One way to circumvent the limiting belief that, “We’re in a down market,” (or whatever the pundits are saying this week) is to find your own way to be distinctive. What moves can you make in the next 1-3 months that will set your company apart?
Innovate and Engage
Creativity and innovation don’t rest. In fact, I would argue that they thrive in times of turmoil. Chaos breeds creativity, and new ideas emerge when there is friction, conflict, and frustration.
- What is making your competitor’s customers unhappy? Can you win new buyers with dramatically different customer experience?
- Who else needs what you offer? If your current market is struggling, go after a fresh customer segment or a new locale.
- Are factors like terms or pricing inhibiting your sales? Find a new model that eliminates these obstacles.
- Is your brand lacking visibility? Seize promotional opportunities abandoned or overlooked by your more conservative competitors.
Some of these things seem easier said than done, and that’s precisely why so many who could act on growth opportunities don’t.
In the War for Growth, Willpower Wins
When the winds are uncertain, those with the mindset and commitment to growth still achieve it. Those with less fortitude sit on the sidelines and watch, kicking themselves for the missed opportunity.
The difference in who wins isn’t marked by smarts, resources or environment. Those who succeed are the ones who find the hole in the fence and have the gumption to go through it. They aren’t blind to the risk. They gather information and make educated guesses about what’s on the other side, and they do it quickly instead of waiting to see who else is heading that in direction.
Are you leading that kind of company?