2017 will be climatic as businesses eventually let go of the past. 2017 will see many rebuilding solid growth and margins as they eventually adopt new business models. Business models they have been resisting for far too long. We will also see many big failures as others continue to resist change.  So start the New Year with a different frame of mind and embrace change. Don’t be left behind with poor performing business models.  Grasp the potential for new growth and greater margins by adopting new business models.

Transitioning Through Generational Change

Start by accepting that we are transitioning through a generational change. 2017 is the 10th anniversary of the Global Financial Crisis. It has been a decade of watching Governments and Businesses go through the grieving process over the loss of the pre-GFC boom.  It is a decade of watching people move from denial that the 1990-2007 boom is dead and buried. To the final stage of acceptance that the world has changed and we need to move on.  Whilst most have been pre-occupied with trying to relive the past boom, few have recognised that we are at the cusp of a new 30-year boom. We are at the beginning of another industrial/technological revolution. To join it requires taking a different path and it is the reason why we need to accept real change.

Resistance to Change is Monumental

Yet that last step to change seems monumental. We have watched a decade of businesses and Governments trying to recreate the pre-GFC boom. The results remain the same, it has not worked. We are seeing world leaders scratch their head as every economic trick fails to kick start growth. They are watching the Brexit/Trump wave of electoral anger. Yet they won’t accept the need to change their thinking.  It has been a decade where most businesses have aggressively cut costs waiting for the pre-GFC boom to return. That boom has not returned and there are no costs left to cut. It is time to accept the pre-GFC economy is not going to return and that we all need to rethink strategies for a different economy.

“The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.”         

                                                         Oren Harari

Don’t pretend to change

It is time to also stop pretending to change and start challenging the status quo. Over the last few years we have seen a fortune thrown at innovation with little success. Unfortunately, it is an investment in pretending to change whilst remaining the same. The quote by Oren Harari sums it up well “The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.” So why is most investment in innovation about continuous improvement of candles. It demonstrate how many people are refusing to accept that the past is dead and buried. It demonstrates how few actually accept the need for changing products, services and business models. If we are not changing, then that is not innovation.  If we are not innovating, we won’t open the doors to new opportunities. Accept the need for change and invest in innovation that achieves real change.

Stop talking disruption

Let us also stop using the word “disruption” and start talking about evolutionary change. Disruption is such a negative word. It is about creating fear that your world is about to end. We are not at the end; we are transitioning to a new economy. A new economy that is on the cusp of another boom. A boom that will exceed the 1990-2007 boom. Don’t change in fear, change to access this new potential. Change to grow and prosper.   Start evolving your businesses to access this new economy. Stop being fixated about those disrupting the business models of yesterday.

Avoid gravitating to safety

Many have seen some tough years.  The problem is that in tough times we gravitate to that safe place. We go back to what we know and what used to work.  That is fatal when change is causing our challenges.  We are seeking safety in what used to worked in the pre-GFC world. That world is gone, it is dead and buried. Going there is going to exasperate our problems.  It is time to take a deep breath and have courage to step outside of our comfort zones this year. To boldly take on the new opportunities through change.

Don’t be the Straggler

In 2017, do not be one of those individuals who resists change.  Don’t be one of those nay-sayers who bemoans this project will not work. Don’t be the objectionist who keeps holding up innovative changes. Don’t be the one who everyone else looks at as being behind the times.  Embrace change.  Change is good.

That does not mean that you cannot constructively criticise or question change. That you roll over to every new idea.  It just means that you don’t resist change for the sake of just maintaining the status quo.

2017 is going to be a hard year. However, it will sort the winners from the losers.  Make your New Year’s resolution to be one of the winners and embrace change.