If, as the politicians and newspapers would have us believe, we have emerged from the recession and that growth is finally back to give us good times again why is it that so many CEO’s I speak to, across all industries and sectors, are telling me different?
They say that a modest recovery is here, that the green shoots are either very patchy or are, in fact, just weeds. They tell me that pricing is still under pressure, and large capital projects are being delayed or remain just out of reach.
They are no longer tracking downwards, but a sustained upward trend is still elusive, so what should they do?
Do they raise the volume of the noise of their sales and marketing? Get online as everyone seems to say, and explore the brave new world we find ourselves in post-recession. Do they hire or expand their sales team, invest in marketing and shout as loud as they can to attract customers to their doors again?
Or will they be shouting into an empty space?
Vacated in 2008, their customers no longer occupy this space; hear the old messages and the rhetoric that had been successful prior to 2008. If those customers still exist, then they have changed too – they are different.
They were changed by the savagery of the 2008-2013 recession. The scars are still hurting, the balance sheet still weakened. They no longer speak the language of pre-2008. They speak a new language, based on defined return on investment, low risk purchases, hi tech solutions, automated operations and processes. They talk about their own customer base as being no longer in the UK, or even Europe.
They have learned to speak WORLDISH.
Using technology to up the game, redefine themselves and strip out internal transactional costs, they have reached out in in the new WORLDISH language and they have found new Customers overseas, in economies that are growing significantly.
Those who have been successful have CHANGED THEIR RECORD, and are now playing different sounds to new customers. They have used their resources and their people to shift markets, plan new ventures and new ways to do business. They have found sustainable profit in this new way of working and new business arena. Their knowledge of WORLDISH is growing by the quarter, and they leave behind those who cannot join them.
They have taken control, PLANNED successfully and proactively, and found their path to tomorrow.
For those who are left, trying to pump up the volume to an empty room, where there is nobody left to listen, the future looks bleak.
What will you do in 2014? Will you pump up da volume, or do you plan to change the record?
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Authored by Philip Webb (firstname.lastname@example.org)