Today, the process for Proctor & Gamble to get a new product on Walmart’s shelves takes 300 days. An upstart company named Quirky accomplishes the same thing in 20 days.
Your business is going to be disrupted, but you need to make sure you’re the one doing it. Every week, startups that are threats to traditional business are being launched and the thing to fear about them is that they focus on the part of the platform that is really hard. They are nimble and they are fearless. Software companies now have the motto, “If you aren’t embarrassed when you launch, you waited too long.” This is counterintuitive to traditional software houses, with their large QA teams focused on finding and fixing bugs, but these new companies are prospering under this model…and they are growing quickly. Consider some of these new-world examples in this article from Success: http://www.success.com/article/theyre-moving-fast-and-breaking-things.
One of my main goals for clients of CEO Coaching International is to encourage them to start thinking about innovations in their own businesses. What will carry you forward in this rapidly changing world? When figuring out where to start, I’d encourage you to find an adjacent area of your business and resist the temptation to monkey with the organization as a whole. You don’t need to do it on your own. Make a point of discussing this with your advisors or business coach if you have one. Familiarize yourself with communities like Kaggle who provide a platform for world-class statisticians and data miners to compete for providing companies with innovative models. Allstate used them to put their 60-year algorithm to the test…and netted a 271% improvement.
One of the best resources I recommend to my clients on this subject is Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail. This should be required reading for anyone interested in leading their business through a hyper-growth journey.