Friday, September 22, 2006

The Velocity of Change

Futurist Jim Carroll just had a great post about the massive rate of change occurring within every profession, industry and business model. He states that there are no longer product life cycles - there is just 'agility in time to market'

Jim suggests asking yourself the following questions to think about your need and ability to stay ahead of the innovation curve:

  • do you know the rate of change -- the velocity of change -- that impacts you, your industry, your products?
  • are you meeting the requirement for operational excellence that your customers, suppliers, business partners and everyone else expects of you?
  • are you properly positioned for velocity, in terms of your agility to do things at the pace required?
  • does your culture support high-velocity change, or are you almost keeling over from organizational sclerosis?
  • do you have the feedback and innovation mechanisms in place to deal with high-velocity change, and can you learn from them?
  • are you planning at the leading edge, or are you still reviewing what you were planning last week?
  • are you evolving markets/products at the pace required, or are your customers marching on because you are stuck in a slow time-to-market rut?
  • are you at the curve of expectations of customers needs -- do they think you've got the right stuff when it comes to velocity?
  • are you anticipating customer solutions before they know they need them?

Great questions, but if you answer 'No' to any of these what then? Most companies are seeing the increasing rate of commoditization and realizing that they must innovate or evaporate, but solutions are not as easy as the realization. The start up I am working on helps address some of these very questions, so seeing posts like this helps myself and my partners keep keep our motivation up as we 'bootstrap' along.

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