What if you could do ten times more with ten times less?
This will be the big challenge for thought-leaders and knowledge-workers in the next decade from 2011 to 2020.
In the past decade of expanding economies you could survive and grow by doing more for more. Why? Because there was always more capital investment which led to more growth and more profit. It was a decade of business as usual.
In the next decade of shrinking economies you will have to survive and grow by doing more with less. There will be less capital investment but still seeking outcomes of more growth and more profit. Business as usual will no longer be enough. This will require a decade of business through innovation. Innovation at the speed of thought. Ten times more with ten times less.
There is little doubt that the next decade will NOT simply be a logical extension of the last decade. What was an expanding economic environment will now be replaced by a shrinking environment and only those enterprises that intelligently adapt to the brave new world will survive.
Nearly all of business education—even at postgraduate level—may be misguided, even misleading. In my experience, business education is faithfully based on a false premise—that the problem of business is growth. When, in fact, the problem of business (as in life) has always been survival.
Most business leaders may be spending their time and energy on solving the wrong problem. Yes, of course, growth is critical in business but the MAIN PROBLEM is that most businesses fail to survive long enough to grow!
Since Darwin explained the reasons 150 years ago, we know that it’s not the strongest or the largest that survive but it’s those best prepared to cope with change.
On this BIG PROBLEM of survival, most business executives are shockingly ignorant and deplete in their formal education. They lack sufficient darwinian intelligence.They know little or nothing useful about the science of strategic darwinian thinking.
They venture forth naked and ill-equipped in their approach to the chaos of the marketplace—the whirling, howling, cacophonous wilderness of the global marketplace with its ferocious fads, toxic wastes, and vicious moods, its callous explosions and cruel extinctions putting capricious end to the blind and righteous rivalry across pointless medieval double-entry boardrooms.
Extravagant expenditures of directors’ time and energy are squandered on the talmudic reading of balance-sheets and P&Ls, like the obsessive pre-scientific study of entrails, when less than one director in a hundred could give an intelligent, educated account of what strategy it would take for their business to survive in the fast-changing and shrinking economic environment of the next decade.
Experiment: Ask any director you know to demonstrate their strategic understanding of Darwin’s Theory and to show how s/he uses that knowledge to safeguard the future of the company. If you get a clear, articulate response it will be a surprise.
Is there any business school in Australia that insists their graduates understand the strategic business application of the darwinian imperative? Are there any of the endless ‘case studies’ churned out by business schools devoted to darwinian business strategy?
Do let me know if you find one.