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Implement Strategies That Feature Always-Win, No-Lose Adaptability

Apr 5, 2008
You can easily imagine, I'm sure, how useful it is to anticipate so many circumstances that you're ready for almost any conditions. Such preparation ensures you of being able to enjoy competing, regardless of what comes next.

Let's consider an example, a business in an industry where the firm's best customers are so happy with what is being done for them, that they actually resist new and better products.

It could be an enterprise that provides a service that generates significant incremental revenues and profits for its customers. When the customers are flush with financial resources, they turn conservative and want to make few, if any, changes.

How can this organization pursue the ideal best practice for adaptability? Here are some possibilities:

1. Find new customers in other parts of the world who are strapped for revenues and resources, and preferably where competitors would have trouble following your lead.

2. Develop new types of customers who could use your organization's expertise to solve different problems.

3. Educate other executives, who are open to improvements, in the customer organizations about the benefits of the new ways to provide the service so that these executives will want to sponsor the changes.

Notice that these are all good things to do even if the existing customers were demanding instead vast increases in new types of services that only you could provide. Because existing customers aren't doing so now simply makes it more appealing to allocate resources to work in these new areas.

You can think of these actions that allow you to prosper regardless of circumstances as providing a "no-lose option." Under any set or degree of irresistible forces that you can propose, such options give you greater growth and success than you would have otherwise have enjoyed.

Occasionally, you can select from among the options a choice that is both "Always-Win," and "No-Lose." For the football fan prepared for the cold, this might also mean rooting for the fan's favorite team while having a bet on the opponent so that the fan always wins.

Here is an organizational example. A company faces a wide variety of technological crosscurrents, far more than it can keep up with. In addition, its basic products are under tremendous pressure from customers for lower prices. Further, a lot of new markets are about to open up, but it is unclear what the potential is for each new market.

The company can choose to see itself as resource-poor and focus on rationing resources, or it can look for the combined always-win, no-lose option.

In the former case, the company will become more efficient, narrow its focus, and lose almost all of its opportunities. In the latter case, the challenge is to find others to assist and fund its new activities that have a greater financial resources and interest in the result than the company itself does.

For example, some complementary companies (those whose economic success results from what you are doing, but are not customers, suppliers or competitors) are developing products for these same new markets that will sell for 100 times the cost of this company's products.

To better understand this kind of circumstance, imagine that you are developing a new medical test costing $25 that will diagnose the need for pharmaceuticals costing thousands of dollars per treatment. These complementary companies are often wealthy compared to your organization, and looking for new opportunities.

Without the testing company's new diagnostic, the new pharmaceutical markets will not develop nearly as well. Perhaps some of the complementary companies would be willing to pay 90 percent of this company's development costs and leave this testing company with 90 percent of the diagnostic profit.

If that were to occur, this test-making company would have plenty of resources, would grow much more rapidly, and be much more profitable. If implemented successfully, it seems to be an always-win, no-lose option assuming that more than 10 percent of the efforts bear fruit for successful new diagnostic test products.

The diagnostic company in this case has a usual success rate of over 40 percent. This means that choosing complementary companies to work with on a shared-benefit, shared-cost basis is an ideal best practice for achieving the test-making company's optimal adaptability.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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