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Cover Story
 
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Finding a Better Place The new world of business opportunities
B&E explores a new business world, where a new generation of brands and innovators are reshaping markets, and seizing the opportunities of change
Issue Date - 01/03/2014
 

So what is stopping us from exploiting these new worlds?

Why focus on your existing market, with concerns of more turbulence, uncertainty and zero growth, whilst other markets like Brazil and India, Mexico and Turkey are back up into double digit growth? Why tinker with your website and home delivery, when other companies are transforming their whole business models and customer experiences?

The real problem is mindset, not process. And in particular, leadership mindset.

The whole concept of “emerging” market is outdated. Ideas and ambition, demand and growth heads east and south. These markets are equal, and have many advantages over the old, faltering markets of the north and west. It also requires new thinking if you sit in Beijing or Mumbai. The old idea that “home” markets come first, and global markets come second, that doing what we do better, is better than change, looking west not east, believing in being big not small, driven by today not tomorrow.

Who can change this? You! Not the crest-fallen politicians, the devalued economists, or even the increasingly-uncomfortable big company leaders. You, with an open-minded, outside-in perspective... making sense of new landscapes, building a vision that inspires others, being bold in creating new ideas, and making them happen.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, don’t wait for others, “be the change”.


Innovation not incrementalism. It’s time to think bigger

We become programmed into watching competitors more than consumers. And we fear doing anything, that somebody else hasn’t done before. We build brands and value propositions on being slightly different from others, rather than doing something in a better or more relevant way for consumers. We justify business cases based on competitor base cases, and how we can surely do better.

Innovation, as people like Leonardo da Vinci showed us, is much more than this. It is about newness, either in terms of invention or application, and in our world, ensuring that it can create a step change in value to consumers, as well as the bottom line. This requires “bigger thinking”.

We live in an ideas economy. We need to be the ideas agents – searching for them, shaping them, and applying them - looking beyond the current competitive set, learning from what works in adjacent categories and other geographies, teasing out insights about emerging consumer needs rather than those conditioned by current usage. These are the starting points to innovation.


          

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