by Ed Adamson
With Brexit confirmed, the last couple of months have been a rollercoaster for British businesses, with uncertainty prevailing in terms of politics, economic stability and simply what is going to happen next. Plans have been put on hold, budgets and recruiting drives have been frozen, and debate has been raging as to how businesses can survive the current chaos and establish firm plans for the future.
In such uncertain times, it’s natural for people to feel uncomfortable with change, and this discomfort can result in them shutting down, waiting to see what happens next. But for those who are brave enough to innovate, times like now provide the ideal environment in which to assess the future and plan their next move. Now is the time to identify the desired future destination for your brand and to map how you will get there, starting with the opportunities that are here for the taking right now.
This will mean adapting to many changes and hurdles on the way, but with the right mix of determination, creativity and strategic thinking, great things can be achieved, even (or especially) in times of flux and uncertainty.
Any future scoping work naturally has a degree of uncertainty, so the key is to future proof any investment that is made. Setting in place processes and resources that can adapt to change, implement innovations and embrace the roadblocks and challenges that we will inevitably face in the years to come. It’s the businesses who are not afraid to flex, seek out new opportunities and are willing to change direction that will thrive in the coming months and years.
Inherent to any innovation project is the need to embrace change. Whether this is new technology, a different approach, or a new product line, it’s vital to have the courage and the expertise to ensure your brand remains relevant and meaningful to people inside and outside of your business. Initially, it’s not about which type of innovation you’re after (product, service, packaging, etc.) until you define the destination you’re aiming for. Then it’s about forming a pipeline of innovation that can deliver incremental value at each step of the journey to that point. It’s important to deliver new news now, plan for your next move, and to define how new brand experiences can deliver for future generations.
Nothing in life is straight forward. The process of innovation is no different. The whole point of creativity is that you don’t know what the outcome will look like when you start out. But, as in life, the creative journey is exhilarating and can be very rewarding. Successful brands are those who have the courage to change course as they learn new things on the way. It’s key to surround yourself with agile minded, motivated, passionate people who believe in your collective ambitions to deliver a legacy for your business; people who are comfortable feeling uncomfortable. Be humble and realistic; be human, open and honest. Don’t blind yourself with excitement, but instead, balance that with commercial savvy. Measure your performance at each step, be critical of what worked and what didn’t so that you can make informed decisions that strengthen your brand vision, ensuring that you remain relevant in the ever changing environment that your brand faces.
If the last few weeks have taught brands and the wider business community anything, it’s that we can’t predict what’s coming next. But what we can do is work with what we have, making it the very best it can be. We must continue to grow by innovating, embracing the change that is coming our way, and be ready when it arrives.
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