[And] I have learnt from people's stories, been inspired by their hope, and been strengthened by their coming together.”
― Sharad Vivek Sagar
UPDATED AUGUST 2017
When people come together, great things start happening. For starters, they shun the logic that had worked yesterday, but is obsolete today. They work as one organism — one mind and one soul for one mission, and thus they make something happen that is far grander than themselves.
It is your people who lends color, texture and poetry to your brand. It is your people who brings forth innovation and sees to the health, and the ultimate survival of your brand.
Since we live in an age of innovation, your job as a leader is to prepare your company for the kind of "work that does not yet exist and cannot yet be clearly defined."
HOW do you go about doing that?
Having said that, in this article, we do not talk about trends but we draw inspiration from 5 books that can help change the pattern of your brand and get you situated for the long haul.
Check it out and see if it does anything for you.
The startings of the great Byzantine Empire can be traced back to 330 A.D., when the ancient Greek colony of Byzantium became the focus of the Roman emperor, Constantine I. A “new Rome” was born. It lasted for a good thousand years.
The intriguing story spells out, how did this eastern half of the old Roman Empire manage to survive for 1000 years. The author illustrates that the reason for its' sustained existence was due to its' complex bureaucracy and intricate diplomatic service at a time when its enemies were at the best, successful warlords, who were always on the move.
BRANDS THAT ARE SUITED TO survive THE LONG HAUL CAN DO SO BY CREATING A COMPLEX ECO-SYSTEM OF partnership, PERFORMANCE AND INGENUITY.
Just to put things in context.
GE is the only brand that is listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Index today that was also included in the original index in 1896. And, that is a bit more than 100 years.
In 1892, a merger of Edison General Electric Company (established by Thomas A. Edison) and Thomson-Houston Electric Company created General Electric Company. Today, it is well on it's way in creating Industrial Internet — intelligent devices, intelligent systems and intelligent decision-making — fully merging with physical machines, facilities, fleets and networks.
THERE ARE ALWAYS 2 SIDES TO THE STORY. CONFLICT GIVES RISE TO DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THE STORY
Cohen points out that "all history is constructed". He opens the door for two competing narratives of the same riot. Now it is up to you: weigh in on the arguments and come up your decision.
USE CONFLICT TO COME UP WITH A VIABLE PRODUCT OR A SERVICE
We all know the frustration of waiting for the cable guy to come and set your up for your TV to work. It not only disrupts your day and it sours your mood. Because, our brains are designed to enjoy clarity. The uncertainty of the waiting gap between 1 PM to 5 PM (or whatever that time interval be) introduces conflict.
CONFLICT GIVES RISE TO A CAUSE. Now there is relief in sight.
Magine, a Swedish cloud-based startup saves you from complicated TV and cable box setup and offers live and pre-recorded TV. Magine has raised over $58 million in funding but sadly, isn’t available in the US yet.
BRANDS THAT ARE SUITED TO SURVIVE THE LONG HAUL, STUDIES THE CONFLICT THAT PLAGUES THEIR INDUSTRY AND MAKES INNOVATION HAPPEN TO RESOLVE IT.
LESSONS IN COLLABORATING WITH CHANGE
When Tony Parker visited USSR 1990, encountered a country in shambles and the economy barely surviving. People were uncertain about their future. However, today we know that vast opportunities of wealth was created due to this uncertainty. Unfortunately for the "great majority they exchanged too much certainty for too little certainty."
THE THIRD INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
We entered a service driven era when electronics and information technology automated production during the 3rd industrial revolution. The arrival of the Automated teller machines (ATMs) in the 1970s was a disastrous proposal. Yet, branch jobs actually increased over time as branch cost went down, becoming less transactional in nature and more about managing customer relationships.
Don't get me wrong. Each industrial revolution has brought massive disruption, and the fourth wave will not be any different. "We must remember this and use what we have learned to manage the change."
However, the management guru, Peter Drucker would oppose it and say, "One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it."
BRANDS THAT ARE SUITED TO SURVIVE THE LONG HAUL, EMBRACES INNOVATION, DOUBT, UNCERTAINTY AND EVERY SENTIMENT THAT COMES WITH IT
THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IS SPEAR HEADED BY THE TRILLION DOLLAR OPPORTUNITY IN THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY
An example how doctors are being aided by machine learning.
Arterys’s medical imaging platform helps doctors diagnose heart problems. It uses a self-teaching artificial neural network which has learned from 1,000 cases so far, and will continue to improve its knowledge and understanding of how the heart works with each new case it examines.
THE RESOLVE OF A SURVIVOR. HE PLAYS THE CARDS THAT HE IS DEALT WITH INTENT AND INGENUITY
An account of the writer— an English woman married to a German bringing up three children in Berlin in WWII, and what happens when her husband is arrested by the Gestapo after the July bomb plot.
"SURVIVING ISN'T AROUND US, BUT IN US.“
Just 5 years ago parts of the African continent were in the grips of the worst food crisis in history. Today, the latest AGRA report confirms the steady revival of African agriculture. Seed and Science worked together to bring about this change. If sustained, the 21st century agricultural revolution will play a key role in dispersing new technology in the wider economy.
HOTELS AND DEPARTMENT STORES ARE IN A NEW MODE. IT IS CALLED SURVIVAL.
They are rediscovering themselves in an effort to become more "hipper" and "more happening".
A new brand, Pendrys, is setting the standards. They "will have more amenities than the typical boutique — there's bell service, 24-hour room service, and concierges — but with a funkier design and hipper than traditional luxury brands." San Diego is chalked out to have a nightclub and a beer hall; Baltimore will feature a whiskey bar — according to the Wall Street Journal.
What is Nordstrom doing to upgrade it's department store experience? For starters, in Chicago there is a fully stocked bar in the men's department.
To thrive, department stores need to be "an exhibition space and a playground to delight customers with unexpected experiences."
BRANDS THAT ARE SUITED TO SURVIVE THE LONG HAUL, ADAPTS AND ACKNOWLEDGES THE CHANGING NEEDS OF THEIR TARGET AUDIENCE
Know who are your surviving for. That is KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE.
For example, Truecaller is a Swedish startup. But, their biggest market is India. Their app blocks callers and identifies from unknown numbers. Today, the company, which has raised over $90 million, also offers calling features and the ability to see when friends are free to receive a call.
The writer tracks the unsustainable obsession of wealth creation since the 1980s and provides a historically-based argument that the economy should be run for society, not society run for the economy.
Disruption is defining every facet of our trade and commerce. New definitions are being slated in the departments of civics and economics. "3D printing is creating a circular economy - rather than the linear model of making things then throwing them away - by altering how we use and recycle raw materials."
As we move along, we are evolving and expounding a new future for humanity.
BRANDS THAT ARE SUITED TO SURVIVE THE LONG HAUL, DOES SomeTHING DARING — THAT HAS BEEN NEVER DONE BEFORE — FOR THE UPLIFTMENT OF HUMANITY
Scott Harrison had a BIG IDEA. He wanted to solve the global water crisis in his lifetime. "To solve a problem as big as the global water crisis, we would need an epic brand of hope and responsibility," Harrison said. Today, more than one million people have joined the mission. The donors track their projects and follow progress by way of GPS information and photos on Google Earth. Talk about blending technology for impacting epic change.
PASSION FOR TRANSPERENCY
Every bit of public money raised goes directly to water projects, and operating costs for the charity is raised separately.
TRANSPERENCY ERODED COMPETITIVE BORDERS AND LEAD TO LARGEST INVESTIGATION IN HISTORY OF JOURNALISM
In April 2016, more than 100 media outlets from around the world abandoned their competitive agenda to publish the largest investigation in journalism history: The Panama Papers. The result was a global storm of political and grassroots reaction. Large protests were seen on the streets of Britain, Iceland, Malta and Pakistan. Authorities in 75 countries launched investigations. High-profile figures – including Iceland’s prime minister – were forced to resign.
We are going through massive shifts.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS NOT TO BE JUST ANOTHER SOURCE OF INFORMATION. THE PURPOSE OF MY WRITING IS, TO URGE YOU NOT TO RIDE WITH THE CHANGE, BUT, TO LEAD THE CHANGE.
ELSE, YOUR BRAND WILL FAIL TO LEAD. IT WILL NOT SURVIVE THIS SHIFT.
Here are some inspired articles that will direct you to stay ahead in these turbulent times.
Check out how these brands are carving out new paths to stay ahead. Learn the steps you can take to foster innovation and dictate change in the age of machine intelligence.