Q4 2011

Well you’re now into the final quarter of this year, I guess you’re either in Period 3 or 4; how’s it shaping up? Is the year as disastrous as we were all led to believe it would be, or are you in good shape and reaching out for new business?

I think that the bunker mentality that was firmly in place at the beginning of the year is still there and current banking evidence indicates that although lending is just about on plan, companies are just refinancing to get rid of debt at a lower rate.

Greece has officially defaulted and the consequential knock on effect appears to have been averted by the Eurozone and IMF stepping in with a 109b Euro support loan. Spain, Portugal and Italy have yet to be so firmly addressed, is it this that makes us so nervous or is there something else closer to home?

I believe that there have been some fundamental shifts in our paradigms, the basis for our business planning and operational efficiency are being firmly tipped over by the new business models whereby data and its ready availability has led to a price transparency; that in turn has led manufacturing, racing, to shift its cost base to the poorer paid quarters of the globe and raise it’s aspirations to niche added value segments. Service industry meanwhile looks to the web as it’s saviour for the delivery of everything from customer service to sales order processing and ready access to even more data from which to claim it’s differentiation.

So what has actually changed this year for you? Has your mindset changed or are you still thinking that things will get better? – They won’t, the business environment will just change and then change again and then change yet again.

Unless you have already fundamentally changed how your organisation addresses your market or at least are thinking about how you will change your approach, Q4 2012 really won’t be any different from Q4 2011, that is, unless your competitors have already stolen a march on you and taken your market.

About Michael Carr

Specialising in Strategy, Systems and Organisational Design I've had a varied and rewarding career and been fortunate to work for some superb companies such as Courtaulds, Unipart International, Akzo Nobel and more recently Jaguar Landrover, all luminaries of a solid, disciplined and a conservative, though never lacking in innovation, approach to business management and development. Augmenting my career with studying for my MBA at Warwick in the early 90's has given me a balanced and I believe rich resource set to draw upon in my Consultancy Practice. My Clients have been good to me, tolerating my idiosyncrasies, giving me enough rope to go along the journey that I was taking them and hopefully in return I've been able to repay them by raising the bar and their business performance, giving them the results and achievements they were looking for. I really enjoy my work and love the challenge - isn't that what it's all about?
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