Twitter-Master @guykawasaki has posted a link to a useful article written by Stuart Cross of BNET UK. The Top Five Innovation Killers. Worth reading, including for those of you who think you already know everything about innovation.
By a curious hazard, my dear coach Hal Stitt sent me the links to his new program, aimed at helping companies to grow during harsh times: Recession Strategies:
No Single Recession Strategy Fits Everyone
Emerging businesses have no ongoing business to protect. The winning strategy must be to quickly identify, characterize, and win new customers. Agility is vital to winning strategies in emerging business segments. The customers are also creating emerging businesses of their own.
Growth businesses must protect the customers they have while they create new ones in a long term fight to gain market share. The goal must be to win a leading market share before the growth phase transitions into maturity in order to generate lots of cash to fund new emerging and growth strategies.
Mature businesses are the most directly affected by economic slowdowns. The natural tendency is to oversimplify, to cut costs and expenses across the board. That ignores the likely reality that while most of the customers in mature markets cut back on discretionary spending with vigor (e.g. cars and houses), others may be increasing their spending in more recession-proof projects of their own. Those opportunities get killed as collateral damage in a simple expense cutting strategy.
Even Established Businesses Have Options
Houses and cars have been hit hard in the current recession, but a state-controlled liquor store here in Eugene, OR reported in early February, 2009 that their sales in 2008 were up 65% over 2007.
Ashley Heher, Associated Press, reported at about the same time; "The ever-popular Wii gaming console continues to sell out at the list price of $249 (US), Avon cosmetics just boosted prices, Nike is releasing its newest Air Jordan with an astonishing $190 price tag, and designer water can still command as much as $3.99".
All of the businesses above are established, not startup or growth businesses. If you are in an established business, the chances are good that some parts of your business are impacted like houses and cars are, other parts are more like the liquor store, and many others lie along the continuum between those extremes.