The Ideas Economy — A New Global Business Culture

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In previous posts I’ve alluded to the proliferation of the peer to peer economy as an increasingly popular model for businesses to implement. Taking that a step further, and allowing established businesses to come beneath the umbrella, it is obvious that we are now operating within a new era the advent of which has been necessitated by the growth of the internet vanquishing borders and shrinking distances over which business can be conducted. The era has grown and is now recognised more wholly as the Idea Economy. This is characterised by disruptive innovation, enabling the prototyping and introduction of products to market in a fraction of the time and cost that companies have been historically capable of. It’s no secret that technology has implemented this new reality as a prerequisite. Why? Simply put, if you don’t your competitors will and your customers will flock to that product which quickly overwhelms social media and peer circles. You only need to look at the ridiculousness of the hoverboard trend transferred via celebrities to teens facilitating a ban on the mode of transport publicly.

“We’re now living in an Idea Economy where success is defined by the ability to turn ideas into value faster than your competition.”
– Meg Whitman, Chief Executive Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Everything from the latest fashion to mobile phones, literally anything you can think of, is increasingly instantaneous and technologically derived. The struggles of M & S in this new market, dominated by the likes of H&M and Zara who are able produce cheap cutting-edge lines of clothing every week, highlights this. The successes of this new era are determined by how quickly you can adapt to take advantage of new opportunities or deal with competitive threats. The ability to pivot from one thing to the next is key.

In order to thrive in this new era enterprise must solve increasingly complex problems utilising the abundance of platforms and data available. Through the provision of rich digital experiences on demand on any device we are now able to reach audiences that previous generations could only dream of. Linkedin, for example, provides a window to a world of professionals we would never have been able to connect with to enable the fostering of success. I know my newsfeed is often flooded with frustrations relating to the lack of gainful employment attained via the platform but personally it has grown to be much more than a means to a job search. It provides a ladder to a party most never knew existed. I’ve personally been able to meet people, explore opportunities and have conversations that I’m certain would not have happened in 100 years of operating in a pre-technology world.

Pursuing Success

  1. Establish Partnerships.

Buy into the concept of collaboration and strategic partnerships, taking time to establish lasting relationships with your partners and employers but equally as critically your customers as well. This is an element often overlooked, that by establishing a loyal network of customers we are able to harness them as growth beacons providing opportunities for referrals and organic growth. It also insulates you during periods of time featuring difficult market conditions, if your partners are experiencing a period of prosperity you are able to share in that success. Create trust between all parties noted above through openness and honesty. If you can achieve that you will harbour goodwill which is critical should anything not go as planned.

  1. Always be prepared for action.

You never know when a new opportunity will present itself so ensuring you remain agile enabling the opportunity to pivot to new ideas is essential. If something goes wrong it is fundemental that the issue is met head on as quickly as possible. If your customer, partners or employees see a rapid response or reaction they are often more forgiving and understanding than if the issue is left to play out. Fight the urge to stand still even through period of success, it simply acts to allow your competitors to catch up, there is no finish line for continued excellence and innovation. Open yourself to the prospect of delegation understanding the strength of your team. and utilise it.

  1. Ensure Innovation is a Core Principal

Cultivation of entrepreneurial spirit across the entire breadth of the organisation is the most important element of any business hoping to capatalise on the idea economy. Invite contributions from everyone in the organisation but most importantly listen and consider what you are being told. It’s obviously now more critical than ever to invest in new thinking and technologies as a means for innovation but to do that without first embracing innovation fully would be naive.

The prospect of change is of course intimidating. But like any endeavour in life fortune favours the brave, be bold and embrace it before it is forced upon you leaving you frozen and unable to react. Relish the opportunity that a new world affords as any prospects that are extinguished often present themselves in new more exciting ways.

Celebrate change and new beginnings. And to doing things quicker and more efficiently.

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