How poised for business survival are you and your company? Do you know how to adapt, adopt, apply? In order to move forward, understand what is holding you back. To progress, adapt to the environment and assess your strengths and weaknesses. While the majority of you ask this question in a different order (adopt, adapt, apply), let’s take a 10,000 foot eagle’s eye view of your business situation. That’s my background: evolutionary genetics. Organisms respond to the situation in which they find themselves. Their ability to and rate of adaptation governs whether they will be robust across a number of ecosystems or become niche-specific and rare.
Adaptability influences the difference between survival and extinction. You don’t need to be an evolutionary geneticist or rocket scientist to understand this concept. It’s time to adapt, adopt, apply.
I’m not advocating that you become a business development shape-shifter in order to hang on to your customers’ business or prod your startup along through yet another round of pitching to investors. I am asking you to stop reacting to the stimuli in front of your nose. Take an honest look at the systems in which your venture or business unit or company are trying to gain a toehold and become successful. It may be time to adapt, adopt, apply.
How Adaptable are you, your company, your venture, your products/services/platforms? How many markets can you successfully sell into? How does your technology allow other folks’ ventures and companies to adapt to new and potentially more diverse markets? Does working with your company permit not only your company to survive and thrive, but also your customers’ companies as well?
Think synergy and symbiosis. Adapt, adopt, apply.
How easily adopted are you, your company, your venture, your products/services/platforms? Is there flexibility built into product performance and design to facilitate ease of integration within your customers’ systems? Anyone out there who sells or who has purchased an ERP system knows what I am talking about. How easy is it doing business with you and adopting your solutions into my company’s culture and overall technology ecosystem? If adopting your solution means taking my company out of business contention for a long period of time, you are impacting not only revenue but employee mindset. Will your product or platform cause the marketplace, and my employees, to question my leadership and decision-making?
How readily Applied are you, your company, your venture, your products/services/platforms? Failure to integrate and implement output from even the most simple of products and solutions can bring companies to their knees in terms of serving their customers, investors, and industries. Business isn’t conducted in a vacuum. The marketplace remains dynamic while my company is adapting to my decision to adopt your solution into our ecosystem. You can’t go back to your customers and ask them to stop applying their purchase of your system, so you can have a re-do to correct what you didn’t get right in the first place. They will move on within the business ecosystem.
The dynamics of Adapt, Adopt, Apply become the real price paid for the buying or investing decision on the business table. If your product, platform, solution requires me to radically alter my processes and practices, from my perspective you are asking me to alter my marketplace adaptability, nothing short of re-evolving myself and my company.
You are asking nothing short of the decision to move away from the status quo, and assume the risk of being more Adaptable. Or less. And all you thought you were doing was asking an investor or customer for their signature on a contract and a check. Isn’t it time to adapt, adopt, apply?
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo back into small and mid-sized businesses, particularly in the manufacturing sector. She builds vibrant revenue-producing business strategies for technical start-ups seeking investors and early customers.