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Lessons From Evolution For The Adaptable Business

Evolutionary thinking. Darwin didn't theorize that the fittest organisms survive. His theory states that those best adapted ? that fit best into their environment ? are the ones that shape succeeding generations. Evolution is contextual. [Advice Line by Bob Lewis]

Bob Lewis relays an important effectiveness tip from evolution that is applicable for relationship building in business. Darwin theorized that the most adaptable organism will survive. For successful generations of your own business it is better to know the difference between "best" and "best fit."

When your company faces challenges it is more valuable to do something now that is a "best fit" than something later that is "best" -- being adaptable to changing situation is more powerful than being the best in your market. Here are some suggestions to put evolution to work for you:

  1. Map future objectives with small progresses today. By mapping objectives you create a bold picture of your desired results. You define where you want to go, so you can start on the right path to reaching that destination. While this won't reveal a direct route, it starts you in the direction of your desired end result.
  2. Know why you are adapting to discomfort or change. It is very likely your company has restrictions on purchasing, or hiring that were put in place during harder times. Understand clearly why your company chooses to do certain things-- are those reasons still applicable. A best fit for today, may not work tomorrow.
  3. Segment your resources to evolve in parts. When change is necessary in your organization it is better to test your direction before a full scale implementation. Test assumptions with smaller groups to prevent a disruption in your overall system. Once an improvement is ironed out, then share it with other parts of your organization.
  4. Invest in the relationships you'll need tomorrow. While it might not seem advantageous to spend extra time with certain customers today, it can certainly pay off in the future. Invest effort in customers most likely to become profitable to development long-term buying relationships. Return purchases by existing customers will reduce your marketing costs, returning ten-fold on any investment of time.
  5. Hire the best talent you can afford. Even if you can't produce the best product, you can hire the best producers to work for you. Learn to acquire licenses for the technology you need to improve your product instead of hoping your own team can solve the problem. If you can't create it yourself, then hire it for create for you.
  6. Improve on your current processes. Improve your company by 1% each period of measure. Choose processes close to customer interactions-- focus on reducing time, costs, measuring expectations, and improving the desired output for the customer. Improving existing processes costs less than creating new ones and creates a greater return.
  7. Abandon unnecessary traits, even change shape. Remove everything that is not core to providing value to buying customers. Carefully stop doing those things that reduce your effectiveness, even if you've done them for years. Most organisms change over time to adapt to their environments, when they can't change their environments to adapt to them.

/ business-success | magic-one /

By Justin Hitt at November 15, 2003 11:10 AM  Subscribe in a reader

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