Insights From Leaders’ Lunches: Summer/09

By evoke
February 20, 2010

Blueprint hosts an informal lunch on a periodic basis with leaders from business, politics, philanthropy and the arts. Each lunch has a different group of leaders who discuss a topic that is germane to the times. Below are the insights from and implications of the most recent Leaders’ Lunch discussion.

Topic: How will business look different on the other side of the recession?

The shock to businesses will cause them to implement unprecedented change

  • most companies have been content with the status quo for decades (e.g., GM)
  • they have let internal barriers or external market conditions inhibit their will to make the tough decisions necessary to prepare for an increasingly competitive future
  • the severity of this recession has given companies the “permission” to confront and eliminate sacred cows, resulting in fundamental change like we haven’t seen before

The recession won’t change consumers significantly over the long term

  • the pace at which they become more demanding will continue to be faster than the rate at which companies changes to meet their needs
  • any trend to austerity during the recession will reverse as soon as consumer confidence and prosperity returns

Companies are becoming more open to non-traditional ways of doing business

  • companies will leverage partnerships more as a means to increase sales
  • they are becoming more open to non-traditional services and methodologies, more willing to take a risk on something new
  • an increase in the number of women at top levels in organizations will result in a more collaborative approach to business

Implications for your business

Your customers are likely changing at a faster pace than you. Are you really challenging your traditional means of doing things enough? Have you surrounded yourself with people who have the courage to challenge your organization’s sacred cows? As an organization, are you deceiving yourself into believing that perceived barriers are real?

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