It cannot be disputed that your cash cow may have brought your organization success in the realm of profit for years.
But does that mean it will be the best business strategy to stick with throughout 2024? Truthfully, the answer here has always been “yes and no” because the reality is not rooted in Either/Or — It is Both/And world!
As new companies emerge and your well-established competition pursue new innovations, they are bound to bring new solutions to the table. You cannot afford to try to push the same old product or service alone when both your competition and the world is transforming around you!
If you have become one of those business owners who say to yourself, “I can either rely on what has worked in the past and count on it to continue to perform or I can abandon that success to pursue something completely new”, this is where your thought process changes.
The beauty of business is that many things can exist in complete unity, both to the benefit of your organization! The Both/And Principle allows you to better see the benefits of both situations and allows you to choose to pursue both in critically thought out ways. I want to give you some actionable ways to utilize this bountiful strategy in the new year and experience the results you have been aiming for.
I find that when trying to implement the Both/And Principle, several business leaders struggle with compartmentalizing products or services. For them, choosing either the old or the new allows for a clean break from the past by simply pulling the plug on the old to become a new organization.
Conversely, those that avoid anything new for fear of losing their cash cow are often even harder to help harness the Both/And Principle. Moving into a new arena sounds like stress to them, and because the tried-and-true methods have worked for them for so long, the concept of integrating something new into their workflow seems overly complicated.
Wherever either of these behaviors stem from aside, one thing is for sure: Each of those types wants to progress in their industry without question, they just feel choosing between two ideas is the only option. But instead, I implore business leaders to try the concept of reinventing a product or service that is old and trusted.
In doing so, you are heeding the Both/And Principle and in a way, giving your customers a choice. “Here is our old product that you are used to, but if you would like, you can try the new, reinvented model that is more up-to-date on industry standards and evolving needs we know you have.” This is how you develop an Anticipatory approach to serving your industry — Opening new doors to show that your organization believes in the future!
Without having to tell you, I am sure that you understand that approaching business with an Either/Or Mindset can be downright detrimental to your longevity in your industry. This is more or less the case when you choose the old over the new.
Will a competitor replace your cash cow with an updated model? Absolutely — This is as much of a Hard Trend future certainty as the technology involved in said product or service evolving as well! But also consider the aspects behind legacy products, services, or systems. They may not be up-to-date on proper functionality, industry legalities, or customer safety and security.
For instance, an older version of a web application for customers may be user friendly, but by choosing to not implement a newer, fresher option solely because of trusting the old could ultimately cost you your business if said application were to be hacked. Sensitive customer data could be released, trust in your business broken, and soon the least of your worries would be how to sustain the status quo!
In this case, a Both/And Mindset prepares your organization for change that you will have to face, stopping any fully preventable disasters from happening and paving the way for a prosperous future.
Imagine having multiple roads and various speed limit highways to get from one end of the United States to the other, but only allowing yourself to take one route with several stops, delays, and rough roads that can damage your vehicle.
A silly thought, as we know there are multiple routes to expedite the process and even make it a more pleasant trip and have the ability to choose the best path forward.
In a nutshell, this is what limiting yourself to an Either/Or mindset is like. Willingly approaching business decisions with an Either/Or mindset is incredibly limiting, both to your organization’s ability to cement your place as a significant organization and in terms of profits. You are limiting yourself to just one path when the reality is there are several at your disposal.
Giving your customers multiple options and improving on older methods with newer technology and insights allows you to be a transformative organization, along with being an Anticipatory one. I will read eBooks on a Kindle when I am traveling or during a commute via public transportation, but I personally love the weight and the feel of a paperback or hardcover book in my hands, as do so many others. If any bookstore today chose to just sell eBooks and completely rid their catalog of printed books, imagine the loss they would experience!
Think of your own organization and analyze the choices you have to make in this new year. It is not “out with the old, in with the new”, it is “redefine the old, reinvent with the new!” Take new roads, unlock new doors, and open the possibility for 2024 to be the year of profound growth for you and your organization.
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker. He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, helping them to accelerate innovation and results by develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. His client list includes companies such as Microsoft, GE, American Express, Google, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, Honda, and IBM. He is the author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Flash Foresight, and his latest book The Anticipatory Organization. He is a featured writer with millions of monthly readers on the topics of innovation, change and the future and has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Wired, CNBC, and Huffington Post to name a few. He has been the featured subject of several PBS television specials and has appeared on programs such as CNN, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, and is quoted in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, and Forbes. He has founded six businesses, four of which were national leaders in the United States in the first year. He is the CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients profit from technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities. In 1983 he became the first and only futurist to accurately identify the twenty technologies that would become the driving force of business and economic change for decades to come. He also linked exponential computing advances to economic value creation. His specialties are technology-driven trends, strategic innovation, strategic advising and planning, business keynote presentations.