It doesn’t matter where you go in business, it seems as though you can’t get away from the 80/20 rule. And there’s nothing wrong in that. It makes good business sense to concentrate on the areas which are likely to bring you the greatest return.
Of course sometimes the rule might need tweaking a bit. For example, I’ve heard it said that leaders should spend 80% of their time working on the business and 20% working in the business. It’s a great idea, but it may not be practical for one-man bands and micro enterprises.
Nevertheless, regardless of the size of business it is a poor leader who doesn’t spend some time analysing, reviewing and planning in order to ensure that the offering remains relevant in an ever-changing society. Just this week two stories caught my eye which illustrate the way in which continuity of product can never be assured. The first, relates to a plastic bag manufacturer which has gone into administration partly thanks to the introduction of the 5p bag tax. The second was a story about 3-D printing being used to create intricate food shapes for high-end dining.
Technology, legislation, changing consumer preferences; all these and more can have a profound effect on the most stable of organisations. In order to succeed in this ever-changing business landscape leaders not only have to be ready to anticipate and lead change, they also have to engage and empower their people in order to create an organisation which agilely and flexibly adapts in order to deliver products which continue to resonate with consumers.