In a year where the only thing that could be safely predicted was that things would be unpredictable, it is easy to forget the importance of getting a relatively small number of fundamentals right. These include developing a robust strategy, the effective management of risks and exposures, pricing and cashflow management, a focus on key clients, strong leadership and clear communication. These core drivers are, of course, independently important but, in combination, create a compelling brand proposition.
Above all, however, it is the ability to move quickly and decisively in dealing with emerging opportunities and threats that will define the winners and losers over the next twelve months. Those who are fleet of foot and adaptive have a significant competitive advantage in a turbulent business environment.
Darwin’s words should resonate as we consider our approach to the economic challenges of the coming months. Loosening the cultural straitjacket which encumbers many professional firms will be necessary to encourage entrepreneurship and responsiveness. Scary and exciting at the same time, there will be significant upside for those firms prepared to grasp this particular nettle.
Very best wishes for the festive season and let’s hope for a revival in economic prosperity in 2009!