Leadership, like everything else, is facing a culture change at the hands of the internet. Organizations of all shapes and sizes have embraced the digital economy, but with so much competition in such a quickly-evolving marketplace, it’s harder than ever to initiate solid market development strategies. This article explains the 3 biggest priorities of successful, forward-thinking leaders.
The communication revolution has paved the way for the globalization of the marketplace and has redrawn the borders of market development as we know it. Since competition is no longer limited by political obstacles, the market development strategies that functioned before the rise of the digital economy will not work in today’s climate. Is your company vision still limited to your own horizons? If so, it may be time to re-evaluate your priorities.
It’s no surprise that the industry has embraced the digital economy so readily. The substantial costs of supplies, transportation and storage have been interchanged by weightless virtual information. Communication has been rendered instantaneous, allowing people around the world to interact, collaborate, organize, strategize and share information in real time and at very little cost.
The flipside of this is that business leaders have had to learn how to do business cross-culturally. Aggressive, predatory, “Western” business strategies are no longer the dominant force in the marketplace. Market development strategies that work in the digital age are those that embrace a horizontal approach to business, emphasizing collaboration within a team-oriented structure.
The broader cultural change driven by new, innovative alternatives supported by state-of-the-art online technologies has manifested itself in start-up culture, shaping these new companies into democratic, rather than autocratic, workplaces. Bloated traditional businesses lack the ability to respond quickly and organically to the evolving economy.
The successful business leaders of today embrace a company vision with these 3 priorities:
Values: Develop a culture of shared values. Everyone should have the opportunity to be a leader, with a real stake in the success of the business and its goals. Team members should feel empowered and be encouraged to express their views and make their own decisions. The more each individual team member realizes their potential, the more successful your company will be.
Collective Ego: Discourage individual ego in favor of encouraging a collective ego. Reward cooperative behavior – not everyone needs to be a go-getter, and every team member merits to take pride for any role they play in the achievements of the whole team. Everyone should feel like their part of the next big thing, and everyone should be able to take some responsibility for a business’ successes. If everyone has a chance to make a difference, every employee will be determined to take your company to the cutting-edge of your field.
Growth: Respond quickly to changes in the marketplace. Fill your team with multi-skilled, flexible candidates, and inspire them to keep their ears to the ground and speak their minds. Stiff hierarchical organizational structures make it hard to adapt – as your business grows, you need to ensure that you don’t sacrifice your ability to evolve as the market sees fit. Promote a culture of self-improvement and flexibility and allow your staff to refresh their toolkits.
If you want to outshine your competitors, you need to apply the above three key factors that lead to a successful business around the world. Remember that, collaboration is better than competition and that leading by example is better than leading through authority. The democratization of the market is necessarily going to trickle down into the workplace, and the early adopters will have the biggest lead in the new digital economy.