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33. Peter Drucker in his own words interpreted for small business 5

“The assumptions on which most businesses are being run today no longer fit reality”. Drucker wrote this quite a few years ago when the pace of change in the business world was slower and there was more of a tendency for businesses to believe that the way the market worked for them was fairly fixed.  As people have got more used to a changing environment they are less likely to believe that change is unlikley to happen in their market. But because the pace of change has increased so rapidly, the saying remains true – lots of businesses still do not notice that the market is leaving their business behind.

The old story goes – please do not try this at home – that if you drop a a frog into boiling water it will jump out but if you put it in a pan of cold water and gently heat it up it will stay until it is too late. How are things changing in your market? Back in the 1980s in the office products business commercial deliveries normally took about a week. When Viking Direct launched in the UK this reduced to next day delivery, and within a few years this had reduced to same day delivery. In a number of industries the internet has become the standard source of purchase – this is true of many aspects of insurance, in recorded music and books and many other segments. These are examples of changes in service level and channel to market, but examples of similar structural changes can be found under most other aspects of business: price, method of production etc.

Are you keeping pace with the change in your business world? Check that ‘the water around you is not gradually heating up’ without you noticing.

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