Trends that will continue to impact company strategies for a while

Strategic planning is a meticulous effort, more so because strategies for organisational progress must be realistic and specific. Yet while that is so, there are industry and business trends that have recently influenced organisational strategies in significant ways, and may continue to do so.

Rapid technological advancements in the past decade have particularly resulted in global trends that give businesses no much option. They either fit in or start a sure journey to oblivion.

Let’s briefly evaluate some of the strategies that became common in the 21st Century, and discuss if they still cut across type, size, value and character of organisations as they have for a while. Call them “common core strategies”.

  1. Intranet

Intranets were introduced to aid internal communication. They have been efficient and fast, enhancing flow and turnaround of work. They will continue to do so. Many companies now view the intranet as a key component of an effective internal communication strategy.

  1. Online commerce

The internet has opened the world to the possibility of electronic commerce. Organisational and business structures and economics continue to be shaped by this global technology, which is why its use is a common strategy.

  1. Flexibility

The thriving dynamism of the world market has reduced permanency in the way of doing things. Situations are more fluid now, requiring organisations to avoid rigidity and open up to different approaches to work. Flexibility is the name of the game now. Organisations that want to be customer focused and creative have no option but to accommodate flexibility within their strategies.

  1. Speed

Speed has also become a common core strategy. The reason? Business competition keeps growing in intensity. Speed allows organisations to respond fast to feedback, which in essence leads to better delivery.

  1. Product and service diversity

Countless number of companies ran out of business because their products became irrelevant. For some, fast-paced technology left them stranded. Others failed to cope with the speed by which customers were shifting their needs. Yet more were beaten to the game by innovative competitors.

Organisations that easily fall victim of such circumstances are those that rely on single products or services. The emerging strategy to minimise such risks is to introduce variety in products and services offering by growing and extending business tentacles into areas with fresh potential.

  1. Alliances and mergers

Tough times have made many companies to pursue alliances and mergers as a survival strategy. In some scenarios, previous competitors become allies to jointly tackle a common threat.

For example, a number of risk management firms in Africa have in recent times chosen to merge with players in different regions to form more formidable organisations as a strategy against established and sophisticated competitors from the developed world. Some mergers have also been in response to emerging global insurance regulatory trends that have necessitated concerted effort by smaller players.

  1. Going green

More organisations now focus on ensuring that their activities and products are environment friendly. This is essential, not only to fulfil regulatory demands, but also to accommodate the needs of the rising numbers of the environment-conscious customers and to preserve the interests of communities. The three core strategies in environmental conservation are to reduce, reuse, and recycle.