Preview Close Window  

From: Michael Wynne <>
Subject: News from International Mgm't Consulting Associates
[View HTML Version] [View Text Version]
View Printable Version

News from International Mgm't Consulting Associates
Mike Wynne's Global Profit Builder
The Perfect Storm, Neanderthal Companies, and Creativity April 2008
In this issue
-- The Perfect Storm
-- So, how's your business? Are you scared?
-- Neanderthal Companies
-- Cro-Magnon and Globalization
-- Creativity and Survival

Note: This is Part-One of a two-part issue on Creativity. Stay tuned for Part Two - The Perfect Brainstorm -- How to Create Great New Ideas!

The Perfect Storm
  • The Perfect Storm. It is brewing in the business world! The dollar is plunging, as are the stock market and the housing market, credit is tightening, prices of commodities (oil, corn, raw materials, metals) are skyrocketing, inflation is raising its head again, jobs are disappearing, airlines are going bankrupt, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are impacting the economy, and companies and consumers are holding back on spending and investing.
  • Chicken Little. While turbulence and destabilization affect the economy and the markets, the Chicken-Little-Talking-Heads of the media are screaming, "The sky is falling!"

So, how's your business? Are you scared?
  • Don't Be. If you are willing to be creative, and change your products and services to match today's consumers' tastes and preferences, you will not only survive, but thrive in the midst of all the turbulence.
  • Neanderthal Experience. Today's spooky trends are the economic equivalent of the challenges that the Neanderthal experienced over forty thousand years ago. The question is, why didn't they survive? The follow up question is what can we learn from their experience?

Neanderthal Companies
  • Axiom. . A well-known axiom says, "If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results." That statement is not true in nature or business. Species that kept doing the same things, the same ones that had always worked in the past, and did not adapt creatively to change, became extinct. That is something we can learn from the Neanderthal experience: you have to change to survive change.
  • Food Supply. The Neanderthal survived Ice Ages, and other natural challenges By living in caves, and making use of fire to cook their food and heat themselves, they survived the harsh environment. Food was whatever they could hunt. Fortunately, they could count on an abundant supply of local wildlife to hunt. So why did they disappear?
  • Migration. When the last Ice Age ended, the landscape and the vegetation changed. Herds began to migrate as vegetation became seasonal with foods becoming available in different locations at different times. Hunting that had been available year around near the Neanderthal caves, became scarce when herds started migrating. Bottom line: the herds migrated and the Neanderthals didn't. Result: hunger, poorer nutrition, fewer births, earlier deaths.
  • Neanderthal Companies. How does this relate to companies in today's business world? Consumer tastes are changing, they are looking for different products and experiences, purchasing them from different suppliers, the markets are migrating - and Neanderthal companies aren't. Bottom line: shrinking sales and profits, fewer resources, less growth, and earlier bankruptcies.
  • Creativity. Creativity in business and in nature, share a common intent: survival of the species. Companies that keep doing the same things in today's highly competitive markets are not adapting creatively to change and, like the Neanderthal, will become extinct.

Cro-Magnon and Globalization
  • Competition. About the time when the Neanderthal were beginning to feel the effect of climate change, Cro-Magnon, our current species, came along. Having migrated following the changing climate of Europe, Cro-Magnon were accustomed to foraging, roaming, following herds for food, and picking up and moving to keep up with everything else.
  • Globalization. As the Ice Age waned and the glaciers receded, warmer weather moved further north and Cro-Magnon followed. Now the Neanderthal had competition for food supplies and firewood, as well as local forage. This was the Ice Age equivalent of Globalization; the Cro-Magnon chose to go with the flow; the Neanderthal didn't.
  • The Danger of Getting Used to Things. The problem of being in the midst of so much change is that, after the initial discomfort, we get used to it; and actually stop seeing it. As a result, we do nothing about it.
  • Parallel. See the parallel between the forty-plus thousand years ago Neanderthal and those of the 21st century? Look around you, and you will soon be able to identify today's Neanderthal Companies; they are everywhere.

Creativity and Survival
  • The Age of Abundance. I wouldn't say that we are facing the end of an Ice Age; the last 200 years since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution have transformed civilization and humanity enormously. We are, entering another period, a very different one in which the basic building blocks of business and prosperity are changing radically. Some refer to this as the Age of Abundance. Whether we call it the Age of Abundance or not, today supply is greater than demand; this has never happened before.
  • More Choices. Today, people have an almost endless variety of products and services from which to choose. Before this age, people had to take what was, no matter how good or bad, be grateful it was available. This abundance means that people have more choices; they don't have to take just anything because now there are more alternatives. This means that businesses have to work harder to get the customer's attention, and to make their products and services more valuable and distinctive.
  • Good Enough? Being good enough is no longer good enough; we must become more creative. Our products and services have to be better, more appealing, attractive, better, reasonably priced, and valuable in ways that are important to the customer.

    Want to survive and thrive? Don't become a Neanderthal! Instead of letting your products and services go on as they are, why not innovate them into what they could be? While you are at it, why not also make sure that they become exactly what your customers want and value?

    By the way, don't be concerned about those who do become 21st century business Neanderthals - they can always get jobs as cavemen in insurance commercials!

    Time to get your creative juices flowing! Your business needs to innovate if want your sales and profits to survive and thrive.

    Consider this: how have your customers and your market changed since your business was started? If it has been more than five years, their needs, preferences, and priorities may have changed substantially, but you may still be trying to reach and serve them in a way that is no longer as effective as it was. It's probably time to update your business model as well as your products and services.

    If you would like some help with these needs, contact Michael Wynne, president of International Management Consulting Associates at (530) 420 2605 or at You may also want to check our website

Contact Information
phone: (630) 420 2605

Forward email

Safe Unsubscribe
This email was sent to by

International Mgm't Consulting Associates | 1120 Summit Hills Lane | Naperville | IL | 60563