The first step to succeeding in business as a Rainmaker is to learn how to think strategically.
What I want to share with you here today is the cost that not thinking strategically.
In order to succeed, it’s essential to study those who have failed and thrived, as well as those who simply missed out on the opportunity.
Companies that missed out Kodak and Polaroid are two companies who missed chances to break out in their fields.
These two leaders in camera technology should have been the firsts to recognize and act on the opportunities of digital imaging. Because they sat on the sidelines rather than playing the game,
Sony was the breakout company that unveiled the very first digital camera. Undoubtedly, executives at Kodak and Polaroid have asked how many dollars their lack of strategic thinking cost them.
AT&T is another company that missed out. They completely missed the development of the cellular phone industry.
The startling component of their absence from the cellular field’s emergence is that AT&T actually invented cellular technology.
AT&T created the technology but it is Cisco’s technology that is driving 70% to 80% of the Internet’s backbone today.
AT&T had a huge opportunity to be in that position. Truly, they should be in that position; however, should doesn’t amount to much in the business world.
Due to AT&T’s negative paradigm, they weren’t thinking strategically. As a result, they gave up the opportunity. They could have been the ones to develop the hardware to drive the core the Internet but they missed out.
This mentality extends to virtually every type of business. Pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Pfizer completely missed out on the advent of biotechnology.
IBM missed out on the growth of personal computers. In a similar situation to AT&T, IBM was in the mainframe computer business but they completely missed out on the personal computer boom.
One would assume that the Swiss watch industry was responsible for the big spike in watch development and technology in watches but they weren’t. Remember Seiko digital watches?
The Japanese literally brought the Swiss industry to its knees with their innovative technology. It devastated the Swiss watch industry.
In 1997, the government auctioned off license positions for only two companies to provide satellite radio services.
The two companies who won, thereby obtaining the licenses were American Mobile Satellite, now known as XM, and CE Radio, now called Sirius.
Why didn’t Clear Channel and Viacom fight for licenses? At the time, both companies controlled close to 50% of the U.S. radio market. What were they thinking?
Instead, Clear Channel snapped up over 1,000 different radio stations while American Mobile Satellite and CE Radio were pursuing the satellite radio services licenses. Performance-wise, Clear Channel is not necessarily on a move up; it’s on a move down.
In the book industry, Barnes & Noble and Borders completely missed Amazon’s emergence.
With Amazon making it so easy to buy books online, Borders and Barnes & Noble’s traditional stores took a major hit.
Those companies should have been the ones to come up with the new method of doing business.
Since they didn’t, Amazon swooped in and took a major chunk from their bottom line.
In a similar manner, the major airlines did not foresee the extent of the digital move. As a result, they were completely devastated by Priceline.
Ford, GM and Chrysler displayed a major lack of strategy when they completely missed Toyota. The U.S. automobile industry underestimated the potential of these new, relatively affordable cars.
Perhaps at the time, the industry was right; Americans didn’t want these comparatively cheap cars at that precise moment. But that is incremental thinking and a perfect example of a situation in which it cost several companies dearly.
Instead, the industry allowed Toyota to develop its foothold in the U.S. market. As a result, Toyota was able to rapidly build up their technology, and now they have crushed the U.S. automobile industry.
All these examples are big companies and brands that got seriously hurt because of their lack of foresight. It’s no different for your company. If it can hurt the big guys, it can hurt any of us.
The preparation is the same for any size business—in order to succeed, strategic thinking must be in place.
So how many opportunities are you missing because you haven’t been properly trained to think strategically in business?
Chances are you are missing thousands of dollars… hundreds of thousands of dollars… perhaps even millions of dollars in revenue because your own current thinking is blinding you.
Smart business owners are expanding their strategic thinking skills by attending our Rainmaker Summit. Click here for full details and come join us to taking your mind from thinking like a business owner and start thinking like a Rainmaker… the king of all strategist!