How to Compete in a Changing World

 By Faisal Hoque, founder and CEO of BTM Corporation, and author of The Power of Convergence

Like every entrepreneur, I’ve endured – and learned from – my failures and successes. Beyond our own missteps or moments of brilliance, we face constant challenges in a quickly changing world that demands new rules. More enlightened and nimble thinking must be applied to solve the complex issues we face in today’s competitive global landscape.

Let’s look at how some others have done it:

  • 26-year-old author Amanda Hocking, rejected by a multitude of publishers, self-published her novels and promoted them using Facebook, Twitter and blogs. After two years of diligent self-promotion from her living room in Minnesota, she earned US$2 million. In January 2011, she sold US$417,152 worth of e-books just from the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites.
  • Photovoltaic power cells were invented in the U.S., but China is now the world’s largest producer, manufacturing more than 23 percent of the world’s supply. China is setting a green, sustainable-energy example for the world by planning to increase its use of solar power fivefold, to 20 gigawatts, by the year 2020.
  • Third-world nations’ growth and development in the 20th century was once measured in decades. Now, with the deployment of digital technologies, they are able to transform themselves in just months or years into productive members of the international commercial society.

Success is predicated on three converged objectives and the inherent transformation from the outdated to the new and more productive ways:

  • Change is the key factor in achieving personal and/or organizational goals. Without change there can be no progress.
  • Innovation is the vital ingredient in the ability to make effective and practical use of change. It is the great what if factor in decision-making and the reason to move forward and stay ahead of the chaotic and constantly changing times.
  • Sustainability is the manifestation of health and growth, but also diversity; it is made up in large part of change and innovation.

A long time ago, management guru Peter Drucker said: “Indeed the modern organization was expressly created to have results on the outside, that is, to make a difference in its society or its economy.”

The implicit — and explicit — expectation is that businesses should “do good” for others: The ultimate objective is to produce a wealth of new ideas, profound change, dynamic innovation, and sustainable opportunities. 

Leading this drive is the key mandate for us — today’s entrepreneurs.  And it has never been more important — no matter what business we are in.

A former senior executive at GE and other multi-nationals, Faisal is an internationally known entrepreneur and thought leader. He has written five management books, established a non-profit research think tank, The BTM Institute, and become a leading authority on the issue of effective interaction between business, process, and technology. His latest book, The Power of Convergence, was released in April 2011.

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