The late, great Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige is known for the quote, “Don’t look back; something might be gaining on you.” Noted futurist Brian Solis shares that belief, especially as it pertains to businesses and their need to look forward, not back.
That is especially the case here in the post-pandemic world, according to Solis, who maintains that businesses should not be yearning for a return to the old normal but rather must adapt to the changed behaviors of consumers in what he calls the “novel economy” — as in the novel coronavirus.
“There’s no need to try to look to the past to see what we did when (instead) you have an opportunity to explore what you could do differently or what you should have been doing differently,” said Solis, who holds the title of global innovation evangelist at cloud computing giant Salesforce.com.
Solis shared his thoughts on the impact of disruptive technology and surviving and thriving in changing times in the July episode of the 21st Century Business Forum, a monthly webcast that features one-on-one interviews with some of the nation’s most prominent business minds and thought leaders. The Business Forum is sponsored by B1Business and Suddenlink Business.
Solis told the podcast’s host, author Jon Gordon, that businesses need to pay attention to how people are changing, especially in reaction to a pandemic that caused them to become “digital first as a matter of necessity” in how they work, learn and shop.
Prior to the pandemic, businesses might have said they were consumer-centric, Solis said, “but that may have been more of a mindset.” “Now you literally have to design the business around the consumer because they are not going to back to ‘normal’; they’re only going to continue to evolve,” he said.
Businesses need to recognize this change so that they can create better experiences and build better relationships with consumers, according to Solis. And doing so will require businesses to embrace a spirit of innovation.
The catch, Solis observed, is that most businesses “will find every reason not to do something,” unlike innovators, who shift from idea to action. Nonetheless, Solis maintains that spirits of innovation and creativity “are within us – they just need to be flexed.” They also need to be practiced, he said, “and that is where culture comes in, and leadership.”
“This is a time for innovation, not just in business models but in mindsets, and how we work together and want to work together going forward,” Solis told Gordon.
It will be critical for businesses to satisfy the needs of a changed consumer because of the next disruption on the horizon, which “is going to be choice,” Solis said.
He cited a study by the McKinsey & Co. consulting firm that showed 75% of North American consumers tried a competitive brand during the pandemic and 83% are going to stick with that brand post-pandemic.
Solis said smart executives and competitors are going “to try to pull those customers away from you because they can.” He said the rapid solution “is to try to figure out why they left and why they’re staying away from you,” then adapt accordingly.
The Business Forum continues in August when Patrick Lencioni, a bestselling author, organizational health expert and the creator of Six Types of Working Genius, tackles the topic Building A Healthy Culture. It airs August 11, 2021, at 11 a.m.
As part of Cameron LNG’s ongoing support of the SWLA Alliance Foundation, the company recently presented a check for $12,000 on March 9, 2022. These monies include their Chamber SWLA membership dues, sponsorships, and a $5000 donation to the Alliance’s Foundation. Their donation will help address the critical issues facing our region: business recruitment, and business retention and expansion.
“2021 was another year of challenges for our region. At the Chamber and the Alliance Foundation we were kept on task due to the steady leadership from last year’s Chair, Jim Giffin. While we were unable to show our appreciation to Mr. Giffin at our Annual Banquet due to quarantine precautions, we were happy that we got this chance to property thank Mr. Giffin for his service to the Chamber SWLA Board and the Southwest Louisiana business community as a whole,” said Chamber SWLA / SWLA Economic Development Alliance President and CEO George Swift.
“Ruralbusinesses play a key role in Louisiana’s ongoing economic growth and diversification,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “Our commitment to rural revitalization remains a priority, and our partnership with the Edward Lowe Foundation is one of the many ways we leverage available resources. Today, the state can spur rural economic growth by providing ruralentrepreneurs with state-of-the-art tools and more of the critical resources they need to be successful.”