Friday, July 10, 2009

The Social Renaissance of Business

By CandidAdvisor's Bill Frech, @bill_frech

upheavals occurring in the arts and humanities were mirrored by a dynamic period of change in the sciences. Some have seen this flurry of activity as a "scientific revolution", heralding the beginning of the modern age. Others have seen it merely as an acceleration of a continuous process stretching from the ancient world to the present day." Renaissance of the 14th–17th centuries, Shapin, Steven. The Scientific Revolution, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996

Forbes' recently highlighted that the recession may negatively impact the quality of goods and services and will result in reduced consumer access to companies.

Adweek cites; “New research from Interpublic Group's Initiative concludes that the recession is having a far greater impact on consumer spending habits than previous downturns, and that some behavior patterns, as well as brand perceptions, will be permanently changed.”

Forrester Research views this recession as a “…gateway or portal connecting two very different eras.

“When the economic clouds clear, many prevailing elites will have been swept away, organizational structures will have fallen, and many who were formerly in control will have lost power. Those who can speak digital will thrive, and those who cannot will finally get the message and retire.”

Saying that the business world will radically change - that old-line companies will be gone and new socially aware companies will survive to take their place is grossly overstating what may happen.This will not be an overnight change where the "old" ways disappear and the "new" world exists.

There are two primary reasons;

* One, the "old" companies are still powerful from an infrastructure, capital, and customer base perspective. Some of them are willing to change to the "new" world, e.g., Comcast, and some will resist change.

* Second, and probably more significant is that there is a huge group of baby-boomers who are still a force in the marketplace. The baby-boomers represent a group with a significant amount of capital to spend, and many may be uncomfortable with the change needed to work in the "new" world.

I do agree that the way companies conduct business is changing and will continue to change and evolve; potentially this recession is an inflection point for that change.

However, I think this will be a more gradual transition as new technologies and new ways of doing business are tested and companies experiment with different tools and techniques.

Like any other seed change; we don't know what will be on the other side of the change. There will be many people and companies trying different approaches to achieve the winning solution, but only a few will succeed and yes some of the old line companies will disappear…eventually.

I welcome a dialogue. Leave your comments and let's discuss this.


The CounterIntuitive CEO, George F Colony’s Blog, June 23, 2009 The Gateway Recession: What CEOs Will Face Next
Forbes Investopedia, The Impact Of Recession On Businesses by Marc Davis
Adweek, June 22, 2009 Survey: Recession Impact Permanent by Steve McCellan

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