“We’re waiting for things to return to normal.” How many times in the past few months have we heard this? But what if the situation we are in is now the new “normal?” Many organizations are holding back, sitting on the sidelines, if you will, waiting for economic conditions to stabilize, to become more in control. What if the control limits have greatly expanded? Perhaps, now, we are “in control,” based on the new parameters?
Listening to Wall Street analysts the other day on CNBC, several were referring to historical data on where they thought the market was heading, it was almost as if they were ignoring the events of the past 10 months. A friend of mine sold some stock we both had bought because a friend of his, who is heavy into the technicals, told him he should sell. The stock is up 15% since then.
The purpose of this is not to bash stock analysts or technicians, but to point out that using traditional methods and techniques without modifying them for the current situation may not be appropriate in today’s environment. When a significant event, a Black Swan, like the financial meltdown in October of 2008 occurs, the rules of the game change. To continue to apply old rules to a new situation will result in staggered growth at best. It’s not just in the market where this is happening, it’s all around us. Take IT organizations and Virtualization for example.
Virtualization is a transformative technology. Not only does it allow for an IT organization to cut hardware costs, but it allows for a dramatic change in the way IT does business. But this does not happen on its own. The IT organization must recognize the opportunity and change accordingly. Too often, IT organizations deploy virtualization technology, continue to apply the old rules of server management, and then wonder why things don’t seem to be improving. The rules of the game changed; they don’t get the full benefits because they’re still playing under the old rules.
Customers and markets, that were once thought to behave very rationally, have shown quite a bit of irrational behavior over the past year. Whether this behavior continues remains to be seen, but one thing is fairly certain, the economic landscape has changed significantly – e.g. the Government owns two auto companies.
So, are you waiting for things to return to ‘normal?’ Or are you adapting to the new environment and positioning yourself and your organization for success? What events have caused the rules of your game to change? Have you adapted?
Let me know your thoughts.