CSFs.pngYesterday’s Scenarios hopefully provided valuable insight into the challenges ahead for companies and individuals. They also suggest some Critical Success Factors for achieving a successful transition to the New Normal, as set out in the chart above:

1. Flexibility. This involves adapting to new circumstances and being willing to compromise rather than battling for an impossible nirvana.
2. Change management. The next 20 years will likely see rapid and unpredictable change in the business environment in contrast to the remarkable stability of recent decades.
3. Scenario Planning. Companies need to adapt their planning processes to cope with the greater uncertainty that will come from operating in a more ‘events-driven’ world.
4. Real needs. Over the past 20 years, Westerners have often confused ‘wants’ with ‘needs’. In the New Normal, mere ‘wants’ are unlikely to be reliable market drivers for the future.
5. Action orientation. Uncertainty can breed a loss of energy, and so companies will need to encourage their employees to experiment creatively if they are to move forward.

The positive news is that most Boomers are likely to lead active and healthy lives well into their 60s and 70s. So the opportunities to capture their interest and their business are very large indeed. We will highlight some valuable case studies to help with this process in Chapter 7.

Companies focusing on the emerging economies face similar challenges, as we will discuss in Chapter 6 next month. Their core market will also consist of a currently underserved demographic, those just moving out of poverty and able to afford a bar of soap, or a bra and pair of panties, for the first time.

But the Beatles provide a reliable guide, if we are prepared to listen to their message from ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’. The megatrends such as an ageing population and the need for improved food production provide the key to future success.

The blog will be happy to provide any support or advice that may be helpful to readers as they develop their Action Plans.

International eChem/ICIS are also running three training courses in Houston, Singapore and London during Q4, to help with detailed implementation issues. Please click here for further details.