The Key to Growth

The key to growth is rarely found in finding the “right” answer. Answers change because the environment changes. Charles Darwin is famous for his theory of Survival of the Fittest. What is interesting is his definition of “fittest.” It is not the biggest, fastest, strongest or smartest…. it is the most adaptable. It turns out that the species that survive are the ones who are flexible. The key to growth is adapting strategies as the competition, consumer preferences, interest rates, etc change. Flexibility requires that you know where you are and what is or isn’t working.

My experience has shown me that the only constant in business is change. Therefore, a good idea 3 years ago could be a bad idea today. And a great idea today could be a bad idea tomorrow. Look no further than how you could have made millions between 1996 and 2000 by waking up every morning and buying every “dotcom” listed on the stock market. Like all ideas, that was a great idea until it wasn’t. What caused it to go from a great idea to a bad idea was a change in the environment.

Albert Einstein gave his students at Princeton the exact same final exam questions for 20 years. After a couple of years, his students figured this out and so did his fellow professors. One of his peers asked him why he kept giving the exact same questions to his students? Albert’s reply: “Because the answers are always changing.”

So today I am going to ask you to reflect on the following questions:

  • Where are you sticking to answers which were the right answers in a different environment?
  • Which part of your company needs to adapt to the realities of today’s environment?
  • What employees or advisors were wonderful 5 years ago, but are simply not up to the job today?
  • Which strategies got you here but will not make the difference today?
  • What practices are now obsolete or irrelevant?
  • What question do you need to ask to rekindle the growth and profitability of your business?
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