Advice to Global Executives: Don’t Fall In Love With A Model

I don’t  recommend falling in love with a supermodel, male or female.   Sounds great, but I can only imagine the kinds if problems you might have.

imagesTo begin with, they may not be right for you.

I don’t recommend  falling in love with a business model either, especially if it is a global business model.  There’s no such thing as the perfect model that will work in every country or every division.  And there’s no guarantee that the business model you started with is the best one to stick with.

Be flexible in implementing your business model and be prepared to change it.   Recognize that the business model that worked in Bakersfield may not work in Bangkok or Berlin.  In some locations, your business model will have to be totally scrapped because there is a better way.

I’ve seen organizations come close to killing a successful business in order to stick with a business model worldwide that just didn’t fit.

Yimages-1ears ago, Coca-Cola couldn’t enter the Japanese retail market because of high hurdles created by the Japanese beverage manufacturers. Coca-Cola’s solution was to collaborate with steel companies and sell their products in vending machines.  That worked for them.  And that’s one reason you see vending machines everywhere.

What if Coca-Cola had spent their time just sticking with their traditional  business model  and focused only on getting on supermarket and liquor store shelves?  It would have taken them forever and they would certainly have been relegated to a second class position.

If you are trying to make a business model work, you are wasting a lot of time and putting your effort in the wrong place.  Instead, re-think how to serve the customer. If the model doesn’t work, be ready to change it. And change it. And change it.

What’s more important? The model or the business?


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