The current economic environment is one of fast paced change. The changes produce many opportunities and threats for United States businesses.

As time passes, new concepts and innovations emerge even faster. Many business leaders overlook the changes, how those changes might affect their organization and the need to adjust to new market conditions. However, this circumstance is unfortunate for businesses that desire to prosper in the new economy.

No enterprise can escape the tides of change. Factors such as economic shifts, environmental events, globalization and technological innovation exert their forces to reshape and mold the current business environment. Duly, top business executives watch and react to these trends with precision and agility, and business that fail to adapt eventually shutter.

The following 5 questions review a few of the thoughts that executives should continually revisit to assess their organization’s preparedness for the future.

Question 1: How Engaged Are Your Employees?

It’s important that executives do whatever it takes to hold on to top performing talent. Therefore, effective company heads keep a sharp eye out for team leaders. Smart business leaders work to promote satisfactory employee engagement. Executives apply this same principal to monitoring and nurturing internal successors for top-level, mission critical job posts.

Question 2: How Much Should You Expand?

Skilled executives keep tabs on the pulse of the marketplace by following the biggest players. Business leaders must also analyze whether current business values fulfill the needs of the enterprise target demographic. If not, the executives reshape and revise the organizational mission statement and objectives to fit with current market conditions. Sometimes, regaining a competitive edge requires that leaders completely change their enterprise business model and reinvent how the company stands out from the competition.

Question 3: How Important is Social Media to Us?

While resources and professional advice about how to use social media for business abound, enterprises are currently experiencing the early stages of the medium as a marketing channel. The social media audience jumped from 5- to 70-percent of the population between 2005 and 2018, according to the Pew Research Social Media Fact Sheet. Of importance to enterprises is that affluent adults use the Internet more than other consumers. Also, social media cues have influenced decisions of 70-percent of wealthy investors regarding their speculative choices and patronage of professional financial service providers.

Question 4: How Can We Continue Attracting the Best Talent?

The days of skilled workers entering employment and remaining with the same firm expired long ago. Even excessive turnover among entry-level employees cost companies dearly, because it takes knowledgeable and skilled professionals to train new hires. Therefore, astute business leaders have been making every effort to hold on to their most skilled employees for as long as possible.

Question 5: Should You Offer to Pay for Employee Education or Training?

Technology innovations arrive fast and hard in the modern marketplace. As a result, contemporary workers may find that their skill sets have grown obsolete in a relatively short period of time. Despite these circumstances, employees who desire upward mobility are willing to return to school as needed. They benefit with enhanced career advancement opportunities, and enterprises enjoy the outcomes of improved employee engagement.

Successful modern organizations build a culture supported by accountability in making strategic business decisions. Within these firms, top executives meet regularly to make sure that the overall corporate philosophy still makes sense in the current operating environment.

Business leaders also solicit feedback from middle management and front-line employees to gain a real understanding of how company initiatives are performing. In addition, executives connect with board members regularly to ensure that their long-term vision for the enterprise aligns with the realities of the marketplace.

Some business leaders who’ve enjoyed long-term professional success may neglect to keep tabs on current market developments. It’s unfortunate for these executives that coasting on former achievements isn’t a viable option for sustainable corporate prosperity. This kind of hubris can lead to the end of one’s career and the shuttering of entire enterprises.

The next decade and a half will present a whirlwind of corporate change. Struggling firms will trade places with industry leaders, the economic climate will undergo a radical transformation and the factors that dictate who wins and loses in the marketplace will experience a drastic shift. In the coming years, the future of business will be turbulent and uncertain.

To survive and prosper in this tempestuous environment, executives must learn to develop the habit of continually assessing the internal and external factors that determine business outcomes.

References:

Harvard Business Review - 8 Tough Questions to Ask About Your Company's Strategy

Maryville University - Going Back to School for Working Adults

Pew Research Center - Social Media Fact Sheet

Washington State University - Social Media in Finance: Opportunity or Danger?

Originally published: KHub

Author's Bio: 

Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of Fortune 500 companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on data collection and analysis.