When shift happens

when shift happens

When shift happens

And boy, is shift happening!

Sort of reminds me of that song by The Troggs… I feel it in my fingers… I feel it in my toes… when shift is all around us…

We’re all waiting for the economy to recover but I’m wondering whether we’ll just learn some fundamentals like being less greedy or whether we’ll actually shift our thinking? Whether we can feel shift taking place?

Some people can.

Like the client who is busy franchising his business in the hospitality industry amongst all this shift going down. Are they crazy or have they seen beyond 2010? Then there’s that bunch whose sales are down 28% but profits are up. What shifted there? What about the client opening a new college when it’s a struggle to collect fees? What did they spot? Or another who has gone out and spent a zillion on new machinery – mad as a hatter? Or the other crowd – merging 4 brands and shooting for brand leadership. And opening a dedicated division called Innovations to make sure that when the shift flies, they catch it first. Now that’s really looking for shift!

In product development, you realise quickly that it is less about navel-gazing and suddenly jumping up with tomorrow’s big bang theory. It is all about being aware of all the shift flying around you. Shifts in economic and political circumstances. Shifts in what’s important to people. Converging technologies. Shifts in demographics and geographics. In times like this, you need to be scanning all the shifts going down and find your new place in a world full of shift. Sooner or later, all these factors swimming in your head somehow converge and tomorrow is born.

It doesn’t really matter what size business you are, you can take advantage of these times. There’s so much happening out there – thanks to the shift in the economy – which is signalling a need for shift to happen. You didn’t have to find new markets, new users or new uses for your product 2 years ago. You just traipsed down the same old cow path. Problem with a cow path is that it is full of you know what. And your brand – so you thought – was your logo. Let’s be frank – words like Client Service, Brand, Product Development and Sales Effectiveness were interesting discussion points. That was pre-shift. Knee-deep it into the shift now and you will find your tomorrow.

And that, folks, is good shift!

Gary Hendrickse
CEO Sherpa
August 2009

Sherpa Brand & Design Agency
admin@sherpa.co.za