The burning platform

burning platform

The burning platform

A good chunk of our clients are reviewing their business models, recognising that things will never be the same. Why is this? Firstly, this recession is a long stretch – time enough for new behaviours to emerge amongst consumers. Combine this with the speed of technology and one wonders how things could ever revert to the norm.

I was reading an article by a firm of accountants Grant Thornton which covered research findings in the UK and Ireland on how 30% of the companies surveyed were reviewing their business models, using the recession’s “burning platform” for impetus. These forward-looking – or should we rather say “now” companies – are reviewing the core objectives that they pursue and the ways in which they operate. We’re seeing changes to core products, target markets and revenue generating models.

But let’s stop talking niceties such as “forward-thinking” or “innovative”. Let’s rather talk about “now” businesses and “ahead of the curve”. I get restless when people talk about “doing business smarter”. Indeed, get smarter but add faster and bolder to “smarter” and you’ve got my attention.


  • Learn everything about your clients. I’m not talking about whether they play golf or enjoy bird-watching, I’m talking about what is really important to them.
  • Stand for something. Be very clear on your value proposition and make sure that you’re different.
  • Interact with your clients as if they were your partners. Listen to them. Create new products and markets with them. Be them.
  • If you get the above right, you’ll find that you’re able to sell more products to your clients. In fact, you’ll probably be making some changes to your business model once you gain a new understanding of your clients.

Whatever you do, don’t hold your breath for things to get back to the way they were. It’s not going to happen. Burn on!

Gary Hendrickse
CEO Sherpa

Sherpa Brand & Design Agency
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