Groundhog Day: What's the Forecast for your Business?

Blog by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Company
Feb 2, 2011 11:00 AM ET

Taiga Company Blog by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Compa…

Happy Groundhog Day!  If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, it'll be six more weeks of winter or bad weather and he climbs back in his hole. If the day is cloudy and he doesn't see his shadow, he figures spring is coming and stays above ground. Not very scientific, but it certainly is a lot of fun.

But how much fun is it to predict future business activity on a similar, outdated method - specifically, using traditional business models for business growth?  We've all heard it before, "If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you always got."  In other words, you can't solve the problem with the same thinking that created it.  Such is the case with climate change, carbon, water, and other pressing world concerns.    What approach is going to deliver different results?  How does a business outperform the stock market in good times and insulate itself from fallout during the bad times?   A study from the University Of Southern California Marshall School Of Business says innovation is the key.   In addition, according to the post, 5 Ways to Grow Revenue with Green Innovation, states, "top executives now say that innovation is their top growth priority and addressing sustainability issues are critical to their success. In large sample size surveys conducted this year, 84 percent of executives told McKinsey that innovation is extremely or very important to their companies’ current growth strategy, 93 percent of CEOs told Accenture that sustainability issues will be critical to their future success and 95 percent of those CEO’s said sustainability considerations should be fully integrated into their strategy and operations."   Sounds great, but where do sources of innovation come from?  For starters, an open innovation approach to business sustainability offers stakeholders the opportunity to become engaged in the future of a business.  Recognizing that key stakeholders have a vested interest in the success of the company creates openness to new ideas that promote business success and innovative ideas.  Employees are oftentimes viewed as internal stakeholders contributing to innovation within a business but what about your customers?   The post, Great Customers Inspire Great Innovations, sites "The most important link in the innovation value chain is an innovative customer. That is, a customer ready, willing, and able to adopt, adapt — and maybe even pay for — an innovative offering. Just as you don't have a performance without an audience, you can't have innovation without customers."  Furthermore, “The essential question is who are the customers that come with the problem sets and parameters that push you to rethink, or redefine, your business? Which customers and clients does your firm celebrate as innovation partners — and why?"   Innovation, internal and external to a business can be generated by harnessing a business sustainability framework.   Consider the following sustainable business strategies as a precursor to innovation in business: click here to continue reading.  

Home to one third of the earth's trees, the Taiga is the largest land-based biosphere and encircles the globe. Its immense oxygen production literally changes the atmosphere and refreshes the planet. It is this continuous renewal that has shaped Taiga Company's vision to drive similar change in the business world. Taiga Company seeks to be the "oxygen for your business".