Position businesses for profitable growth

How to Navigate 2022 and Beyond: Anticipate. Adapt. Accelerate – Revisited

Sun Tzu once wrote, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” As the pandemic-disrupted business environment continues, we see opportunities which B2B leaders can capture to position their businesses for profitable growth.

During 2020, Blue Canyon developed a playbook for B2B leaders to follow to navigate the rapidly changing environment – Anticipate, Adapt, Accelerate[1], as described below:

  1. Anticipate what this changed, evolving environment will look like, in both the near term and longer term.
  2. Adapt your strategy to this environment.
  3. Accelerate your organization to drive success, quickly gain competitive advantage, and be positioned for profitable growth.

As we move towards 2022, there is more clarity on the structural shifts that have and are taking place and a firmer ground for running this playbook and adapting your strategy. When we first developed this playbook last year, changes were happening so quickly that simply trying to anticipate the future was paramount, and there were many possible paths to a future changed environment. At the same time, most B2B companies were busy navigating short-term challenges and fighting fires. Now with more clarity on the structural shifts and changing environment, adapting your strategy and accelerating its implementation is paramount, lest you fall behind competitors.

Anticipate. Adapt. Accelerate.

In December 2020, Blue Canyon identified a few major structural shifts to anticipate that were underway and/or were accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding these changes will help you identify new opportunities, address encroaching challenges and drive future growth. This paper demonstrates how to evaluate the likelihood of each structural shift persisting and determining which potential scenarios exist in the short-and long-term.

Obviously, structural shifts with high impact on your business model and that are likely to persist are the areas to focus on as you consider how to adapt your strategy. However, it will be important to consider shifts that would have a high impact and yet are not likely to persist, and those that are likely to persist but are expected to have a low impact. As you adapt your strategy, using the framework shown in this paper can guide how to assess and respond to the structural shifts you have anticipated.

If you have thought through Anticipate and Adapt, you have already reexamined assumptions and are ready to Accelerate; to quickly and effectively capitalize on the opportunity presented. By evaluating your company’s commercial approach using a set of key questions, you can reveal where your ability to accelerate may fall short and should be addressed to drive commercial excellence and maximize profitable growth.


Related Reading – B2B Pricing in a Changed Economic Environment


In closing…

The past 18 months have been very challenging for B2B companies. They have created significant disruption and dislocation in many markets and left many players in those markets disoriented. For a B2B executive, this is an opportunity to take the initiative and get ahead of competitors. With clarity, anticipating and adapting for the changing environment will set the guidelines for acceleration. Accelerating will ensure you put commercial excellence initiatives in place to go on the offensive and get your competitors on the run. Waiting patiently at this point will allow your competitors to get the jump on you, and you may never recover. Ending with another profound Sun Tzu quote, “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

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[1] COVID Economics: Anticipate. Adapt. Accelerate. Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. © 2021

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