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Kay Plantes is an MIT-trained economist, business strategy consultant, columnist and author. Business model innovation, strategic leadership and smart economic policies are her professional passions. A former Madison, WI resident, Kay now resides in San Diego, CA. The views on her blog are not those of her employer, IBM.

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December 22nd, 2009

Business Model Lens into 2010

Top Business Trends for 2010

Top Business Trends for 2010

Best wishes for a joyous holiday. Here are the top trends I expect will shape our business models in 2010 and beyond and what leaders must do to address them.

  1. Downward pressure on prices in a copycat, increasingly global economy will magnify and become relentless. Before you spend more money pulling costs our of your existing business model, redefine your business model.
  2. The digital revolution will disrupt more industries, removing barriers to entry and the advantages of scale. Identify how to turn information technology into an advantage before existing and new competitors use it against you. Are there new channel opportunities? Can you reinvent your value chain? Change how you work with customers?
  3. Customers will trust less, being skeptical of all value promise claims. Offer transparent proof of your claims and make sure your value-promise is more than emotional.
  4. Talent, especially young talent, will flock to businesses that are producing social benefit, not just profits. Identify how you can deploy company competencies or change your value-chain to make positive community and environmental differences.
  5. The government business model remains broken. Business leaders need to stop hiring-out government relations and bring business’ considerable problem solving and re-engineering skills into government. Make it an encore career or send some of your best people on sabbatical to drive needed change. Pulling costs out of government, while continuing government’s essential roles will bring dollars back to your bottom line.
  6. The power of aligned networks will grow. Businesses collaborating with other businesses (including non-profits) to create wealth and higher-value solutions will win. Identify the larger competitions that your business could be part of and join with others to win those competitions.
  7. The future will look foggier as past success no longer guarantees future success. Expect more ambiguity and uncertainty. Volatility and uncertainty are increasing exponentially. The old rules will no longer cut it. So strengthen your learning muscles. Read broadly. Listen to people you disagree with. Stretch your thinking. Identify and eliminate hidden paradigms. Step back more often from your business to see the larger system of which your business is a part. Systems thinkers will be highly valuable in the years ahead.
  8. The baby boom’s aging will once again reshape industries. This large demographic group will demand new packaging solutions, new approaches to health care, new living arrangements, new financial products, new work arrangements and new experiences. Identify ways your organization can take advantage of the baby boom’s aging. And make sure you know why Generation X and Y will want to fill the shoes the baby boom leaves empty in your organization.
  9. More will be demanded from all. Be sure to say thank you daily to those who are helping you build and evolve a winning business model.
  10. What will increasingly separate fast growing from slow growing companies is not industry or nation, but business model. Identify key external changes you can capture to redefine your business model and ride these forces into a terrific start of the new decade.


For insight on business model innovation, read my recently released book, Beyond Price.

2 comments to Business Model Lens into 2010

  • Great list of predictions Kay, it will be interesting to see what pans out in the new year. The downward price spiral is a bit disconcerting, however.
    .-= Fred H Schlegel´s last blog ..Planning for Serendipity – Taking Flight =-.

  • As a student of economics, I find these to be fascinating times. As a business owner and adviser I worry deeply about the hyper-competitive nature of our global economy. I remember learning in systems dynamics class that sometimes when things seem most our of control is when they are about to return to a period of more stability. Let’s hope so! Happy Holidays Fred. Great getting to know you this year.

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