Businesses should consider multiple strategies and adopt the “Fail Fast” principle to ensure investments are not wasted, warned Nathan Bell, Telstra Global Director of Marketing, Portfolio and Pricing, at CommunicAsia.
Describing Asia as the “engine room of the global economy”, Bell spoke of the growing possibilities the region is producing for new markets and subsequently, new growth for businesses. He advised companies not to make the mistake of investing entirely in only one or two markets, as the unpredictability of certain countries could mean strategies fail due to internal challenges outside an organisation’s control.
“The only constant is change and therefore it is very difficult to predict what a particular market is going to do,” Bell told the conference. “Trends are ever-changing so if companies put all of their eggs into one basket then they are in jeopardy of falling behind, or even falling to pieces.”
The key to success in Asia, commented Bell, is to move forward with multiple growth strategies concurrently and to leverage technology by adopting an easy-out solution.
“When a strategy involves systems and communication platforms, investments are often needed which do not see a return for some years,” explained Bell.
“This can cause a challenge for businesses who then need to assess how they can mitigate risks to see a successful outcome overall. The ‘Fail Fast’ principle puts the management team in the driver’s seat, giving them the levers to shut down initiatives quickly if they are not working, with fewer losses.”
Businesses need to accept that failure can and will happen, added Bell, but by using a more effective approach they can easily move forward onto another strategy before the situation gets out of control.
Telstra Global recently released its thought leadership report, Connecting Countries, which was the result of a survey answered by 4,100 global executives in Asia. The study showed that overall, one in five have been very successful at meeting their financial and strategic objectives in the region, with the most successful also acknowledging that looking at multiple countries and markets was critical to their ongoing success.
“It’s not about a business entirely restructuring the way it operates, it all boils down to being flexible and making sure multiple strategies are considered and prioritized effectively,” concluded Bell.
“Adopting the right principles can provide the reassurance that the investment risk is significantly reduced and that opportunities in other areas become profitable.”