Over time, the success gap within market segments and other socioeconomic groups has continued to grow. Three familiar examples of the phenomenon are as followed:
-Wealth Gap: The unequal distribution of assets between population groups.
-Skills Gap: Difference in skills required by evolving socioeconomic trends, versus those of existing labor pools.
-Knowledge Gap: Market and other population segments keeping up with advances in technology; training; communication; and business process, versus those that don’t.
Though there is a correlation between all three, the focus of this post pertains to The Knowledge Gap. Specifically, the gap between organizations with resources to invest in evolving technologies; business process; human resource development; access to large libraries of information maintained on the internet, versus everyone else. Today’s competitive markets are more heavily dependent on the best and latest information available for making the best decisions quickly. Consider the competitive advantage that companies keeping pace with evolving trends have:
-Productivity Enhancement: Information sharing and data management; conversion of data into intelligent information; research and analytics; office automation; teamwork; task/project management; HR development; time and schedule management.
-Communication: Beyond land-line connection, mobile phones and texting; voice over internet protocols (VOIP) and video chats/conferencing make it possible to communicate with anyone, anywhere, any time. The ability to conduct business with staff and other stakeholders is no longer bound by location or timing.
-Collaboration: Online/real time “team” applications for collectively organizing, reviewing, tracking, documenting, managing and completing mission critical initiatives (think of a key project involving different parts of the organization, with tight scheduling and resource constraints).
-Business processes: The means for linking today’s technology advances with skilled manpower in pursuit of strategic and tactical objectives (work flows, procedures, resource management, market analysis, sales prospecting, authority delegation, HR development, risk management, supply chain, etc.).
During the past few decades many of the above advantages have been limited to those with balance sheets healthy enough for investing in high priced consultants and complex technology platforms. Today’s cloud computing capabilities, productivity enhancing software and internet libraries of best practice processes in the hands of the right skilled professionals provides the opportunity for smaller organizations to pursue their own path to success, with nominal front-end investment. The benefit of adopting what others have prospered from is obvious. Smaller businesses have an opportunity to ask themselves an important question of “what is our real potential?”, with knowledge that getting there may not be as difficult as it once was. Less clear is the impact of change on organizational dynamics and culture. The one constant in all of this is that change is relentless, and adaptation is essential. Eventually it all comes down to how badly individual businesses want to stay a contender in the game.
Ron Albright – VProA Founder and CEO