In a New Year message to members of the
Institute of Directors (IoD) in Cambridgeshire, IoD Eastern Branch
chairman Stephanie Smye predicts that the pace of change in the
business world will keep growing.
“Predicting the business environment,
even in the short-term, is extremely difficult,” said Miss Smye.
"The combination of economic forces, market movement, political
initiatives and technological advances are like the forces which drive
the weather - each may be understandable but their combined effect is
"Even when trends are easily
identified, they can be disrupted by individual events. Something as
innocuous as a discarded piece of infected meat may have triggered the
foot and mouth epidemic, with its devastating effect on agriculture
and tourism and its impact on businesses such as road haulage. Yet
this paled into insignificance beside the appalling events of
September 11, with the consequences for the global economy and
industries such as air travel and global tourism.
“Hopefully events in 2002 will not
prove so dramatic. However, the year will undoubtedly hold many twists
and turns, particularly in the light of the current situation in the
Middle East and the US’s apparent determination to take further
action against states fostering terrorism.
“One thing is certain: the pace of
change in the business environment will not let up. As well as the
threats and the challenges this presents, it also means opportunity.
“There are businesses being formed
today and long-established businesses being transformed, which will be
collecting the accolades - and forming the case studies - of tomorrow.
“They have a number of things in common
- an alertness to trends and opportunities, the ability to read
changes in the market and the ability to move quickly and surely in
introducing change. There can be little doubt that only the fleet of
foot with business agility will survive.”