Latest news from the Dutch group Philips is that it has sold off its interests in the electronics market it helped to create. With consumers going online for music, films and games rather than buying CDs and DVDs, Philips have decided to get out of home entertainment, even though it was profitable last year, and has agreed to sell its audio and video business to Japan’s Funai Electric Co for 150 million Euros (£130 million).

Another huge brand that is not afraid to shake things up is Sony. Kazuo Hirai took over as CEO in April 2012 and has focused on creating more flexibility and agility. Hirai is reconfiguring the company to ‘… execute with a lot faster speed, which means faster decision-making, faster execution.‘ It’s all about being brave enough to take decisions and act quickly.

Our view:

These are great examples of looking to the future and not being afraid to change a business model or a company culture to keep aligned with the market.

Customer behaviour is now evolving at a rapid pace. We no longer have the luxury of lengthy deep analyses exploring potential solutions in minute detail or taking the time to produce numerous long winded business cases before making any decisions.

Keeping ahead of the game now requires much more intuitive action – and this is where we at Total are really helping our clients. In management speak – the approach can be called ‘test and learn’ – a rapidly paced series of well-qualified best guesses that can be tested in the market with low risk. Change may be risky but it is inevitable, so manage that risk with the right people supported by the right technology.