Running a business in the Eighties and Nineties was akin to playing a test match series, you had to be consistent and having an early lead made a difference. The teams had five days to cover up and recoup any mistakes; they had time on their side. Then came the era of one-day matches, time got reduced by a fifth and team had to become more competitive to be in the game. The teams had one day to make it happen. during the same time, In the business arena, Information technology automated tasks, spreadsheets came in, and real-time communication made speed the essence of survival. Companies, which adapted to this change survived and the others, are in the history book.

At the close of the twentieth century, time gained more ground, and the T-20 era came in, it is about performing at the peak, and every chance counts. Startups are using speed and nimbleness to chip away markets from big business houses.

Here are two key lessons that the corporate denizens can learn from the recently concluded world cup, in which West Indies took the crown.

Your competitors are waiting for only one chance to oust you

“The teams in a T20 world cup are so close to each other, if you’re not on top of your game, teams will punish you,” says South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, after being ejected out of the tournament. He further adds, “”If you make mistakes, it’s not like a series where you can come back into the series. We made one or two mistakes against England, and they punished us for it. Against West Indies, we made one or two mistakes as well.”

The South African team was in good shape and yet got ejected out owing to small mistakes, the current markets are equally brutal, small mistakes can cost the company it’s future. If you are in the company’s boardroom, leave no stone unturned, play every chance as if it is the only chance you have. Complacency and mediocrity is the road to burial, your competitors are watching every step you are taking, give them a wedge, and they will storm in your bastion and reduce you to ashes.

Goliaths be wary of David, for he may scalp you

Afghanistan’s cricket team has been in existence for few years and bore the stigma of persona non grata. We tend to study and strategize our plans keeping in mind the closest competitors, for they seem formidable. The times have changed, and competitors are springing from every nook and corner of the world, Airbnb started eight years ago is now giving hotels across the world, a run for the money, and is even valued at over three times the valuation of 100-year-old Marriott group. Even two- three year’s back, none of the hotels chains took them seriously, and they unassumingly chipped away their customers.

Moving beyond the qualifiers round, Afghanistan marched into the Super 10’s with a strong aura. They left a mark in each of their last three matches; cornering their opponents and delivering a mega punch in the face. West Indies & Zimbabwean team underestimated Afghanistan and maybe took their victory as granted; As they were napping, Afghanistan’s took their and Zimbabwe’s scalp in the tournament.

Being nimble and always prepared is the key to surviving the fourth industrial revolution. Life and markets are in no mood to give the corporate’s a second chance; give it your best shot on day one. You have the choice of either doing it or not doing it, once you are in the game, play to win.

Jappreet Sethi

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