Old ways and beliefs for people and organisations tend to stick, even when future success demands rapid change. Inertia and habits are not to be underestimated.
We’re hearing how people are now getting ‘Zoomed out’ with fatigue from video conferences. However, did they just switch to doing video meetings in place of all their normal face to face ones? Or did they pause and realise they don’t need some of those meetings after all? Or find that for some purposes, video is better anyway?
The same idea applies with markets and trade.
Current tensions between Australia and China are adding another layer of uncertainty on top of the pandemic for Australian businesses. When doors to your biggest trading partner threaten to close, the implications are profound.
Still, it’s worth remembering that success in China didn’t happen overnight. Astute Australian businesses had a ‘China strategy’ and invested for years to understand the market, build relationships and meet demand. It proved a successful approach and will continue to do so, even with the elevated political risk we’re seeing today.
As with many a, the new normal in that relationship remains to be seen.
Coincidentally, doing business with our near-neighbour Indonesia is about to get a whole lot easier, with the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) taking effect this July.
The strategic opportunity with Indonesia is big. It has a population of over 270m and tipped to become the fifth largest global economy in the next decade.
As one door threatens to close with China, Indonesia has thrown out the welcome mat. It’s timely for more Australian boards to have an ‘Indonesia strategy’.
It seems to me that one reason we all keep staring at a newly closed door, is that innovating is hard. It means deliberately choosing a period of risk and discomfort, when it would be so much easier if things just remained the way we were used to.