How well do you adapt to changes in the market, your company or your work situation? This week’s podcast is with Michael Urlocker, the founder of The Disruption Group. Michael has a very interesting career story. He started his career as an engineer and then, following his talents, passions and instincts, he wrote about business and technology for the Ottawa Citizen and the Financial Post. His next career move was off to be a technology analyst in Investment Banking. At The Disruption Group, he works with organizations around the globe helping them to position their products and services to identify gaps and thrive in “The Market.” In our conversation, he shares how he deals with changes in the market both for his client’s benefit and for his own career – he practices what he preaches. The market is a lot like Judo. When I was a kid, my Dad decided that it would be a good idea to take up Judo with him. He thought it would be great for self-defence as well as keeping in shape. What I remember was our blue Chevy Nova, The Bee Gees in the 8-track and the starchy feeling of the white suit against my body. I also remember the windows fogging up at the school and lots of words that sounded foreign to my ear as they were shouted. This was my introduction to the world of martial arts. I graduated from yellow to orange belt – a true white Bruce Lee in the making. Somewhere after getting my orange belt, I lost focus. Going to Judo did two things in my life, and yes, I will connect the dots soon. One, I really bonded with my Dad and two, I learned about utilizing the power of an opponent’s force for my advantage. This was no Mike “bite the ear off your opponent”. It was using their strength and power to your advantage. Some people see danger and some see opportunity. Change is constant. Some companies and individuals are flexible and continually find new gaps and opportunities. Think Honda vs. GM. Think Warren Buffet vs. Bear Stearns. Think Winners vs. Eaton’s. Think RIM vs. Nokia. Think Apple vs Sony. Think YouTube vs. ABC. Think Google vs. Yellow Pages. Think Hybrid vs. Hummer. Think Outplacement vs. Recruitment. The leaders of innovative companies adapt and thrive in change. Michael has created a set of questions to help companies evaluate the market. These questions can help you. As our friends at Apple say, “Think Different.” Is the market unknown and unmeasured? Are your customers ignored by the mainstream? Do competitors think your product is a ‘toy’? Are customers overjoyed by your product? Is your product simple and easy to make? Is performance improving to meet market needs? Is the business model different from incumbents? Can the budget accommodate early market failures? We could chat for a very long time about the current changes in the economy. You will often hear, “It is an employer’s market” or “it is a candidate’s market.” You may say, “Show me the money.” There is still a 13 Trillion dollar economy in North America. It is just shifting to those who use these Judo principles. My experience is that there can be trends, however, like Judo, you can use the market to your advantage or you can let the market determine your future. You choose. Looking to take more control over your career and your life? Get started today towards a better future. Book an initial consultation with me. Choosing along the road with you! Alan P.S. Looking for a unique present for the holiday season? Give the gift of coaching to a loved one. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.877.256.2569 for that special gift.