The directories group Yell announced last week a 12% drop in revenues. While it is working very hard to grow its digital business, paper-based products still account for 70% of Group revenues. This company is a classic case of not responding fast enough to technological changes and the ensuing customer reaction to such change. No prizes for guessing that the shares trade at an immense discount to its Net Asset Value.
Business history is littered with such companies that fail to respond quickly enough to changes and history has an annoying habit of repeating itself. It is crucial that organisations have an effective strategic planning process that, amongst many other things, facilitates timely response to market and technological changes. The Board has a critical role to play in establishing and leading the strategic process and their involvement is crucial to success.