The Upside of Uncertainty

So we definitely have change.   What’s in short supply is certainty – and the decisiveness that’s needed for action.  Marketers and strategists need to ask themselves a hard question:  am I waiting for change to happen to me?  Or am I proactively working to identify the opportunities that come with change?

Just look at health insurance.  Companies in this sector face wide-scale change and gigantic uncertainties.  Will current legislation be repealed?  Will reform go into effect in 2012?  Will the workplace remain a key distribution channel?   For some payers and service providers, these uncertainties have caused paralysis.  For others, they’ve spurred action.

Walgreens’ decision to start selling health insurance to customers this fall is a good case-in-point.  On August 9, CNN, The Chicago Tribune and other news outlets announced that the nation’s largest drugstore chain “will start selling health insurance products with different price ranges and coverage levels from coast to coast.”

If these rumors are true, the Walgreens story demonstrates an important lesson: it’s not change that stifles action but, rather, our fear of uncertainty. Change rewrites the rules of an industry.  Some companies take a wait-and-see approach.  Others jump in and reshape the rules in their favor.  Walgreens appears to be taking the latter path.

How about your organization?  Are you waiting for change to happen to you?  Or do you see uncertainty as an opportunity – to rewrite rules and rethink the status quo?


To reach Meg:
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