Coffee Hour with Beat

Navigating Change:
Strategies for Adapting Your Business in a Shifting Economy

I am now 4 decades in the business world, and if somebody would ask me what has CHANGED in those 40 years and what has not, I would say, the only thing that has not CHANGED is that things are constantly changing. Here are a few of my observations of key changes over those 40 years.

My first business trip from Switzerland to the US was 35 years ago. There were no smartphones or internet, and it would be a week before you would have any idea what was going on back in the home office or with your family and friends. Today we are all fully connected 24/7 around the globe. When I wake up, I may have a full report of APG’s activities in Malaysia, or Australia, and questions from the Swiss offices will already be piling up in e-mails. And we quickly get on a video conference with people on every continent. It truly is a fully connected world.

Growing up it was common for somebody in Switzerland to finish school, find a job at one of the large Swiss Banks, and stay until retirement, often for over 4 decades in the same office building.  You were encouraged to find a job, where the possibility was high that the employer would be the same for your entire life. Most of the Banks which gave you that prospect in the 1970’s and 80’s do not exist anymore.

As Co-Vice Chairman of VOXX International (where APG is one of the largest shareholders) I have been amazed to see the changes in the consumer electronics world over the last 6 decades. I am reminded of those changes with the company display of products they have been involved in over the past decades in its boardroom in New York. There is a car phone (VOXX was the world market leader 3 decades ago), walkie talkies, and many other products which do not exist anymore.

Well, to be in business means to deal with changes. I think you need to constantly take calculated risks or small risks, and some bigger ones, like me moving 3 decades ago from Switzerland to the US.

You often need to abandon plans, change, and start all over. I do not personally know Mark Zukerberg, but I agree with him that the biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that is changing so rapidly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff you are not moving fast enough.

When people ask me, why is the US is so successful with innovations, my answer is quick: we do have a culture where you can try, fail and try again. In many cultures people do not take the risk to start a business because of fear of failure. In some countries if your business fails, it is a big stigma. Not in the US. You can have second, third and even fourth chances.

“Tomorrow Starts Today” is a slogan AdventHealth uses, and I like it. Start your business today, and contact us at The 5th Floor (  to see how we can assist you on moving your business forward.


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Investment into sitEX Properties Holding AG, a publicly traded Swiss real estate development company with activities in Northwest Switzerland, Central Florida and Texas. Largest shareholder. Top performing publicly traded company in Switzerland with a 10-yr IRR of 19.4%.