Where are the Neanderthals?
Please note that this article was written 7/27/2015 and like many things, it is a snapshot of the prevalent theories at the time.
It is believed that homo neanderthalensis moved into Europe about 200,000 years ago, where they adapted by growing shorter and stockier, which is more efficient to hold body heat in the cold climate, as well as developed hunting methods that fit their climes. Fast forward to 45,000 years ago when the climate was drastically changing; the advancing ice age was not only pushing homo neanderthalensis further south, but rendering their tools and hunting methods more and more obsolete by pushing them into wide open plains. All of a sudden the Neanderthals found themselves not only poorly adapted for their environment, but now having to battle for resources with a new competitor that possessed some significant competitive advantages. Homo sapiens were physically much better suited for the plains by being more agile, quicker moving, and having tools and hunting methods, which gave them advantages in the open.
There is much debate on what ended the Neanderthals, was it pathogens; was it war with homo sapiens; was it starvation, or a combination of all three, no matter what, history shows us that an inability to adapt will usually only have one end result. My undergraduate business school at East Central University in Oklahoma adopted the mantra Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. Business, much like life, means that we have to be willing to adapt to our environment, recognize and emphasize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. This takes a constant consciousness of the forest while navigating our everyday trees.
The transactional statement processing industry has seen our share of shifts. We continue to enhance eStatement presentment and payments, while new printing technologies allow physical statements to truly emerge as marketing materials. This while additional communication channels such as HTML response emails, SMS, various social media outlets and even augmented reality allow end users to truly choose their preferred interaction with the companies that they do business with.
Shifts such as these present opportunities for companies that are willing to improvise, adapt and overcome, but eventual extinction for those that are unable or unwilling to. History favors the adaptable. Which one will you be?