Like most industries in the new global economy, the forest products industry is in a constant state of ever-hastening change. The shifting nature of the business and industry environment is constant and evolves over time. What ultimately matters is how we respond to the change going on around us, and how we adapt for success in the future.
A 2002 Harvard Business Review article titled “The Consolidation Curve” describes how businesses evolve over time, which helps to visualize the process of industry maturation. In short, there are four stages to the evolution of an industry: 1) Opening, 2) Scaling, 3) Focusing, 4) Balancing/Alliance. The authors note that, “Today, we predict, an industry will take on average 25 years to progress through all four stages; in the past it took somewhat longer, and in the future we expect it to be even quicker. But, our research suggests, every company in every industry will go through these four stages—or disappear. Thus, an understanding of where in the cycle an industry is should be the cornerstone of a company’s long-term strategic plan.”