You’ll probably be able to see this post as our boat docks at an Albanian port. Some years ago, no one would have thought you could take a tourist trip to this Adriatic nation — it had one of the most reclusive Communist governments in the world (think of North Korea today). Now the place has opened up and accepts western tourists and their money.
Albania’s social, economic and historical development probably won’t have much meaning for your business, of course, but there is a lesson to learn here — sometimes there are seismic changes in the way countries, organizations and individuals think. Jarring experiences, historical events, and other forces can turn things on their head, creating both risks and marketing opportunities.
Can you prepare for these changes? I suppose in the large sense, you can build contingency plans into your life (and marketing plans) but the problem is that, outside of platitudes and some common sense general coping strategies, anything specific you plan risks being overtaken by events.
The best solution, probably, is to develop enough diversity and depth in your perspectives. Sure, insights from Albania might not have direct or immediate relevance to your day-to-day operations, but you may find clues in adapting to the environment and understanding where things can change in ways you least expect.