Gone are the days where simply judging success based on how much profit an organization has amassed is enough. Organizations who have the greatest potential for long term success are judging their performance based on the impact of operations for all stakeholders, not just the shareholders. There is a movement afoot and it is being led by organizations who understand that a solid business can and should take into account all stakeholders when making decisions. Profit is still paramount, but profit and purpose can go hand in hand. Change is the one true constant in business – therefore it’s important to have processes in place to effectively manage it, so that an organization can sustain success. Without further delay, here are our top 3 reasons why change is important for organizations!
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” -Lao Tzu
1 – Experimentation Needs To Be Encouraged
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Truth is, too many organizations fall into this rut. They find themselves encouraging team members to not try anything new through policies, procedures or organizational culture. It is not the intention, but the same policies and procedures required to effectively and efficiently run organizations can often have the undesirable effect of limiting experimentation and continuous improvement. The global ecosystem is moving at an increasingly faster pace year over year. Being as good as you were last year or doings things the same way means you are literally falling behind. Experimentation is about continuous improvement. It is about challenging team members to look at different ways to do things or to look at challenges differently. It is not about encouraging failures. It is about accepting that growth comes through learning and learning often comes with making mistakes along the way. That process needs to be encouraged.
2 – If You Are Not, Someone Else Is
Successful organizations are not standing still. While it may sound like an extension of encouraging experimentation, this element is about understanding that everything is changing around us. While not innovating is the start of a downhill spiral, companies who are not moving forward tend to be much slower at reacting as well. This means that they take a hit once by not being pro-active and then again for being slower to react. If you look at your organization and feel that you are the group within your market segment that is not experimenting and is being reactive, all is not lost – but you are on the outside looking inwards at the organizations who are becoming the most successful. We refer to this as the cliff. The point at which it all comes to an end. The first thing to do is to start with being prepared for the unexpected so that you can take advantage of it when it happens. It is not “if” it will happen, it is “when” and you need to be prepared to capitalize.
3 – Changing Consumer Behaviour
If consumer needs are changing – it should come as no surprise that organizations should be changing at a similar pace. If we look back at large movements such as consumers becoming increasingly health conscious and aware as an example. Restaurants that have been around for 15+ years have almost all had to make significant changes. We went from a society who relished that full feeling at the table and “food comas” to wanting to grab a delicious meal and then have the desire to remain or continue being active. The meal became more of an element within an evening as opposed to the entire evening. As our desires as consumers changed, the supply side of the equation had to keep up or become less relevant. This cyclic nature of behaviour is forecast, speculated or reacted to in a timely manner within successful organizations.
Change is inevitable. Much like death and taxes, change is a constant in life! If as an organization you are not actively changing and anticipating changes, then you are becoming less relevant and should be concerned. If you see that happening, then you’re aware and something can be done about it. The biggest concern is always for those who do not innovate or keep up to the changing eco-system. For them, the cliff is inevitable and closer than they might care to know.