We all know it. We all hear it. Leadership loves to talk about change. Employees love to ignore it. Talk is very cheap. If we are honest however, we all know it is true. Change is inevitable. The real question is what we will do about it. Will we lead it or will we be a victim?
The biggest challenge is knowing the right time to change. Often, by the time we realize we need to change, the moment has passed us by. The worst possible scenario is that others’ realize it before us and beat us to the punch. Rather than being strategic, we are impulsive and reactionary. Our perceived competitor builds a website that does X and we have to do it to. Why? Maybe they have just wasted a ton of money. Mimicking others is not a strategy.
Are you inspired by technology or overwhelmed? Are you keeping up with technology or are you getting left behind? Have you seen what a three-year-old can do with an iPhone? Does that intimidate you? This is all very disruptive. You know it and your customers know it. The difference could be that our customers are embracing it.
As a company, is someone else about to displace you in the marketplace? Are you staying up with the pace of change with technology or are you about to get left behind? Do you have strategies, systems, processes, and protocols in place that will recognize that this is disruption? We need to assess opportunity, and we will need to facilitate the testing of Ideas. Is this your job? How much time and resources that you control are you devoting to it quarterly?
These are very serious questions. They need to be answered now. From the point of view of your mission, is this a case of only the strongest surviving? What will happen if the pace of change is so fast that your customers adapt and change before you can? This is the reality we all need to face. We all know the role that technology plays in our personal lives. Do our digital properties at work match up to our personal experiences?
- This might be a time for humility. Is the economy really our problem? If your company did well before the downturn of 2009 during bad economic times, why didn’t they do well during the downturn turn of 2009?
- All companies are facing disruption. Have you been displaced in the marketplace and simply don’t know it yet? There are companies who are thriving and growing.
- Over 40% of the companies that were at the top of the Fortune 500, in 2000 were no longer there in 2010. Who are some of the top companies today that weren’t on the list 10 or 20 years ago?
- I talked with a company leader recently that illustrates this perfectly I think. They probably aren’t on anybody’s list of top companies. They are a $5 billion dollar international company. They have a laser focus on the digital world. Their marketing is absolutely unified. Why doesn’t anyone know about them as a leader in their sector?
- So as a company, you have established a presence on Facebook and Twitter. And so? Is the customer experience and relationship any better than it was before? Perhaps so or perhaps not. Do you know?
- It is not about the technology. It is all about loyalty, engagement and an amazing experience. By those measures, how are you doing today compared to last year?
This may be about survival. It could take more than a presence in new channels to improve the overall experience and relationship with those who can support us the best. It may take more courage than you think. It will certainly take more persistence to break through the resistance. In the end, it could be about how you work with your leaders and we’re back to you about how you personally lead.
Are you leading a movement towards empowered and customer – centric culture? Are you setting in motion real business transformation?
You have a special path you can follow. You can set in motion the change that opens the door to an improved experience both inside and outside your company. You can lead the change you need your company to experience!