In difficult times growth is hard to achieve and it is necessary to change not only the way you think but the way you behave – it’s time to try something new. How else will you discover the growth potential of your business without taking a different approach?
As Henry Ford is alleged to have once said “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.”
I often meet people who are looking to improve their business performance but refuse to the change their approach or simply don’t realise that they have to change their thinking.
How many businesses do you know, that are run by hamster wheel calendars, that risk producing cyclical trading years, the same old same old – its July again what did we do last July? Such an internal focus limits a company’s ability to notice market changes, consider alternatives and adapt.
In some market sectors you “can’t just continue to do today’s job using yesterday’s methods and still hope to be in business tomorrow” (Peter Schofield).
If you want to change the end result, you need to change the way you do things.
15 years ago I was a member of a board wrestling with the potential impact of the “world-wide-web” on our business. We could see the cost saving opportunities but were very concerned about the risk to our established business model and our customer reaction to any web based changes.
We decided not only to embrace the external changes but to be courageous and lead them in our sector,in order to secure the future of our business – today the company continues to thrive, lead and generate profits.
It involved tough decisions on many of the things that the business had been built on, and affected our people,product and process. Sites were closed; markets exited; budgets moved away from traditional print to the new digital; knowledge and skill gaps had to be filled often via new recruits; and there were the inevitable redundancies. It was an unsettling time for everyone, especially as the only known other than the cost, was what we could lose. It was a time when the traditional thinking of the old world met the new; and the hamster wheel experience in the business increasingly counted for less and less.
As a Manager of a business no matter how big or small, you have a responsibility to learn, change and adapt to secure the future of your business through continued growth and profitability.
You can read articles and blogs; you can attend seminars and conferences BUT there comes a time when you have to walk the talk and make the change. That’s when you need to consider your position in terms of other priorities, physical resource, knowledge gaps, skill gaps and the potential need to utilise the experience and expertise of someone who can help you ride the wave.