From time to time, your business will require something that is more than a minor adjustment or a slight course adjustment. You may require a full-scale rebuild, or a major investment in technology or talent, or a new strategy and, of course, the whole mess of uncertainty and the discomfort and fear that comes with it.
Business as usual is never forever.
Nokia started out in rubber boots. IBM was lost for a while, in business-as-usual low margin PCs, printers and other hardware before they cut it all (the status quo) loose and reinvented themselves as providers of IT expertise and computer services to companies. Berkshire Hathaway started out as a textile company, and was so until 1985 when the Oracle of Omaha shut it down. Shell Oil started out as an antique store in the east end of London in 1830s; Marcus Samuel imported decorative shells from the Far East. Later, his sons expanded the import and export business, sending ships filled with goods to the Far East in exchange for silks, rice and other goods. In 1892, the Samuels built the first oil tanker and the rest is history.
Thanks to Google, I could find examples of companies who innovated and lived to see another day all day long. And I could find just as many examples of companies that buried their heads in the sand and convinced themselves they could hang on.
Everything is changing, faster than fast. Only those who are looking ahead and becoming more – not the same for less – will have any relevance in the not too distant future.
What you do today isn’t going to be enough tomorrow. You have to constantly find new ways to bring value to your audience and remain relevant. If all you do is sell stuff – goods or services – then it’s already over for you, and your sales and bottom line are likely screaming it in your face.
There is no saving it, only changing it.
“We used to do this, and it worked brilliantly for as long as we can remember” will look really appropriate carved into a tombstone.
Innovate. Be more, be different, be daring, be relevant, be generous, be worth it.
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