Your industry can be like 50 years ago. If change comes slowly, then your future seems secure. But you’re worried anyway.
Looking at the world, you see the whole sector in turmoil. New technologies have made the company ‘Netflixed’, completely destroyed by the sudden speed of external innovations.
How do you assure your organization that this will not happen?
The thing is, you can’t stop these outside forces. Somewhere in the invisible light people are testing fresh ideas, experimenting. They intend to overturn and relocate any product or service you offer. Recently, COVID has shown how small the earth is and how vulnerable we are in the Caribbean. Your business is unsafe, and barriers to competition are falling faster than ever before.
In the face of greater risk, how do you respond? Some are fatalistic, believing that you can’t stop the hurricane, epidemic, or technology from shattering your best plans. However, if your organization intends to do more than just put your head in the sand, here are some steps to follow.
If you’re guessing the small beginnings of a disruptive technology, congratulations! You are halfway there. If you can’t find one, start searching the commercial press.
Also, tune in to what young employees see and say. They may be closer to you than you might expect. Why? They will be the ones to deal with it. In fact, if they notice a break, expect them to test your leadership team. They would ask: Do these directors have any clues? When they conclude the worst, they will leave.
Use these instructions to capture your organization’s future scenarios. Quit at least 20 years and see what happens when different opportunities arise. Probably a factor as to why they’re doing so poorly. Then go back to this year to determine what your short-term actions should be.
But sometimes this will not work.
I’ve seen groups realize, “The company has no future.” Like the old photography film industry, they realize that the tides are changing for the better and that they need an escape plan. Working harder would increase their dependence, as in the case of Kodak. Today, its rival is growing on completely new Fuji business lines while Kodak is gone.
The right time
Another lesson from Fuji versus Kodak is that the latter invested in bad bets.
Some believe that Kodak did not anticipate the advent of digital photography, but a closer look at the record shows otherwise. They were one of the first to predict that technology would replace their most profitable film business.
However, the response to the threat was incorrect. They invested in digital kiosks around the world, mostly in shopping malls. Their belief? Customers wanted to do the printing in the right place.
They were correct, but they lost the growth of desktop computing. Customers switched to managing their photos at home using computers and printers built by HP, Compaq, and Apple.
Unfortunately, Kodak’s timing was wrong. Their strategy failed.
The best solution to this problem? Bring lots of team members to work on your plans. This task is very difficult to hand over to a single person, even if you are the founder and a certified genius of the company.
Even if you get the perfect plan for the next interruption, it’s easy to be swallowed up by today’s emergencies. Not surprisingly, your organization isn’t designed to take on unfamiliar ways of doing things.
For example, the day after retirement, the easiest thing anyone can do is go back to what they did before. After all, their calendars look the same, emails aren’t gone, and the same meetings are scheduled.
As a result, internal processes do not change. Projects are not launched. Strategic initiatives never come out of retirement.
It takes tremendous energy to achieve this transformation, and the people of the Caribbean will not change unless they know why they need to do it. In other words, saying something different will not work.
Instead, business leaders should win hearts and minds. Employees need to be encouraged to see the reasons why change is essential and urgent. But this is not a temporary task: it requires constant reinforcement and performance management.
In short, the real evil is not innovative technology, but the effective response of your company. Delay these three actions and you’ll probably be left behind, you’ll never get them.
The good news is that these steps are under your control and will prepare you to introduce a new technology that threatens to make your business ‘Netflix’ forgotten.
– Francis Wade is a management consultant and author Perfect productivity based on time. To receive a summary or feedback on links to past columns, please email: [email protected]