Taking the leap: Recognising opportunities and managing change
02 September 2021
Businesses have always had to adapt rapidly to the changing world in which we operate.
It’s those businesses that are best willing to embrace this change that survive and thrive.
Whether it’s the countless restaurants that have had to pivot to takeout services during the pandemic, or the switching of suppliers due to Brexit restrictions, or even taking your business online at any point over the last 20 years or so.
They’ve all required a leap of faith. A commitment to change. A determination and willingness to adopt new ways of working.
It’s all well and good adapting behind the curve and following in the footsteps of your competitors, but wider opportunities lie in true innovation.
Apply the standard product lifecycle to change in business is a great way to illustrate this point.
Your early adopters are those innovators. They’re always on the cutting edge, looking to expose new ways of working and delivering something truly different.
Then you have your early adopters. You could put businesses like Apple and Tesla in this category. They identify the opportunities and trends in the market and make those early innovations more readily available.
As you move into maturity, these businesses are those that you’d find in the usual places, doing the same thing as the majority of businesses. They stick to tried and tested methods for their products and service.
Finally, you have the laggards. Those tech-dinosaurs for example who either unwilling to change their processes or can’t. These companies eventually get left behind as their models no longer service their target audience.
The point is that you want to be ahead of that curve. By being on the front foot, you can ride the wave of innovation.
How to take the leap
We’re strong advocates of continuous improvement techniques. The best way to change is to change little but change often.
Innovation doesn’t mean ripping everything up and starting again. It’s about making small, incremental changes that can have a mighty impact on your business.
For example, before you launch a brand-new e-commerce website, why not test the demand for your products on a marketplace?
This doesn’t apply to all changes; you may need to invest in new technologies or skills if you’re looking to diversify your offering, for example. But the principle of continuous improvement is still true.
Implement a plan, do, check review cycle to constantly inspect the changes that you’ve made and whether they’ve had the expected or desired outcomes.
The cost of doing nothing
Those late to adopt change will feel the cost of doing nothing. There’s plenty of stories of businesses that haven’t adapted and have, unfortunately, not survived because of their reluctance to change.
I’d recommend reading Michael’s blog ‘The High Cost of Doing Nothing’ to understand exactly why change is important to all businesses.
There are opportunities for us all to adapt and innovate how we deliver our products and services, but the key challenge is ensuring that our businesses are ready and willing to adapt to these changes.
Without the right culture and values, your organisation could easily be left behind in an increasingly innovative world.
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