Change is difficult, frightening, and often fraught with risk. Regardless, no matter what our job titles are, our employers need us to embrace the role of change agent. When thinking about your company and a possible role in your company to activate change, consider that organizations fall into one of three “change” camps:

  • The Ostriches – This group says there isn’t enough time (or money, or attention, etc.) to innovate. Ostrich organizations have their heads buried deep in the sand and are too busy tackling the challenges of today to consider the opportunities of tomorrow.

  • The Seemores – This group is waiting. Waiting to see more from standards bodies as they complete their deliberations and make technical pronouncements.  Waiting to see more of which vendor will take a leadership position so their selection moves from risky to safe. This group is the analysis paralysis group – they may wait forever.
  • The Innovators – This group knows change is coming and chooses to take advantage of it. Innovators accept the inevitability of change. In fact, they seek change and are committed to thriving (not merely surviving) in a changed world. They transform in order to outperform.

Perhaps your company falls into one of the first two camps.  If so, consider the viewpoint that change isn’t even required.

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” -W. Edwards Deming

Or…

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” – General Eric Shinseki

If your company falls into the third camp, the Innovators, hang on tight for a quick ride in your race for survival. Your company realizes that change may be more evolutionary than revolutionary, but is nonetheless taking steps necessary to move to the next level.

Regardless of whether you work for a Seemore or an Innovator, the path forward will always be guided by considering the three major focus areas in all successful companies:

  • In what ways can you help create profitable new revenue streams?
  • How can you defer or avoid capital or operating expenditures by using existing resources more efficiently?
  • How might you improve customer experiences to reduce churn?

It isn’t that Ostriches and Seemores lack value. The problem is that the value they provide has a diminishing shelf-life. Companies that fail to keep up with the pace of change lose their ability to survive.  The pivot point to thriving in competitive industries (and these days which ones aren’t?) is to innovate!

Good luck!

The Times They Are a Changin’
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