Companies that fail to change don't last long. Netflix killed the video store because the model and the market changed but brick-and-mortar retailers failed to adapt to an increasingly digital, MP3 loving audience. Newspapers? Failure to change (internet? What internet?) led to a spectacular flameout of an entire industry. But from the ashes of those who refused to change, opportunity rises.
What exactly does change mean? In business, it is the ability to easily respond to the question, "What's next?" and it is key to the evolution of a company, a market and hey, an entire species, for that matter.
To 'treps, change is easy and exciting, but to the rest of the mortal world it's unsettling. The human brain perceives change as a threat, which is why humans react the way they do when change is afoot. "Humans tend to shut down and go into survival mode when a threat is perceived," explains Scott Halford, a behavioral expert and president of Complete Intelligence LLC.
Survival mode does not an innovative business make. Survival mode may feel comfortable right now, but never settle. Be damn sure you can answer the question, "What's next?" Answer it every day.
Change allows leaders to innovate, create and deliver exceptional results and determines the degree of success a company will experience - especially in this economy.
So, what's next for your company?
9 tips to know what's next:
- Know your mission and core value proposition ñ be able to state it in two sentences or less
- Use pessimism to your advantage
- Listen more than you speak
- Always have a Plan B (sometimes it's better than Plan A)
- Open your eyes to possibilities, not limitations
- Remember that tactical goals lead to strategic advantages
- Look beyond market conditions
- Communicate your plans clearly and authentically
- Don't get lost in your financials; you'll lose your focus and could get sucked into the spreadsheet vortex