"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Harold R. McAlindon (also attributed to Emerson and others)
We know and accept that today's business world is highly competitive. We believe we need New Thinking for New Times in people, leadership, business and society. Why? We believe we are facing a future Blackswan world with more volatility, greater uncertainty, increased complexity and unbelievable ambiguity. We believe the speed of change will exponentially increase, and we cannot solve our current or future problems with the same level of thinking that created them in the first place. However the challenge we often have is knowing and doing for the majority is a step too far.
Short term thinking without planning is killing modern business. Yes, we need to be adaptable, but adaptable and flexible in a controlled fashion are very, very different to knee-jerk decision making. The way to survive is to reshape to the needs of a rapidly changing world. Resistance to change is a dead-end street, for you and your organization. Customers are not only demanding excellent service, they are also demanding more. If you do not supply it, your competitors will. Organizations are reshaping themselves to change quickly in order to meet the needs of their customers.
The culture of business is becoming more controlling and less creative. The organization's top leaders know they cannot throw money at every problem and that they need highly committed and flexible people. As a leader, you need to emphasize action to make the change as quickly and smoothly as possible - 'Innovate or die'. This mantra has been repeated so many times - by the media, governments, business leaders, business professors, consultants and management gurus, that people have come to assume it is actually true. A light bulb overhead may signal a bright idea in cartoons and comic books, but in today's business world companies can't sit around waiting for creative bolts of inspiration. Long-lasting success requires a process of innovation that is predictable and consistent. However innovation is not an isolated programme of activities. It must be part of the fabric of the organisation and interwoven into each and every activity. Modern economies are being continuously challenged by changes in the global economic landscape.
Generations of knowledge and the application of that knowledge leads to the rapid development of products, processes and services. The speed of these developments is being driven by more discerning customers and the increase in global markets. Economies can no longer compete on wage levels, innovation is the key driver for competitiveness for today's global market.
Innovation in business takes eight main forms:
Leaders who embrace innovation and create a climate where innovation can flourish
People who are encouraged and allowed to innovate
Product - new or improved goods or services
Process - improved production or delivery
Business Model - a more effective way of structuring the business
Organisational - business practices, workplace and external relations
Marketing - product or service design, packaging, promotion and pricing
Mindset- a mindset that understands and enables innovation
However one of the fundamental problems with any new programme or right angle turn is that change is not always welcomed. In fact, when you need to change most organisations can sometimes find they have gone past the point at which they can make the required change. We know that around 70% of change management projects fail to achieve the results sought. But in these tough times adaptability is crucial to survival.It seems that if companies want change to happen in their organization one of the worst things they can do is call the projects they plan 'change management'.
In times of prosperity, not achieving all change can be tolerated. The problem now though, is that as the economy enters further turbulence, 2016 will once again see change management take centre stage. Worse still, rescue and realignment projects will not be about tweaking business processes but about massive restructuring. Change may be the key to a company's very survival, prompt action can save the day, but now everyone has to see the need for change and sign up to it.