Imagine that it’s the year 2000 and you’re the CEO of one of the world’s largest chains of its kind. You have thousands of stores and billions in revenue.
Throughout the year, a small, specialty startup comes to you and asks them to buy them out for $50 million USD. Not once, but multiple times.
But you turn them down. You’re good doing things the way you’ve always done them – after all, who can argue with billions, right?
Then something happens. That small little upstart company begins stealing some of your market-share. They’ve gone from doing business through the mail to online. And your customers have begun to take notice.
You can still afford to ignore them though.
Fast forward to 2004 and you are now the undisputed world leader with 9000 stores, 60,000 employees, and $5.5 billion in annual revenues.
Only now, that pesky little company you refused to buy generated $506 million with 2.61 million subscribers. And they have an 80% online market-share.
Now you are in catch-up mode and you try to enter the online market. But it’s too late…
Within 9 years the last of your stores will close and you’ll owe creditors $1.2 billion.
Oh, and that company you passed over? They had revenues of $4.19 billion just in the fourth quarter alone of 2018.
The sad truth is far too many companies are like the first one – they refuse to change until it’s too late. And when they do, they bungle their change management.
I’ll tell you more about these two companies in a bit. First, let me ask you this.
Is your company threatened by:
• crisis – either internally or due to some outside force
• a performance gap – perhaps your earnings haven’t met expectations
• new technology – maybe your processes and methods are outdated
• internal pressure – your employees demand change or upper management has a ‘brilliant’ new strategy
• external pressure – changes in regulations, customer tastes, or even your competition
• mergers – your company is combining with another company
• acquisitions – you were bought out, or you bought another company
• a new CEO – who wants to make changes to have something to show the board
• the latest trends – everyone else seems to be doing it
• focusing on new products or services – your current product line isn’t very profitable any more?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then you need to get ahead of the changes now and manage them (or risk going the way of the Dodo bird).
Change can either kill you or make you stronger. You get to choose.
Are you creating a winning strategy to drive change? Have you done the following?
- Clearly identifying the need for change. When your company is struggling do you double down, digging in to the way things have always been in the past? Or do you look for ways you need to innovate? When you innovate you build a strong, viable company.
- Developing a vision for the change. What do you hope to accomplish through the change? What will your company look like after the course correction? Without an idea of where you are going you will go nowhere. Vision, as they say, is the first step toward creation. It’s like deciding where you want to end up after a long road trip.
- Creating a sound strategy. What steps do you need to take and in what order? Mapping out the process will make it go smoother. Not having a map is like hopping into your car and taking off on a cross-country trip without any directions of how to get to your destination.
- Following your plan. Now is not the time to cut corners -as tempting as it may be. Perhaps your employees aren’t adapting as well as you had hoped, or maybe another key component isn’t coming together like it needs to. If you try to save time or money by skipping steps, you could very well sabotage your whole effort. When you deviate from your plan you change course – turning to cut through the woods while hoping that you’ll shave time off of your journey.
- Focusing on your people. Who will be responsible for carrying out what changes? How will you get them to buy-in – what benefits will they get from the changes?
- Address barriers to change. Employees may worry that they’ll lose their job, or that they will need to be re-trained.
- Set up milestones. Measure your progress and celebrate each victory as a company. Let everyone know how their efforts have paid off in making your company more profitable, or better at what you do.
Change is always a challenge.
Just ask those who’ve been devastated by company closures. How many employees? How much investor money?
When faced with change you have three options. You can
• do nothing – and hope that everything gets magically better on its own
• do it alone – don’t forget all of those moving pieces and how good your internal communication is (hint: it’s never as simple as you think it is)
• do it with the right team – that knows how to lead the change and overcome the pitfalls along the way.
Successful change requires the RIGHT team with a strong leadership.
Knowing that the right team and change management tools can support a successful change, are you willing to look at things in a new light, open to the changes that are happening in your market?
We can help you transition with minimal disruption to your operations. Who knows? You may even become the next success story that everyone wants to copy.
Are you ready to develop your right team and stronger leadership?
Click here to know more about the Crestcom Leadership Skills Development Program and how it can benefit your managers and leaders.
Listen to what Rueben Collins of General Dynamics had to say.
“Our senior and middle management teams have noted a marked increase in effectiveness due to participants learning new ideas and concepts and having best practices reinforced.”
“Not only have I seen direct improvements in individuals’ performances due to your training, but many of these same individuals have displayed stronger leadership which has permeated our organization as a whole.” Jason Bodford, President, EPES Carriers.
By the way, that first company that I told you about, the one who was the top company in the world in their niche was Blockbuster Video. And the company they rejected – Netflix.
Blockbuster stuck to their way of doing business, even as Netflix moved from a mail-based service to take advantage of new technologies.