When your business is going well, it is not easy to consider that it might change or might not be like that in the future.
A recent news article reporting on the proposed merger between Fiat and Renault. The reason given for the proposed merger was a recognition that alone, one company would not have the resources to fend off Silicon Valleys development of the next generation of electric and smart vehicles. They identified a significant risk to the traditional car manufacturing model.
This got me thinking! Why do businesses in traditional industries often struggle to embrace new concepts and ideas early enough to maintain their position? I remember the days of British motorcycles when there was resistance to the benefits of the new Japanese lighter more powerful machine and we all know where that ended. I remember sentiments such as “this is how we do this”, or “that will never take on…” being spoken.
Changing when everything is working well and not currently broken is not an easy idea to adopt, particularly if your business is not looking ahead at trends and market changes. New “start ups” don’t have the baggage of established businesses. They do have vision, energy and the passion to realise their idea.
Of course, this is a generalisation and forward thinking leaders open to change, will recognise and plan for it ahead of the curve.
It’s easy to say “be open minded”, but if it was that easy, everyone would be, wouldn’t they?
I took a look across my TAB members at the various strategies they employ to spot what’s coming up.
Here are 7 ideas you can use to stay open-minded:
1. Working groups – set up working groups with a specific agenda for new ideas and client feedback relating to product and service wish lists, improvements, and what if’s
2. Intelligence gathering process that collects knowledge from every contact point of the business. Task everyone to bring three pieces of news to the company every month from…
3. Have a dedicated process to evaluate any ideas for development.
4. Open up to supplier approaches.
a. Have a policy to listen to suppliers for 5 minutes before rejecting the call.
b. Remove the gate-keepers policy that prevents learning from outside the organisation.
5. Be open to ideas from external sources such as:
– Business Coaches and Mentors
– TAB Peer Advisory Boards
6. Develop a company culture of looking outward and being curious
7. Market analysis – learn from industry / consumer trends and incubation stage concepts. You might interested to read how to approach new markets in 2020.
The above represents a few ideas and I am sure if you set about workshopping this concept, you would come up with many other initiatives. For every person in a business, you have a brain, so why not make maximum use of each brain and put it to work on your future.
History is littered with businesses that have failed to respond to new ideas, but you don’t have to be one of them. Sometimes we have to be brave and challenge the status quo to embrace change.