Are You Stuck in the Past?
Today’s leaders cannot afford to look in the rear view mirror for answers because the pace of change in any business is faster than anything we have ever experienced. There is no room to try to address today’s, or tomorrow’s issues and opportunities with yesterday’s thinking. Don’t get me wrong, history can be useful and powerful for many things, but history needs to be a springboard to the future, not a reason to live in the past. Owners and CEO’s that defend the “that’s the way we have always done it” mindset will surrender to change rather than take control of their destiny.
Our goal with clients is to challenge a “rear view mirror” cultural mindset by using past and present learning to create the future vision. We challenge current people, process and plans, and use that knowledge as a steppingstone to develop robust strategies and breakout organizations. As you prepare for your journey to change the cultural mindset of your organization, consider challenging these four critical areas.
Challenge your business model – Just because you have a business model (built over years and years), does not mean it’s the right one that will take you into the future. Analyze your current business model to understand what sets your organization apart from competitors and allows you to win in the market. If there are weaknesses in your competitive armor or advantages are at risk of becoming obsolete, it’s likely time to rethink your business model.
Challenge your people – Great leaders do not compromise on talent. If you settle for anything less than the best skilled people that can take the organization to the next level, shame on you. Leaders deserve the teams they create, so make it a priority to build the right team with the right skills and knowledge that can lead your business into the future.
Challenge your culture – Most cultures are not created by design, but rather by default. Understanding the existing culture is the first step. Then be proactive in creating the healthy and vibrant culture you will need to energize the organization over the long term.
Challenge your products or services – Yesterday’s achievements might not be tomorrow’s successes. This is probably one of the toughest challenges any owner/CEO faces—letting go of products and services that will not be a part of the future. Accept the fact that some of your favorite products or services are, or will become, obsolete and begin a systematic process of transforming your business to address new emerging customer needs.
Owners and CEOs that retain our services recognize that change is needed to survive and thrive in this fast pace business climate. The rate of change is outpacing anyone’s ability to keep up. Smart leaders stay ahead of change by challenging the status quo and making changes before it is too late. Let us know how you have been successful in challenging your business, and if you have any further thoughts or experiences you’d like to share with us, please let us know.