Change. It’s a part of nature, allowing for life to evolve. In essence, change is responsible for our survival. Change is what allows us to adapt to new scenarios, overcome obstacles, and grow as individuals and as societies. And as companies. In the same way that nature forces us to change as a species, change is business is not only inevitable, it’s vital to the survival of the business.
Last week, I talked about the risks involved with company pillarization, a symptom of growth without change. The article discussed how a mature company runs the risk of doing what it’s always done, because that’s the way it’s always done it. Think about those businesses who refused to embrace the Internet because they believed it was a passing fad and would never take off.
This week’s topic is specifically about the concept of change in business, and we’re starting with a favorite source, Vusi Thembekwayo.
“Change is nothing new.”
Change in business is a direct result of the changes happening in the world. Society changes depending on the development of technology.
“Technology is any time you are able to introduce a new variable to the same set of circumstances and create an exponential different result.”
The direct result from society’s technological development is change: change of needs, change of circumstances. And, as society’s needs change, businesses have to change along with it in order to keep up. Building a business to weather the future requires that business to understand the changes being made in the world around it – technological and social. This is especially important for larger and more mature businesses who have ‘settled into’ a way of life.
What Thembekwayo is suggesting – and indeed saying outright – is that change is disruptive, but it isn’t anything we haven’t faced before. The difference being, of course, that the more humanity advances our knowledge, the faster changes are forced upon us. Take social media, for example, businesses strive to stay ahead of the growing technology – marketing departments are told that they ‘should really look into that new platform that’s coming out’. Apparently, it’s no longer good enough to just be on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram – oh and Twitter, but that’s been ‘dying’ for a while now, according the experts.
A business isn’t an individual, who can take up Snapchat or Hyper (set to ‘explode’ in 2016 according to Forbes) on a whim and in the blink of an eye. The very nature of a business is that it makes choices a lot slower than a single person, no matter how motivated and enthusiastic the individuals powering that company. Change in business, like change in technology, is never perfect and often faces resistance.
And yet, change is inevitable because humanity is changing rapidly.