Choosing a Different Path
Business & Leadership Behaviors Project Management Thoughts Random Thoughts

Change – A Competitive Advantage

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change” – Albert Einstein

It’s human nature to resist change.  But if we never change, at some point, everything we do will become irrelevant.  It isn’t always hard – but getting there isn’t always easy, much less something we want to do.

Some of my favorite examples surrounding the need for change involve sports.

I had the privilege of watching our St. Louis Rams win Super Bowl XXXIV back in 2000 – exhibiting the “Greatest Show on Turf.”  While their 2000 strategy got them to their next Super Bowl in 2002, the New England Patriots had a defensive plan that limited the Rams’ effectiveness – and it gave Tom Brady his first Super Bowl ring.

Another example is the entry of Tiger Woods into the world of the PGA.  He brought an entirely new approach of preparation and athleticism to the game that put him on top for many years.  Over time, his approach was slowly adapted – and even improved upon by others which ultimately leveled the playing field and changed the game.

In both cases, we see that a new change only succeeds until the competition learns to adapt and surpass (failure is a great motivator, after all).  If this weren’t the case, we might only be driving Ford cars, using IBM mainframes (if you don’t know what a mainframe is, ask your Dad), and popping popcorn on the stove.  To be competitive and survive, we have to evolve!

We’ve been doing some evolving of our own lately in our marketing approach and our sales/delivery model with mobilePLUS.  Both adaptations led to a complete departure from where we were when our company entered the market in 1998.  It has been challenging, exciting, and definitely beneficial.

We started as a software reseller and system integrator for supply chain and asset solutions.  Our outbound marketing, sales, and delivery models were very heavily consumed by travel and personal one-off type of events.  It always involved considerable time, travel, and expense.

Today, we’re digital-based with webpages, outbound publishing, and virtual meetings for our marketing efforts.  Additionally, our sales, implementation, and go-live experience is 100% remotely delivered – and with similar success as our previous onsite-based approach.

One of our biggest challenges is establishing that personal connection.  It has been the foundation of our success and lengthy relationships with our customers (some for over 20 years).

The introduction and broad acceptance of video communications (Zoom, Teams, etc.) coupled with an investment in fresh skills to establish personal connections have been critical in this transition.

As I consider changes for my team, I ask myself these questions:

  • If we were starting out new in business today, how would that look?
  • What is happening in our market/customers world that is different?
  • Is our execution model still in sync with our goals?

Answering these three questions will surely lead to other questions and investigations that will outline if any change is needed and how that should look.  Once you get engaged in this exercise, it can be very stimulating in its creation and execution.

While 2020 brought MANY challenges, it was also a time to reflect, learn and grow – making 2021 that much brighter.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” – Socrates