Last week, I was sitting in the Gartner Sales and Marketing Conference. If you’ve never attended, it’s one you need to put on your future agenda. Even if you aren’t a Challenger fan, it is probably one of the best learning experiences I can recommend.
One of the panelists, Myke Hawkins of Kelly Services, made a statement that struck me, “We don’t have the luxury of not transforming what we do….”
Suddenly I realized how unusual Myke’s perspective is. Too often, the executives I encounter (sales, marketing, and senior execs) are:
- Fat, dumb, happy, with what’s currently going on. Typically, they think, “If it ain’t broke……”
- Perhaps they want to grow, but their mantra is, “More!” They simply believe the route to success is to do more of what they are already doing–regardless of whether is is working as well as it should be working.
- Perhaps they are so busy managing current problems/challenges, they fail to recognize how things are changing around them.
Yet every day, we are confronted with change. Our customers are changing faster than our ability to respond. Our competition is constantly changing. Unanticipated competition/disruption occurs in our industry or our customers. Global economic and regulatory changes impact everyone (The number of organizations struggling with dealing with tariffs is overwhelming. One executive of a multi-billion company, told me, “If we can’t figure this out, we may go out of business….”
Consider for a moment, after years of a very robust global economy, the majority of economists are predicting a fairly significant down-turn in the coming 3-5 years. Yet most executives I speak with are doing nothing to address this, they are reveling in the current success, doing little to prepare for the downturn they agree will happen. The time to change is when things are going well, yet too often, we wait until we are fighting for survival.
At personal levels, we see similar things, people lacking curiosity, people who aren’t continuously learning and developing.
We cannot turn a blind eye to the things that are happening around us. Ignoring the rapid changes, increase in complexity, uncertainty, risk is a sure recipe for failure. Changes in the fundamentals of many industries are being forced on us, we cannot ignore them.
“We do not have the luxury of not transforming!”
Whether organizationally or individually, we cannot ignore what is happening all around us–at least if we intend to be part of what’s going on in business, our communities, and the world.
We have to constantly be re-examining our customers and markets. What’s forcing them to change? Where/how do the struggle with these changes? Where/how do we help them recognize and address these?
We need to constantly be re-examining what we do within our own companies/organizations. How do we need to change to continue to be aligned with our customers and their changes? What new opportunities do we have? How do we intend to create value? How do we create value with our customers through their buying process? What skills, talent, processes, programs, tools, systems, structures, metrics, strategies do we need to support enable us to grow and change?
Individually, we need to look at the skills, capabilities, experiences we need to be competitive in the future–both to remain employed and to be valued within our companies and customers.
We need to constantly be re-inventing and transforming ourselves, our organizations, and helping our customers with their transformations.
Doing nothing is not an option! Transformation is not a luxury.
Afterword: While there is a lot of talk about Digital Transformation, recognize Digital Transformation is just one aspect of what we need to look at in our Transformation Journey.