Nothing new with this statement, we all know that we need to embrace change. What I think is reinforcing this thought for me though, is that sometimes the change can sneak up on you. Especially when you believe you are trying to plan ahead and be proactive – when you are on top of your business and what is happening.
Sometimes though, it is not really about us – or our organizations. It is what is happening to our client’s customers and donors. The changes that they are dealing with also affect our business. And again, this is not any new insight, but rather something that we tend to overlook when we are so focused on our own issues.
This was reminded to me this last week at a recent Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner. I had the pleasure of speaking with several business colleagues and catching up on their business. We each shared what was new in our business and how it has evolved over the past couple of years. Some of these insights then struck me as logical explanations of how our clients are now dealing with the change, and why we are seeing some of what we do.
Of course the challenge to all of this is to look ahead and see what changes our clients are planning – then strategize on what we do next as well. Perhaps it is modifying what our product looks like, or the size of it (in our case the paper weight or qty?). Maybe it is in how we distribute the product? For printers, we have embraced some of the other forms of communication such as e-mail, mobile, or video – how about for your industry?
Another area we need to look at, is if there are new markets that might make sense as well. While in the past we all were successful in 2 or 3 key markets, perhaps now, we need to change our focus into new areas. While the main thrust has been on “pulling back” and consolidating over the past couple of years, maybe we want to look at expanding again? Test out a couple of sample accounts and see if you can gain some traction.
So my real thought for today is not so much that we need to change, but rather that we need to sometimes re-think where the change is coming from. And then be open to learning how to adjust.