Looking to Stay Relevant…

87580471In keeping with my last blog post’s theme, the need for organizations to keep the momentum going, is truly an ongoing challenge. Whether you are a small business – medium or large, or even a nonprofit organization as well, there are often major shifts in the business climate that can drastically affect your ability to stay relevant. And sometimes, even though they may be significant shifts, they might well not be easily recognized right when they are happening – rather it might take a little time before we fully realize the impact.

For instance, while almost all of us will acknowledge a very real convergence of economic meltdowns centered around the 2008 recession,  I would suggest that at about the same time frame, a number of technological shifts were also surfacing. As a result of these changes,  the demand for new job growth and employment needs were actually lessened, right at the very time that we needed this new growth to fully recover. For instance, why would the financial industry need to hire “bank tellers” when now you can just scan a check from your phone to make a deposit! And while this is just one small example, many other businesses – including the print industry, found that significant changes in technology and communication formats had a “life changing” effect on how they do business.

In fact this effort to remain relevant is fueled by the concept of change. Whether through technological change or just the need to keep the company spirit moving forward, change is critical for companies to deal with especially as they shift from the initial “start-up” phase, through any “mid-life” crisis points, and then as they look to transition from one generation to the next. Long term business success is not a given. In a recent article in Inc. magazine, Jason Fried of the company Basecamp, talks about potential lessons learned from long-time business owners, and how we can all learn from them. Those businesses or organizations that have passed the “test of time” know that it takes much more than just a good idea or product. There must  be a real value proposition for their clients to see and understand. There also needs to be a motivation and drive within all business team members to contribute to this value proposition in order to make it real, and then be able to shift and create new products or services to adapt to the changing business climate while still remaining true to the company values.

One advantage that start-up businesses have is the “all-in attitude”  amongst its employees – their desire to make a mark and please the customer is second to none. As time passes though, complacency and the comfort of initial success can be hard to overcome. It is those organizations that can deal with this and adapt to change as well  – to stay relevant, that will truly succeed.

How is your organization looking to stay relevant?

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