You’ve probably heard the analogy about large corporations being like an aircraft carrier or battleship while smaller companies are compared to PT boats or cruisers. It’s the analogy that making a course correction or changes within a large corporation is more difficult and takes longer than the same action with a smaller vessel.
There’s an element of truth to the analogy, although you must remember that larger businesses have more resources at their disposal when it comes to making changes. An aircraft carrier, for example, has the resources to protect the direction its been going while it prepares to make a course adjustment. It has a much greater reach and a larger crew than the destroyer running alongside. In fact, the destroyer can be part of the larger aircraft carrier’s entourage and thus help affect change more quickly.
Enough of the military perspective. We’ve advocated for several blogs about the importance of constantly taking a step or two back and looking at your business from a different perspective. We are against change for the sake of change. However, if a change is warranted for whatever reason – economic downturn, cost inefficiencies, product obsolescence, poor performance, or lagging sales – the more rapidly and efficiently change can be made, the better off the company will be when it comes to survival over the long haul.
Smith-Corona once owned the market for typewriters but failed to make an effective transition to computers. IBM, on the other hand, had a large market share with their Selectric typewriter and made a relatively successful change to the world of computers. Similar comparisons can be made in other fields – Motorola with portable phones, for example. The company once owned the manufacturing sector for portable phones and now has a smaller share of the market but is making a comeback.
Change is a constant in every business environment. The key to staying ahead of change is to remain abreast of what the consumer wants and is willing to pay for. How does a company do that?
First, at least some of the corporate culture needs to embrace the concept that change is the only thing that’s permanent. Change is happening all the time as consumers age and change buying habits – purchasing online versus at the retail outlet, for example.
Second, engage strategic partners such as Brand Irons to put a finger on the pulse of consumers and more clearly define marketing direction or internal changes that may be a necessity to move in the right direction. The slogan below links to our website.
Third, be pro-active in making changes. Waiting, although it is a decision, can be disastrous if your competitors move more quickly and capture a big chunk of your market share. It’s your business to gain – or lose.
Be sensitive and open to change.