Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting the Change right - Leadership and Innovation

Change is constant. Change is ephemeral. Change is permanent. Change is never-ending.
Regardless of the sector in which you operate. No matter how big your company. Notwithstanding how large or complex your organizational structure. Change can be subtle, it can be violent. Change can be beautiful and embraced, it can be ugly and feared.
Globalization, social media, exponential technological development, morphing markets, emerging new markets, offshoring, and low-cost competitors. These are just a small selection of enablers and accelerators of change.
Many leaders consider their organizations, even themselves, as failing to implement change effectively. Transformational change is one of the biggest challenges facing most businesses whose products, markets and customers are themselves rapidly changing and demanding new and different goods and services.
But some leaders excel at delivering and benefiting from meaningful change. These leaders learn to manage change effectively, so that they get ahead of, and even become the driver of change. One thing they have in common is a view that change is a catalyst of Innovation.
Long gone are day-to-day operations that fall into a static or predictable patterns that are interrupted infrequently by only short spells of minor adjustments. Many employees lament these good old days of predictability and fear larger and ongoing change, but these days the opposite should be the case: periods without change often mean an organization is about to be overtaken by another business that has already recognized and adapted to the changing marketplace.
So, where is your organization heading to in the next few years? Hopefully, you're already trying to balance the mix of a need for quick wins with longer term culture changes and business outcomes. You should be trying to lead your competition in growth and revenue, rather than reacting to their initiatives, developing yourself the next generation of highly new innovative products and services. Or will you simply be manning the tiller and keeping the ship afloat?
Corporations of the future must become well-equipped to adapt and respond to an ever-increasing pace, variety and ubiquity of change. And as leaders, you must embrace change, become expert at understanding and involving change in your business, and constantly encourage innovation across your organizational culture, in the products you deliver and the services you offer.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, and change I believe is accelerating. Partially because of new technology, but mostly because the very foundations of value have changed. Neither land, capital, or labor are the dominating creators of wealth. As Lanham says in "The Economics of Attention" (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/mqr/act2080.0036.206?rgn=main;view=fulltext): "Value is now created by 'productivity' and 'innovation,' both applications of knowledge to work." The value something has depends more on the information about it than any intrinsic value the item itself may have.