What does it take for a business to be everlasting?

A lot of things come to mind, but on several recent occasions, I’ve been reminded how much people in organizations are reluctant to change or leaders under-estimate the need to change. The amount and degree of change can vary, but I can’t think of many organizational environments where they can endure without changing. I think it requires frequent internal evaluation and external surveying to remain relevant and/or maintain a competitive advantage. But the key is what to do with that newfound intelligence. And not only a willingness to change, but also the ability to change in a timely fashion. The best time for change is while still in a position of strength, not when you are forced to and have limited options because your business is already failing. Remember Kodak?

So conversations shouldn’t really be about whether or not to change, but rather what needs to change to strengthen the company immediately and/or position it better for navigating the future. And then, when and to what extent. When analyzing your business, look at the “why” more than the “what.”

For us, digital influences have been – and continue to be – a game-changer. But the bigger thing is consumers’ changing behaviors as a result of those digital influences. When you understand how your customers’ behaviors are changing, you realize just how much your business must too.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that more change has occurred in our business in the past five years than in the preceding 20 years. All because our clients’ needs have been changing because their customers’ and prospects’ behaviors are constantly changing. So to remain relevant, valuable and sustainable, we’ve had to keep up with that change.