Steps to Management Success – Step 26: Change Is Mandatory, Growth Is Optional

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 31st, 2010

STEP TWENTY-SIX

Change Is Mandatory, Growth Is Optional

This might be the least original law in this entire book, but it’s so important that I just couldn’t take the risk of leaving it out. Greek philosopher Heraclitus noted the constancy of change in life nearly 2,500 years ago—and what was true then is just as true today. Ironically, this is probably the one business rule that has remained constant.

WHAT IT MEANS: Society operates twenty-four hours a day, every day, at a fast pace. Computer technology is outdated almost instantly. Companies make long-term plans for five years, at most. Does this mean you throw in the towel because all planning is futile? Well, no. But it does mean that you can never afford to rest too long on your laurels. Never-ending change is the only consistent, predictable thing in our lives.

Best-selling products, no matter how hot, have a finite life cycle. You can and should try to extend it—but no joyride lasts forever. Things that were cutting-edge just a few years ago have lost their gleaming shine. You can connect to the Internet? Yawn. That connection today needs to be broadband—and wireless. Most people under forty probably don’t even remember carbon paper. Things change.

ACTION PLAN: It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. That’s a smart strategy. If you keep a critical, proactive perspective on your career and your company, you’ll be ahead of the game. What skills do you need to acquire? What technologies can help you do things better, cheaper, or faster? What opportunities do current market trends suggest? What are the three things that your company most needs to change? And, above all, what’s next?

EVEN BETTER: Brainstorm with your team on a regular basis to identify and plan for needed changes in your business. Provide the team with an article that reports on some intriguing new technology or innovation that might be worth considering. The benefit of gaining fresh perspectives in addition to yours could be valuable.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)


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