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Navigating the Future - Embracing Change and Bolstering Agility in Business


An innovative 3D illustration of a business person strategically manoeuvring through a vibrant, abstract landscape. The image symbolises businesses navigating the complexities of change and embracing novel ideas to thrive in a dynamic environment.

This article is from our monthly Newsletter for Business Leaders, Take an Aspirin.


The Executive Summary:

  1. The rapid acceleration of technological change demands businesses adeptly manage and lead change, highlighting the importance of being proactive and adaptable.

  2. Successful change involves striking a balance between strength, derived from infrastructure and systems, and agility, which is rooted in trust and lean-thinking; an imbalance can lead to failure or stagnation.

  3. To initiate effective change, businesses should assess their recent innovations, the extent of business reinvention, ability to move swiftly, and organisational approach to change.

  4. Aspirin's Leadership Gym offers business leaders the opportunity to hone their skills in managing change by building a balance between strength and agility, learning to adapt to emerging trends, and cultivating a dynamic and sustainable business model.


 

The Guest Speaker at this year's European Mindshop Conference was Matthew Griffin of 311insitute.com, the topic - 'Futurist.' Matthew specialises in providing governments and the UN with valuable insights into our future, empowering them to develop a Point of View (POV), get involved, and comprehend how emerging trends and changes may impact us. One such change he highlighted is the 3D printing of multi-story buildings, as demonstrated in this video.


Back in the old days, change occurred slowly. It started high up in some ivory tower and trickled down to us. We heard about cloud computing several years before it became a part of our everyday lives. Yet, ChatGPT was in our hands within minutes of us hearing about it.

The speed of change has increased significantly, largely driven by technology. Our customers used to ask for brochures. Now, they hop online, review brochures and Google reviews from several companies, and then tell us exactly what they want.


Prospective employees often do the same. Research shows that approximately 30% of change projects achieve the expected outcomes and can be deemed successful. That means a staggering 70% of change projects fail.


However, change isn't a luxury or an added extra, it's a necessity - change or die. Take Blockbuster for example; once it was a global business with stores everywhere, now they just have one. Nokia, which once had more phones in hands than Apple, lost 90% of their market value in just 6 years.


To stay competitive and adapt to rising prices, legislation, competition, talent and stock shortages, you must get used to, and become proficient at, leading and managing change. However, as always, we can't rush into change. We can't throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Change must be planned, preferably collaboratively, communicated, mobilised, and tracked. Change involves both strength and agility, the ability to bend like bamboo, moving with powerful forces while retaining that essence of who we are.


Strength comes from our existing infrastructure, systems, processes, strong cashflow, funding, ICT, expertise, reputation and a strong pipeline of work, whilst Agility comes from trust, communication, a shared vision, teamwork, multi-skilled talent, strong problem-solving skills, a Point of View, decisiveness and lean-thinking, liking Minimum Viable Products. Too much Strength leads to Extinction. Too much Agility leads to Confusion. A lack of either leads to Redundancy, whilst an abundance of both leads to Thriving.


When considering change, a great starting point is to consider 4 questions:

  1. In the past 18 months, how many new products / services have your introduced?

  2. How much of the business have you reinvented in the past 18 months?

  3. Can you prove you can move at speed?

  4. How does your organisation ‘do’ change?


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