Years ago it was not be very common to see people in search of greener pastures and being exposed to a large number of companies or industries during a professional career. They would normally adhere to what they knew best as moving out of their “comfort zone” could not be pleasurable at first and would require, in many occasions, a steep learning curve of technologies, processes, etc. Then this trend changed as the market was eager to provide the necessary training and capabilities for those with the skills and mindset to take on a new challenge. However, now we are going back to the “steady” situation due to the current turmoil we are living in of political and financial uncertainty at both, international and local markets.
With this in mind there is no need to actually move to other organizations to widen your knowledge. A simple way of learning about companies is by talking to them. Any occasion you may encounter is good as you get to be exposed in areas that you didn’t think you had the possibility before. Opportunities may be presented to you in many different ways, from reading specialized magazines, searching the internet, attending events or even doing job interviews. I have found that there seems to be a pattern about how companies think they have to operate and look into the future. Most just differ between two strategy approaches:
- The so called “startups” and “transformational” companies, in which changing and moving forward embracing new technologies is utmost.
- Companies that are “just” happy to maintain their “Business As Usual”.
Firstly we should define what “Business As Usual” means. If it is to keep the company working so services are offered to clients without any aspirations to commit any changes as things are going fine, I see this as a mistake. While providing services to your customers is your priority number one, it should not be the only one. In the competitive arena we are you should always look for alternative ways to deliver. We are bombarded every day with new technologies and trends that your customers will be eager to have just because is the latest. That is the reality of our society whether you like it or not.
Being the “darling” of today will not warranty you that you will be the chosen of tomorrow. Embracing technological changes and keeping ahead of competitors to provide services to your customers is what I call “Transformation As Usual”. Anyhow you will be serving equally your customers. However, survival will only happen if you are a quick thinker and move at a fast pace implementing new technologies into your operations.
At the end of the day we are living in an era that is considered of “Digital Darwinism”: The evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than your ability to adapt. If in between your plans the adaptation or adoption of technological changes (or just any changes) are nowhere to be seen, I’d certainly challengue your business future. I am not saying you should throw everything you have done until now through the window. What I’d suggest is to take a step back as sometimes you cant see the forest for the tress and look for opportunities to improve. If you dont have the knowledge in-house or dont know how to do it, dont be afraid to ask. Transforming a business, over all when nothing has been done in years or ever, can be a daunting task. The main thing is to have the interest and do something about it, before it is too late.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”- Lao Tzu