Why Change is Important for Business
By Tom O'Reilly / September 2017Insights
“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” − Charles Kettering
To remain competitive, continue innovations and succeed in business, we must learn to embrace change. Our customers, competitors, the economy, technological advancements and the global political landscape are some the factors that force us out of our comfort zones.
Since the inception of Aptaris we’ve been honored to collaborate with world-renowned brands and the most recognized retailers. Our clients are category leaders who are at the top of their markets thanks to strategic thinking, dedication and perseverance. However, I know first-hand that once you reach a goal and a certain level of success, it’s tempting to rest on your laurels. That’s when we can easily get into comfort zones.
In many ways, comfort zones are dangerous places to be. We are probably seeing satisfied customers, positive performance metrics and meeting sales goals. This lulls us into thinking we’ll continue achieving success by staying on the same path.
Unfortunately, the dynamic world we live in doesn’t allow us to stay in one place for long. We must never stop looking for ways to improve, provide newer products and serve our customers better. We need to continuously change.
Fortunately, learning to accept change and transitions as natural parts of business can be learned. Let’s look at ways to embrace change.
- Get out of your own way
For the most part, the biggest roadblock to change is you. You may mistakenly think that pivoting will demonstrate to the world that the path you were on before was wrong or not good enough. You may be worried about what other people will think if you change your strategies. The reality is that countless companies are evolving the way they do business because of competitive factors. You won’t be alone. Focus on the overall mission and vision and what it will take to get closer to your goals.
- Get over “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
When leaders are tenured and comfortable in the ways things have always been done, it’s easy to resist change. If everything is going ok, why make changes? Unfortunately, your customers and the competition are always looking for what’s new and you need to keep up. More than 30 percent of executives expect their industries — including retail, financial services, media and telecom — to be disrupted in some way. Yes, change may require you to reinvent your role, shake up current processes, and establish different partners, vendors and even hire new team members. In today’s business environment, doing things the way you’ve always done it before is the best way to ensure you won’t be doing it for long.
Learn more about transformational leadership in a previous Aptaris Insights article.
- Get good at failing correctly
Most of us were not taught to fail correctly. From childhood, we got gold stars for succeeding but reprimanded when we failed.
Now the concept of failing fast is admired in entrepreneurs, technology leaders and business executives. Failing fast instills a growth culture and innovative mindset.
The right way to fail is to conduct small experiments quickly, inexpensively and never the same way twice. Don’t invest too much money or time on any one outcome. Testing on a smaller scale in rapid successions will lessen risk. If an experiment works, take the next step. If not, the failure didn’t cost too much time or money, you learned something and you can move on to the next trial.
Another important factor is to take small steps forward. Making huge changes overnight is disruptive and could be destructive to productivity and team morale. Look at the end goal and break it down into small action steps that will be easier for your team to accomplish. Make certain to identify the early adopters in your organization to help champion change.
See tips on building high performing teams.
- Get a pulse on gaps in other industries
Take a look at other industries that serve common customers, as well as the products and services required before or after your products and services. Are you able to branch out and address those needs?
Think of all the industry leaders being attacked by upstarts like Uber, Airbnb, Blue Apron and Lending Club. How can you serve new markets or expand your target audiences?
- Get ready for some steps back to move forward
Success is not a linear path. You may have to go backwards sometimes to move forward. Making a big leap often means you need to take a few steps backwards to get the momentum to jump over an obstacle.
And remember the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Change is continuous. The peak of one mountain is often at the base of another mountain.
The Aptaris software was developed specifically to help retailers manage change and speed the entire marketing and promotions process. Our teams are expert at change management. We are dedicated to supporting our clients in identifying areas for improvement and automating their workflows through our software platform. By changing your current systems to the Aptaris software, you will remove redundancies, get visibility across campaigns, access reports quickly, and allow more accurate forecasting.
Please contact us for more information.
Contributed by Tom O’Reilly, President and CEO, Aptaris
Tom has a deep understanding of the retail business from both the store and vendor perspectives. He brings decades of hands-on experience in advertising and promotions including new media innovations. As an entrepreneur, he has transformed each organization he has worked with. Tom is a forward-thinking leader with a history of driving innovation, growth and profitability. As an avid reader, Tom is always enthusiastically sharing cutting-edge ideas with clients and colleagues.