I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that, yes, it’s probably time to reinvent your company. This is a fairly safe assessment for two reasons. First is the recession, anytime there’s an economic downturn this dramatic, there is an equally dramatic shift in market share. In order to grab a piece of that market share you probably need to rework your product or service offering. Second, the dramatic pace at which technology and especially communication technology is changing means there will be literally thousands of new opportunities for your company. The question is, will you be prepared to take advantage of them? Both of these realities will drive fundamental changes in our economy and the way we conduct business. The changes we are witnessing now are as profound as the ones at the dawn of the industrial age and the opportunities are just as great if you’re up for the challenge.
There are also internal signs to watch for like a growing sense of frustration. As CEO you’ll experience it personally, but so will your staff. The spark or sense of excitement starts to dwindle. Working harder and later, and asking your staff to do the same, or increasing your advertising budget make for valiant efforts but yield fewer and fewer results.
It isn’t until those things fail, that most CEO’s and management teams are motivated to rethink their whole business model. If you are facing that frustration and the loss of market share, the whole process can be incredibly stressful. For many companies the stress is too great and the business fails. Which is a shame, because just around the corner, if you can get around the corner, things change dramatically.
What does reinvention mean for your company?
Initially, it means some hard work, tough choices and the need for strong leadership. In the end, and this is the exciting part—and the piece that can be difficult to see—it means the hallways and offices are once again filled with excitement and a dramatic increase in energy. It means your staff will be motivated to stay late, be more productive and they’ll enjoy it all more.
This transformation happens because when you’re on the wrong road, your people know it. They may not know what is wrong, but they know the company isn’t heading in the right direction. When you’re on the right road people can feel it, they can see the path ahead and the future holds promise and excitement.