A lot of running to end up standing still

 

Like it or not, we're in the midst of a revolution. The way business is done and services are delivered has to change, the systems we have been using were never designed to support the numbers we now need to. 
 
There are analysts and researchers everywhere telling us this. Graciously, many of them don't a offer solutions, they instead place the responsibility on the "entrepreneur". I don't disagree with this, I think for the most part that is the group of people best equipped and most motivated to make the change. 
 
There's a problem though, because it seems there always is. No matter how much entrepreneurs as a group seek to change the world, there is a large, unmoving object in their way. The established order, whether retail, manufacturing, health care, government or anything else, doesn't really want to change the way things are.
 
In some ways it's understandable, in some it's even fair. These entities stand to lose a lot with new, efficient competition. I think there are three ares they need to look at in order to make the most of the revolution and not be left behind.
 

Learn to evolve. 

Nature shows us that if something fails to evolve to its changing environment, it will eventually become extinct. The same is true for any organisation. Every new threat is an opportunity as well, as long as you are willing to turn it into one.
 
The really successful organisations over the past decades are the ones which have added, changed and removed products and services they offer. A lot of customers are innately loyal. As long as they are getting value from you and you offer them the things they want, they are much more likely to stay as your customer than they are to go elsewhere. 
 
To get and stay on top the core offerings of your business or organisation have to satisfy your market, when they change, so do you.
 

Listen to everyone, not just the people who like you. 

Communications and PR people have been saying this for years. It's obviously really important to listen to the people who like you, they're the most efficient future customers or users you have. It's also vital to understand the people who don't like you. 
 
The reason they don't like you might be easy to fix and open you to an inexpensive group of new customers. It might also be fundamental. They may simply dislike you. That's ok, in fact in some cases it's good. Polarising a market often means you have very passionate supporters and very passionate adversaries. As long as you're generating the numbers you need to, having people who don't like what you're doing probably means you're doing something which solves your customers' problems in a close to ideal fashion.
 

Be less scared. 

New things are scary. Well, they are if you don't want them in the first place.
 
The reason businesses modelled as start ups experience a really quick rise in customers and revenue when they launch something new is because it is new. It's exciting, different and shiny.
 
Customers like that, because they like to feel special and unique. They also like things that solve something in their lives. If you have an established product or service your customer may actually need it, they may not be able to live their life as they wish without it.  That is great for business, it's stable, reliable and predictable.
 
If you don't continue to innovate that though you risk a new competitor entering the market and stealing your customers with something which adds new "wanted" features on tool of your needed ones.
 
Being afraid to change can mean you watch yourself slowly decay as someone new takes your market from you. 
 
 --
There is always talk of what should happen, there are also fantastic innovators out the who dedicate everything they have to changing the status quo. They're willing to get it wrong, to take the chance on something new in the quest of finding what's next. They do the leg work. 
 
The problem is there are too many people taking their legs away. By stalling what they can achieve the future evolution of their work and its contribution are cut short. 
 
Let people innovate. Let them succeed. Then we will see what we can all do next.  
 
~Andrew