For a company to continue to succeed, it needs to accept that change is inevitable and innovation is key, and it must possess the necessary aspects to thrive in the face of such. Change in the status quo can sometimes cause discomfort for a company and rarely does it come without growing pains. However, to remain competitive, businesses cannot shy away from change, and if a company fosters a culture that is action oriented, problem solving, decision making, and results oriented, it has nothing to fear.
In order to be action oriented, a company must be able to take practical action when necessary to handle a problem or situation. For a better idea, take a look at Nike. The company’s leadership failed to take action against the malpractices occurring in its supply chain and make the necessary changes, and the company’s reputation suffered drastically. Since then, Nike has managed to rehabilitate its brand, but had the company acted sooner, the problem could have been avoided completely.
A company’s ability to problem solve, or its capacity to resolve an issue at the root of the problem, also reflects how adaptable it is to change. When a company realizes there is a problem within its supply chain, immediate response is necessary to get ahead of the issue. When Amazon first introduced its version of the smartphone, the Amazon Fire, many thought it was a good idea. However, the retail company ran into a problem when it could not offer a competitive price, compared to other innovative giants, like Apple or Android. To make their phone a viable option for consumers, it needed to find a way for its supply chain to work in a more beneficial way.
Just as essential as problem solving to a company successfully undergoing change is its decision making. To make the best decision a company must be able to weigh the pros and cons of a situation analytically. A controversial example of this is when Nokia appointed Stephen Elop as its newest CEO in 2010. Before his appointment, Nokia’s leadership floundered to keep the company on a stable development path because they could not make decisions. Elop’s decisions may have led to Microsoft’s acquisition of the company, but at least he was making decisions when his predecessors could not. Successful decision makers do not fear making decisions, like Elop, but perhaps analyze the pros and cons of their decisions better and know a little more on how to make decisions.
Finally, a company wishing to effectively make a change must also be results oriented, or understands which results are most important and focusing the right resources on achieving them. When Alphabet became the parent company of Google, the co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who also run the company, obviously knew the results they desired to accomplish with this change. However, that is only one aspect of successful results orientation. The two failed to alert Google employees of this company-altering move, thus taking the world, and its employees by surprise. The change is a complete restructuring of the company, and the transition may have been smoother had they alerted and focused the right resources (in this case, the employees) on the results it wished to achieve before it happened, instead of causing confusion and disruption in the workplace.
As the old adage says, the only constant in life is change, which is why companies need to embrace it. Big and small companies alike can learn from the trials of these giant companies, and work towards cultivating the aspects necessary to undergo successful transformations.