The gyroscope is a nice way to illustrate how businesses and organizations function….particularily in todays world.
A recent post had a video presentation from a Swedish researcher. The presentation (link below) was revealing in that other large countries are growing economically to match the Western world economies.
What this means is that businesses/organizations have to constantly be in motion (spinning) to adapt to a fluid….changing business climate.
The changes are very real….a friend has returned from Maine and the newsprint paper mill that was the major factor in the towns economy is no longer there. The impact on businesses whether in Maine or North Carolina is the same in a global world.
The continuing story….be better….be different….keep on spinning.
Do The Homework
We have a Whirlpool clothes dryer (copper color) that we got in 1969 (over 40 years old) and it still runs nicely. In our kitchen project….it was time for new applainaces….they have to be stainless now!
I’m old school in that retailers need to sell….that’s not the case where it came to buying our latest appliances. Most appliances at least in our area are sold at Lowes….Home Depot….Sears. The dilemma is that these places don’t really sell….they show and take orders. So we did our homework….liked the Whirlpool models…. and bought them at Lowes.
Here is where it was interesting….we went to Sears to see if the prices were comparable. The Sears sales person was passive….couldn’t connect to the computer system….and didn’t have any leeway in pricing. It seems an old selling culture still exists at Sears. I still prefer that a retailer sell his products….in our purchase we did the homework….read the reviews….knew exactly what we wanted.
The Lowes associate was pleasant….punched up the right items….got the best price and made the sale.
In the final outcome, our experience even though we did the homework….was all about our personal interaction with the sales person. At least in this situation, Sears continues to think people will buy from them because they are Sears.
Great businesses are all about people!
Most point out problems. Some solve them.
In another blog, the author stated the problems businesses currently encounter as well as the challenges in the education and political system.
It’s easy to find problems….it’s not so easy to find solutions. Business experts are really good at finding problems. The recent BP oil spill is a good example of finding problems and certainly there were many.
The “real” test is to solve them.
Businesses/organizations….and for the most part those at the grassroots level….will be best when they provide solutions to problems. That’s where “real” change will take place.
Rapid Change > Too Much?
I grew up listening to WGN Radio. WGN is a 50,000 watt clear channel station in Chicago. At night, I even get it here in North Carolina. WGN had the Cubbies (Chicago Cubs) games….Max Armstong and Orion Samuelson (farm news….this is the Midwest!)….Wally Phillips, Bob Collins, Spike O’Dell (morning guys) and Kathy and Judy (funny and entertaining).
WGN was a great station….until: “It is certainly no longer the station that mid-America knows and trusts.”
Radio stations….newspapers….and traditional media have had to change and for some….quickly. The News and Observer is not the same paper….it was five years. So it is with WGN Radio….the management believes its demographics (people who listen) want something different.
Here’s where it gets tricky….Is the brand….WGN….stronger or weaker with a new programing direction? Only time will tell.
In this case I prefer the “old” conversational WGN….to the “new” confrontational WGN.
Preserve the brand….just remember when Coca-Cola tried to change its formula (New Coke)!
+ Some good websites:
Global Province: Always an interesting read….though pessimistic (or realistic?) at times. www.globalprovince.com Click on the Letters from the Global Province in The Table of Contents.
Naval Leadership: This is a blog that I came across….no idea of the author….but interesting posts on navy leadership. http://navaleadership.blogspot.com/
Gary Hamel: Hamel lost some of his luster (he wrote a lot about Enron)….but is still an astute management expert. http://blogs.wsj.com/management/
+ Worlds largest retailer: Wal-Mart $305 B per year. The best Wal-Mart lessons are from the early Sam Walton years.
+ Wines….coffee….are intriging business models. The growing of grapes and wine-making are especially interesting because there are so many variables. Alder Springs Vineyard is particularly interesting because the vineyard is in a remote area of California….and the grower is meticulous in detail. And this is a business and not a hobby. http://www.alderspringsvineyard.com/
+ Look at your business and ask yourself, “What do I offer customers that they can’t get elsewhere?” Make a list. Are the reasons compelling enough and do you offer enough to attract more customers and grow your business? www.retailerblog.com
+ Bonus new blog: Follow two adventurers on a search for true grits and other southern delicacies. www.ncfoodquest.wordpress.com
The key to surviving in the innovation quadrant is to keep innovating.
Innovation seems to be a “hot” word in the business world….as other catchy words it often gets overused and loses it meaning. Yet, there is no other word that conveys the principle of business growth than innovation. I use “better and new”….just to be different.
Most businesses/organizations have to be in a continuous innovating (change) mode. If not, they simply won’t survive. Some organizations can get by on doing the tried and true….though in those cases they have to be the very best and possibly the only ones who do what they do.
Every business/organization has to meet the needs of the marketplace….and the marketplace changes….very quickly at times.
Whatever one wishes to call it: innovating….better….new….different, its vital to invent a better light bulb.