Change: Who needs it?
The scale and direction of change that is facing companies is profound and difficult to predict. Traditional corporate planning approaches will no longer suffice in the new world order.
The core competence of successful companies will be adaptability. This is not just the ability to respond reactively to external changes but to proactively develop strategies that support and help drive social, economic and environmental change.
The adaptive capacity in most companies is in short supply. Companies invest significant money in creating new visions, business strategies and business models but fail to sense the deep shift in the society in which they operate. Many are not in tune with the conscious mind-sets of their customers and have failed to grasp this opportunity to align business with reality.
Take the Financial services sector. Neither the banks nor the government have taken this opportunity to fundamentally ‘change the face of banking’. No one has stepped up to the plate and asserted new values, principles or approaches to a system that is flawed and a set of institutions that are out of step with their customers.
Adaptive energy gets lost in the bureaucracy of the structures and belief systems we have put in place and the willingness of our leaders to change tack and creative a meaningful and lasting legacy for organisations is sorely missing.
Businesses need to recognise they have the power to make the changes needed to create a more sustainable, fulfilling and prosperous environment for us all and it can only start from within. Large organisations are like tanker ships they set off in one direction and are hard to turn around or to set sail in a different direction. Starting with a reset of the dial on the core attributes and purpose of a company could begin to make the changes.
The adaptive company of the future will be the successful company of the future. The question is not can they adapt, but more importantly, do they want to?