Disruption Causes Change
You probably remember the story of Kodak. Once a giant in the film and photography industry, the billion-dollar business fell apart over one missed opportunity. Steven Sasson, a Kodak engineer, invented the digital camera during a time when major digital technological changes were starting to happen. For years, Kodak’s success was predicated on embracing change. It was a major innovator in taking a professional tool and making it more accessible to the every-day consumer. However, when the digital camera was presented to company executives they sat back on their heels and ran from change. This was a mistake that would ultimately lead to their downfallWhile change is sometimes frightening, it’s often inescapable, especially in regards to technological changes. Embracing disruption today is vital for companies to win in any industry. The ability to accept major changes early on can lead to success, create a new relationships paradigm with customers and stakeholders, and most importantly improve revenue streams.
The landscape of every business is changing at an increasing pace. It is creating challenges for business leaders to keep up with their competition and find new models of revenue. Change can strike a nerve of fear, but this article will address how to embrace it and lead you to success.
Step 1: Acknowledge and Accept that Change is Good
Change is undeniably happening all around us. We find ourselves accepting change in some ways and rejecting it in others. Yet when it comes to change in business, the multitude of parts that are affected makes it a more daunting risk to accept. You might ask yourself, will this change negatively impact company culture? Will it pose a threat to profits? Sometimes the decision to accept change weighs down on one person and the fear of job loss arises. Instead of viewing change in these negative ways, think positively about the growth and profit that could turn from it.
Amazon is a great model of accepting the fact that change is good. What started out as a tiny online book seller in the late 90’s to what is now a $1 trillion dollar company, happened that way because they embraced change. They went from just selling books to selling everything, but their biggest revenue source comes not from e-commerce sales, but from web hosting. Amazon’s entire business model has always been evolving and incorporating new technologies, but it didn’t get that way from change alone. They got there through a wholesale embrace of disruptive change.
Step 2: Will you Embrace it or Run from it?
“Because of technology, the world is becoming a smaller and much more integrated community. However, by leveraging this technology, we can improve our lives and the lives of our customers in ways that we never thought possible.” - Chris Hugman, CEO of System Surveyor
Hugman encourages people in the industry to embrace change. He argues that it is a beneficial thing, not something to fear. System Surveyor speaks to this in itself. It steps away from what is traditional and integrates technology into the industry, simplifying processes and increasing client’s profit margins. Acknowledging and accepting that change is good is necessary. Weigh the implications of change and then choose to run with it instead of away from it.
Reed Hastings started Netflix because he got angry every time he was charged a late return fee by Blockbuster. In its early stages, it was still a DVD rental service, you just didn’t get charged with a late fee. Hastings saw that the future of digital entertainment was going into online streaming and embraced that change. He almost ran away from the industry altogether when he tried to sell the company to Blockbuster for $50 million, but was rebuffed for the better and where is Blockbuster today?
Step 3: The Solution: Efficiency Drives Change, so Embrace it!
Most change comes from the frustration with how a product, system, or service currently works and the human need to be more efficient. This is how Hugman started System Surveyor. He was frustrated with how cumbersome and inefficient the process of a site surveying had become along with the changes facing the security industry. For an industry founded in technology, he wondered why we were still doing things the old way? He saw the potential for technological disruption and embraced it.
Staying informed on changes keeps you up to date on the growth that is occurring around your business and how to become competitive by also growing with the change. As integrators or industry leaders, implementing programs to educate your employees about new technology will help the entire business to embrace change and not fear it. Things become less frightening when there is knowledge leading into the new situations. Embracing change not only increases company knowledge, but also proves the ability of the company to embrace disruptions, face risk, and walk away from it as a winner in the industry.
Will You Be the Disrupted or the Disruptor?
This situation of rapid change is repeating itself in every industry. Think about taxis and Uber, Amazon and grocery shopping, analog Pelco cameras and the IP camera revolution. In the security industry, the complexity of the systems is overwhelming. This creates fear, and fear then causes a resistance to change. Will you be the disrupted or the disruptor? Rather than running from new ideas and developments, embrace the change and upgrade your business to create better systems, and ultimately a better world.
“The system integration business is a highly complex and challenging business. Those companies that take advantage of emerging technologies to help them serve their customers will be the winners in the end.” - Chris Hugman, CEO of System Surveyor
Nobody likes running farther than they have to or want to. It is more work to run away from change than to run to it. Running towards profit and goals is more satisfying than fleeing progress. Embrace change and become the winner at the end of the race.
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