Yes, we now reside in the “new normal.” And we must be prepared for it. As a rule, this means changing how we change. Existing processes may not be sufficient.
In this era, common wisdom may fall short. As J.P. Morgan once said: “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.”
And think about these words from Oprah Winfrey.
Food for Thought: Changing How We Change
B. Tom Hunsaker, Richard Ettenson, and Jonathan Knowles observe in the MIT Sloan Management Review:
“Change describes a wide variety of contexts. A fundamental source of confusion among managers and executives involves the use of that single term to refer to three very different strategic responses to business challenges. It can involve magnitude, activity, or direction. Furthermore, the first step toward a clearer vision clarifies what form of adjustment should be considered:
- Magnitude: ‘We need to enhance our execution of the current path.’
- Activity: ‘We need to adopt new ways of pursuing the current path.’
- Direction: ‘We need to take a different path.'”
“To assess the nature, scale, and timing of the change, business leaders and their executive teams should use two diagnostic questions. (1) Is the strategy fit to purpose? Does an attractive and accessible audience value the current or proposed strategy.? As measured by size of market, willingness to pay, and business model appropriateness. And by the level of resource outlay required to scale the strategy. (2) Can relative advantage be sustained? This assesses whether the current or proposed strategy delivers meaningful differentiation. In other words, a ‘difference that makes a difference’ to the attractive, accessible audience. And that leads to the durability of the competitive advantage created by that difference.”
Below, the graphic identifies criteria by which these key decision makers should evaluate the performance of their business on each of two criteria. For more information, click the graphic.