There have been many books written and dedicated to corporate change. How to design it, how to cope with it, how to go through it, how to implement it. As I do the research for my upcoming book, I have stumbled upon the notion that as I watch the market emerge from its current crisis, and the future unfolds, Evolution is the new transformation.
Not long ago, maybe 10-20 years back, the market leaders were the ones that told the consumer what to buy, why to buy when to buy it, and how much to pay for it. It is what drove companies such as, Sony, Microsoft, GM, Ford, and Motorola to lead the market.
Well, my friends, those days are over. A new change has brought about what I call Corporate Evolution. In today’s world, to be a market leader, you must demonstrate the ability to get ahead of your customers. This can be a challenge because they are already miles ahead of you. It is now your ability to respond to the market instead of dictating or dominating the market which will determine your success.
I define Corporate Evolution as an organization’s ability to allow various types of markets spontaneous phenomena such as progression and advancement in social, political, and economic climates to gradually, and with the path of least resistance, be integrated into a robust customer-centered business model.
The French use to say; “The more you try to change things the more they stay the same.”
Corporate Evolution dictates that your customers be now telling you what they what, when they want it and how much they are willing to pay for it. If you are not there with the product ready to go, almost instantly, they will move on.
To wrap your arms around Corporate Evolution, you need to integrate your customers into your business model in every which way possible. Today’s consumer wants to be a part of the decision-making process with regards to the product and services they buy.
It is the company’s ability to:
- Evolve instead of change – do not try to alter the face of things. Look for an opportunity for evolvement.
- Transparency is critical – Tell it as it is, your customers can see through you.
- Invite your customers to have a seat at the table – Create a new position CCO – Chief Customer Officer.
- Be flexible and agile – Make sure that your internal structure is less complex and highly flexible
- Leave the ego at the door – It does not matter who did what as long as it produces the intended results.
Corporate America in particular and many companies around the globe will need to learn how to evolve into a customer-centered enterprise. Shifting the old model that was designed around shareholder satisfaction to a model that is structured around customer satisfaction as defined by the new generation of customers will be tantamount.
The organization either Evolve or Dissolve. The question is not if it will happen, but rather how long it will take before it finds itself irrelevant.