Business leadership is like steering a large sea vessel, the Captain does not say “steady as you go” but in reality he is constantly reviewing data from his crew to make adjustment and compensate for wind speeds, landmarks and wind directions, fuel usage and more data . He is constantly checking navigational coordinates along the way to make adjustments to the course of the ship to ensure it arrives at its destination on time and under budget.
Businesses today must operate in a chaotic worldwide marketplace facing competition from abroad with consumers that are constantly changing their minds due to newer levels of desensitization, media coverage, advertising content and higher consumer features and quality expectations. Companies must continually change over time and reinvent themselves to stay relevant in today’s culture or risk crashing against the rocks and sinking away.
Change means to a leader, learning how to use the latest marketing tools to keep your company nimble and swift to market. Developing low cost mediums to meet the changing demands of the customers like Social media is connecting older brands with younger customers while marketing still maintains communications with existing customers. A good leader must stay current with the demands of a shifting marketplace and rely on their marketing and sales team to help them steer around obstacles like negative government regulations, change in buying trends, shifts in pricing, new or encroaching competitors. controls on pricing and margin fluctuation due to inconsistent costs of goods and labor scheduling. Leadership must consider the timing of when to jump into the market at just the right time where demand can exceed launch costs to be able to navigate the treacherous waters of the product life cycles which effect business life cycles.
You see strategic change in business is good when it is used to keep the company healthy. Often companies hire a consultant to evaluate their business and help the leadership see clearly the necessary changes they need to make so that the company can grow. This may mean a company may need to prune its branches like a bush, to remove dead weight so the rest of the tree can survive. Leadership is never easy but it will but rewarding for all of the crew that is willing to make the voyage.
Change just for the sake of changing things is bad and can be detrimental to the long term course of the company. Many leaders have reacted without thinking through the consequences first only later on to regret their decision to hesitate, reject a product and even let go of some very talented people. This is the lonely road some leaders travel.