“The key to positive action is knowing the difference between a problem and a fact of life.
A problem is something that can be solved.
A fact of life is something that must be accepted.”
Fred SmithCEO of FedEx
One fact of life is Bob Dylan was right: The Times They Are A-Changin’.
Cars have replaced horse-drawn buggies (except with the Amish community). A growth strategy focused on buggy whips is certain to fail.
iPods have replaced CDs which replaced cassette tapes which replaced 8-track tapes which replaced vinyl records which replaced… (before my time). Something is going to replace iPods. Count on it.
Wireless-only telephone service was up to 23% last year and growing fast. AT&T is doing great, but not because of landlines.
B&W TV’s were replaced by color which are now in HD—LCD, plasma or LED—and 3D is moving up fast. I have a “tube TV” in my garage that is on its way to the recycle bin.
One out of five millennials claim no religious affiliation or belief whatever. That is 4 times as many as a couple of generations ago.
Millennials still involved in church are leaving the rock-band mega churches of their parents for candles, incense, stained glass, rituals and symbolism. Look around next Sunday. Where have the 20-somethings gone?
Whatever happened to snail mail, Blockbuster and Plymouth?
A fact of life is that significant change is inevitable. If not technology driven, it will be culture driven. Anne Mulcahy, who led the turn-around at Xerox, summed it up this way:
“Do not defend yourself against the inevitable.”
America’s Best Leaders, US News 2008
Organizations with leaders who resist, ignore or fear change will become irrelevant at some point in the future. When? I can’t say for sure. But why wait until it happens? Take action now so your organization doesn’t sink in the rising waters of change.
Come gather ’round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the boneIf your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
Bob Dylan (verse 1 of The Times They Are A-Changin’)
©2011 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner