You Aren’t Entitled, But You Can Be Agile

I don’t care if the customers your organization serves are external ones who pay real money or internal ones who pay funny money. If you believe you’re entitled to their business, your organization is already in an era of decay and decline.

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The Competition of Today vs. the Competition of Yesterday

There was a time in our history when a company could develop, manufacture, market, sell, and service a product or set of products that would provide cash flow sufficient to sustain it for years. These cash flows allowed the company to invest in new products and the process would repeat.

They would need to tend to their earlier products and customers to ensure that their “cash cow” was fed. Yet, for the most part, the competitive advantage created by their products was sustainable.

Today’s Competitors Are Different

Now, in the words of Bob Dylan, “things have changed.” While your organization’s early success created advantages and cash flow, in today’s world, that success is no longer durable.

Today’s competitors are different. New competitors arise daily—and they may not even be in your field of view. They may not even be companies.

As an example, your competitors can be two people who own nothing more than an idea. And since they own no building and have zero staff, they have lower costs than you do. Moreover:

  • They’re not weighed down by the processes that you’ve built into your company over time.
  • They’re close to your customers—much closer than you and your firm.
  • They spend time with your customers, focus on their needs and quickly pivot to a new solution when the current one doesn’t work.

Put simply,

Your competition is agile.

You were never entitled to anyone’s business. Regardless of whether your firm launched an industry, a movement, a technology, was the first to sell in a city, state, province or country, you’re not entitled to anyone’s business.


The Solution: Whole-System Organizational Change

So, what do you do? How can you compete?

First, set aside the arrogance that comes with statements like, “We’ve always been the industry leader,” and, “They’re just racing to the bottom when they offer a lower-cost product,” and “We were here first.” Your organization is in a condition of ease and it is atrophying. Your job as a leader is to arouse it to a challenge and keep it that way.

Second, you’re not going to tinker your way out of your current state. Every system is perfectly designed to produce the results it’s producing. If you want to change the results, you’ll need to change the organizational system that produces them via whole-system organizational change.

Third, the goal of whole-system organizational transformation is to achieve agility in the way your organization is led, managed and operated: organizational agility.

You Aren’t Entitled, But You Can Be Agile

Read that again.

Now, if you’re ready to get better results and remain competitive, it’s time for whole-system transformation. To learn more about Agile leadership or organizational agility, reach out to agilityIRL today by sending us a message.