Many factors can keep organizations from being successful, but one of the most damaging is a lack of vision. Unless we know where we want to head and develop effective strategies for accomplishing our vision, we will fail.
One of the factors that can keep us from developing a solid vision can be our success. Organizations become complacent, certain their success will sustain itself with little effort. When this happens, we are unable to move forward.
This week a technology article in USA Today discussed 20 things we no longer do because of technology. Some were pretty basic, like memorizing phone numbers or doing mental math, but others had implication for businesses.
For example, when was the last time you used the Yellow Pages to find an electrician or other services? Online resources are easier to use while also delivering reviews and other information. The printed listings became obsolete.
In that case, what became of the publishers of the directories? Advertising revenue was lost, and in some cases the publishers were forced out of business. Their previous long-standing success did not save them.
The same is true of some of other things listed in the article, including road atlases, photo albums (and film), recording tape (from audio tape to VHS), printed dictionaries and encyclopedias, and services like travel agents. Success cannot be maintained by looking in the rear-view mirror.
We met with a potential client once and discussed the importance of looking at things differently. They told us they did not need our services because they were already doing well and did not have to do anything differently. I’m reminded of that experience every time I drive past the empty building they once occupied.
Our past successes do not guarantee the future. Even the best producers of items from cameras to carburetors failed as conditions changed. The may not have kept developing their vision due to their success. Don’t fall into that trap, or you could be next.
If your organization has not developed or reviewed its vision, we can help you keep moving forward. Strategies for remaining vital and dealing with change can help you maintain your success. Just don’t wait until it’s too late.