“Change or die.”
The presupposition in business these days is that change is constant and constantly necessary to be successful. Agility is certainly critical to maintaining a competitive edge. But don’t be so persuaded by the concept of change that you value it above all else.
Here, according to action learning for leadership development experts, is when you should be wary of launching a change initiative:
- When the risks are too great. Be sure that when you plan a major change that the rewards will be worth the effort, the re-education, the struggle and the likely temporary performance shortfall. For example, Hershey's inability to successfully implement new ERP and supply chain systems prevented it from delivering $100 million worth of products for Halloween and caused an 8% dip in market cap.
- When your customers or employees value consistency (or the status quo) over change. You should first determine that your customers and employees are ready and looking for change whether it’s in a simple logo, your product offerings or organizational structure. For example, when Netflix announced a massive price increase and the separation of its DVD mailing and streaming services it lost thousands of irate subscribers and more than 50% of its market cap.
- When you will face new and powerful competition as a result of the change. Be sure you have fully assessed how to meet and overcome the challenges of potential new competitors in your new market. For example, Apple’s new smartwatch will create both competition and partnership opportunities in the healthcare industry.