Change is interesting on every level. I’ve heard that public speaking is the #1 fear, even more so than death. My experience with business owners and corporate execs tends to indicate that change is even more frightening.
We soften the concept of change by calling it innovation. Still, innovation seems to be interesting mostly if someone else is doing it. When it comes to your own doorstep, as in you have to learn or do something differently now, it loses it’s sparkle.
There are a few companies who recognize that business must systemically and fundamentally change in order to be relevant and sustainable going forward. These are the brave ones, the committed leaders who’ve embraced the understanding that all business is ultimately human business and as such, must appeal to the higher nature inherent in humanity.
The old days of simply looking at bottom lines and profit margins for maximizing revenue is over. People, at an increasing rate, are choosing to do business for nobler reasons and are voting for attention to human values with their dollars. They have figured out that lower prices for them may mean hardship for others or a manufacturing process that is unhealthy for workers and/or the environment. In other words, low cost may be more expensive than anyone wants to pay.
The companies that don’t want to change will ultimately be forced to accept their responsibility to society and the environment (either by loss of sales, government regulation, or public disgrace, etc) or they will cease to exist.
It’s time to reimagine business. Do good while doing business. Make it a part of your business model, your processes, your supply chain, your people, your services and products. Perhaps you need to chuck the status quo and even daydream a little bit. What should a company looked like that actually cared about the people it impacts?
The business leaders that ask that question and make the changes necessary today will be the true leaders of tomorrow.
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