Now we understand everything we can about change – the forces that push for it, like technology and consumer demand; the types of changes we can face, like evolutionary or revolutionary; the ways we can avoid resistance to it and put it in place with the least amount of pain.
The thing about change is…it changes. In the 1800s, technological change was certainly an issue, as the steam engine and the cotton gin were among technologies introduced that had us looking at the ways we can do things differently. But change today in that realm is so much quicker. New technologies and apps are being invented daily, and industry disruptors have organizations holding their breath and taking risks at speeds they never thought possible.
Change has changed over the years in that it’s a global issue. Companies like Daimler Chrysler or Anheuser Busch and Belgium’s InBev have presented challenges on a cultural level. It wasn’t too long ago that mergers like this were less common, but technology has made the world a smaller place.
Organizations must manage and stay ahead of change every day if they’re going to be competitive. But they also need to anticipate change, and what it’s going to look like in years to come. They can push to innovate and drive change. Lee Iaccoca was prophetic when he spoke on behalf of Chrysler, telling us:
“Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.”
Perhaps that’s how change will change. We can only wait and see. But businesses really can’t, can they?