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Change is Necessary

I applaud entrepreneurs for what they have achieved, through hours of dedicated, hard work, extreme commitment and at times ‘brute force’ to make success happen; however, as the old adage states ‘if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got’! So the question I often ask myself is “do entrepreneurial owners, presidents, CEO’s, etc. of small-to-medium enterprises (SME’s) readily accept that change is inevitable and necessary”?

I have come to recognize that entrepreneurs (typically) struggle to plan for, adapt to, and implement change. Couple this with (typically) lacking business fundamentals only leads to a continuing levels of inefficiency, waste and ‘missed opportunities’. I have recently been engaged with 2 SME’s that did not have business or strategic plans as they were ‘too busy’, another General Manager did not have time to talk due to pressing commitments (which had been planned months ago). What we are really talking about here is not having an ‘operating rhythm’, the culture is not allowing it to happen; culture can be made to change for the better – it takes perseverance and courage but if you do not start to change then one will have to accept what one has become used to!

It is critically important to have a strategic plan, develop business plans, employee accountabilities and communication plans – understanding and planning these aspects is not easy at any time, let alone the first time of developing. Further how can technology be used to optimize efficiencies, how can innovation and an innovative culture be harvested for the health of the business. And it doesn’t stop there – what about metrics , how to collect data?, what does the data mean?, what story does the data tell?, how to communicate these messages to the employee population? As globalization, technology and other macroeconomic factors put more pressure on businesses, leaders are searching for deeper statistical intelligence. For cash-strapped small or medium-sized businesses (SMEs), determining what those metrics might be, then collecting and analyzing them, can prove challenging.

Change is inevitable in business and you need to build your business model around it. Hire people who are comfortable in a world of change. Great businesses are able to grow in good times and bad, largely because they’re prepared for the unpredictable. Change is the only constant that you will face.

On the other hand, failed businesses and entrepreneurs often struggle to plan for, adapt to, and implement change — and this happens all too frequently in growing companies.

Whether Strategic Planning, Change Management or Culture Change is the next step in your journey it is critical to have expert advice and support - do not be ‘penny wise and pound foolish’!

This ‘posting’ is not meant to be provocative, merely reflective. If your intention is to grow your business for longevity through process and people transformation then there has to be an investment somewhere down the line – the benefits will be readily visible, your employees will welcome it and your shareholders will thank you!

M.O’Sullivan P.Eng, MBA, ICD.D


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