The Reason Behind Businesses’ New Need for Speed

THE BIG IDEA: Are your ready for change? Business is speeding up faster and faster. Get ready for change and your brand will survive and thrive.


“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

For some years now, business has been speeding up.

It’s evident in the non-stop advertising schedules, the constant influx of new products into marketplaces, and the excess of images we see.

In a recent report produced by IBM, CEOs were asked to voice their primary concerns and discuss their fears. One thing came to the top of the list: Uber.

Yes, the car service app. CEOs envision a new breed of competitors. These new piranhas are nimble and quick. New companies that can leverage technology and can make their current business models obsolete overnight.

Built For Speed

The way people shop today has changed—customers expect a near constant stream of products to their stores or else they lose interest. People want the product now, and they want it as it’s happening—lead times in stores have become massively reduced.

For this new consumer, brands are entertainment, part of the endless stream of media delivered through our smartphones.

The new shoppers are increasingly millennials, who became the largest generation in the US labor force this year and are poised to become the biggest buyers of luxury products in the next few years.

Consumer demand is changing the way business works by forcing brands to deliver more products quickly, and even rethink their business models entirely.

As sales fall at Gap and Banana Republic stores, owner Gap, Inc. announced that it’s going to test a fast-fashion model to deliver smaller batches of goods more frequently.  

Adidas recently opened an extra-fast “Speedfactory.”

The speed these brands want to develop is what helped make Zara the world’s biggest fashion retailer, and led investment firm Bernstein to single out Inditex, Zara’s parent company, as having “the best business model in apparel.”

Of course, simply delivering more products doesn’t guarantee success—a brand also has to make sure its offering works in terms of the customers lifestyle.

But the message to brands is clear: catch up or risk obsolescence.

3 Tactics For Upgrading Your Business Model:

Give Your Team a Voice
Employees who can freely express their ideas will feel more empowered to act. Encourage people to openly discuss their thoughts and feelings about creating faster Winning Go To Market Strategies.

Manage Resistance to Change
Resistance to change is an all-too-common obstacle facing companies who want to speed up their models. Work to understand resistance by exploring your team’s concerns and by taking their feelings seriously. When people believe their voice counts, they are more apt to mobilize for change. Get into a practice of openly acknowledging your team’s concerns and work with them to support and embrace the change.

Drive Fear Out of Your People
A culture dominated by fear is incapable of serious change. Fear encourages everyone to avoid risks, become internally focused, and stop communicating. In addition, fear costs your organization money in the form of increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, and diminished quality of products and services.

Once your team is primed for change, you will be ready to speed ahead of your competition.


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