I can’t believe you don’t think I am Great!

 

Well, I guess if you believe you are great, what does it matter what others think?

My friends in business, the belief of your greatness matters a lot. Especially if it's out of alignment with market realities, sometimes I think organizations can fool themselves into complacency based on a false sense of their greatness. One's past greatness always has an expiration date, especially if that greatness is based on how and what they deliver to the market without adjusting as the market changes. 

Let's all be realistic. The times we live in are continually modifying, and not all industries or their organizations can keep up with the speed of innovation and the changes made to business landscapes. During these times of disruptions, organizations must have the ability to analyze without prejudice the realities to what once made them great; today may have no relevant influence on their continued greatness.

No one cares if you answer the phone quickly when they rather communicate on online, no one cares of your storefront if they get what they need delivered, no one cares for your real person handshake if they prefer to have a mouse in their hand to click buy now. 

Today there are billions of dollars in commerce changing hands minus many of the business processes which once made organizations great. 

Does your corporate culture put past greatness ahead of relevance?  

I believe that many organizations mistakenly inject their past greatness as an unwavering attribute in their culture. In other words, many organizations pigeonhole themselves based on the what and how they delivered a product or service in the past, which by today's standards probably isn't that great. Some organizations will allow their perceived greatness to get in the way of their needed reinvention. See, it's more comfortable to think back and remember what once made you great then looking forward and admitting your past is irrelevant to your future. 

No industry or organization should ever base their greatness on how, or what they deliver unless they are willing to modify their deliverable to the realities of the market continually. 

As we look back at those industries which disappeared, we can also remember what these industries saw as their greatness. Think about the things Blockbuster thought made them great. They thought the human interaction to help their customers pick out a movie, the venue they created for neighbors to gather were things which made them great. Blockbuster built their greatness around a human to human component.

So, doesn't building a business's greatness around a human to human component seems like an eternal safe bet? Well, those who bet yes lost. See, our friends at Netflix saw the venue of storefronts, and the need to interact with store associates as cumbersome to the realities of the market. Netflix built its greatness by providing a completely different means to the desired outcome of watching a movie at home. Netflix also continues to modify to market realities. Blockbuster was delusional to market realities. 

Blockbuster thought the venue, the human interaction, and the gathering place was their customer's desired outcome. It wasn't. The customer wanted to watch a movie at home. Blockbuster went to their grave, believing their great relationships and their greatness would continue forever. The tenure of forever continues to show up and surprise the complacent.

So, now let's look at the state of the industry which delivers print equipment and its services. My friends, I see a blockbuster, and that is not describing something good. Instead, I am describing a probable disruption to a once very lucrative industry, and like Blockbuster, this industry is fighting market realities in hopes of prolonging their yesterday's greatness. 

In the way, Blockbuster insisted on the relevance of its stores over the movies it provided. The imaging Channel is insisting on overselling equipment based on their desire to keep alive outdated processes. In the way, Blockbuster could not believe they had a business model without their stores the imaging channel believes they have no business model without A3 equipment. This miss- calculation will cost many in the channel their business life as the new delivery of print equipment and its services will be very disruptive to a majority of the channel. 

In the way, Netflix destroyed the Blockbuster model. A4 equipment will destroy a huge percentage of the A3 model. The data proves that 80-85% of every A3 in the market could easily be an A4. This overselling insistence from the current channel players is feeding the disruptors appetite to come and deliver the market a better experience disrupting the status quo of the channel. The disruptors are figuring how to do what the old way refuses to do. The disruptors are focused on the market realities and the customers in those realities. The old way is focused on themselves and the survival of all that was good for them. The old way is ignoring the customer without regard to what's right for their customers. Like Blockbuster many in the Imaging Channel are ignoring the market realities. 

The channel stills sell all customers the same; still, services all customers the same, still bills and leases all customers the same, and from this sameness will come defeat. For the innovative disruptor's will look for the majority of the market and reinvent the print deliverable. The disruptors will take away a vast majority of customers. They will focus on the 80-85% of the market, which is currently being oversold A3 equipment through outdated finance models which are far from customer-centric. 

When Netflix defeated Blockbuster, I am sure there were a few folks who would instead go the store and get their movie. However, there weren't enough as Netflix went after the majority and won. My friends in the Imaging Channel the disruptors are coming after the majority of your customers. The disruptors are not interested in the dismal market share of production print. The disruptors are coming after the heart of the channel. The disruptors will deliver a different model creating new greatness for themselves and the old way's ex-customers. Dealers need to develop an A4 strategy and then be willing to disrupt themselves and the market they serve. Or, wait and be disrupted by someone bringing a new greatness to market.  

So, how great are you?  

A test to determine if your organization puts too much weight in past greatness. Is to ask the rank and file this. What it is that makes our organization great? When the answer is a laundry list of everything, you do that used to matter. It will be a great indicator that it is time to reinvent your greatness. However, be aware that stubbornness to admit declining relevance will feed on the businesses ego attempting to make yesterday's greatest still relevant today, and it rarely is.  

 "Status Quo is the killer of all that will be invented."

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