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3 min read

Could Embracing ‘CHANGE’ Make You Market Leader?

"Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change. A company that stands still will soon be forgotten. Trying to provoke positive change is a principle we've embedded across the Virgin family for more than four decades." (Sir Richard Branson)


This week, Sir Richard Branson has dominated a huge percentage of world news coverage following his first flight into space. From launching a student magazine at just 15 years old, and founding the Virgin brand in 1970, his company and vision have certainly skyrocketed. Why? Because he embraces change. 


Our last blog (Are You Educating Remote Staff through E-learning?) discussed the importance of never fully giving up your student status and always acknowledging room for improvement and opportunities to learn and better yourself. On a business level, leaders who offer educational resources to their workforce are actively ready to change things up.


‘Do you love a success story?’


We do – and few top that of Branson’s recent Galactic launch! (See previous blogs such as: Climbing a Pyramid of Success…) Despite academic challenges at school, Sir Richard Branson has become an entrepreneurial icon and business tycoon. The influence of his empire spans the globe, encompassing a range of industries and leading various fields – he has always moved with the times, kept up with technology and not been afraid to make changes. In fact:


"Virgin's restless spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation and market disruption has built up a diverse group of companies, which underpins the Virgin Group's 50 years of growth."   


The Virgin story also echoes a commitment to ‘change business for good.’ Thus, the enterprise has featured in many an essay question relating to Psychologist Kurt Lewin’s three-step model for change, based on the idea that: Old activities must be unfrozen, a new concept introduced, then new activities must be frozen.


What could the three stages of change mean to me and my business?


As with all theories, some points are notoriously celebrated or disputed more than others, but one thing’s for sure, any company or organisation that fears change or avoids progression is not going to make it. Any business, regardless of its genre, needs to evolve and adopt the relevant tools to do so. To ‘unfreeze’ outdated practice or antiquated resources such as performance management tools which have seen their day, means to confront a problem and analyse what is no longer working. 


Step two welcomes new ideas to the table, to adapt or replace existing procedures and inspire a modern twist and up-to-date appeal. Finally, ‘freezing’ the conjured change translates to the implementation and reinforcement of new strategies, products or concepts. 


Virgin’s thirst for innovation and market dominance has clearly taken any process involving change seriously, no doubt overcoming plenty of obstacles along the way and adapting accordingly. With both feet on the ground, it’s imperative to be patient when implementing change and remember that:


‘If an attempt to create change in the organisation is unsuccessful, it means that there is a problem in one of the three steps in the model.’


Taking the time to discuss developmental needs and prospective goals can positively shape or even save a business’ future. Just imagine the amount of planning (over almost two decades) that must have gone into Branson’s space adventure – each change and curveball encountered would have been thoroughly explored in order to convert his dreams into reality, whilst ensuring the highest standards and company ethos at all times. 


I need to change my management tools – what’s available?


Just as Virgin Records had to make space for CD’s on their shelves, when their demand outshone that of vinyl, some performance management tools also deserve to take a backseat. Leaders relying on group emails, mind-boggling spreadsheets and haphazard data collection methods are suffering unnecessarily across a broad spectrum of industries.   


Sales managers, including those in retail, telecoms and banking, could all benefit from making the change to modern software and innovative applications to cater for their needs much more efficiently. As mentioned last week, even franchise educational companies come under a complex business umbrella. Whether e-learning solutions are their bread and butter, or perhaps presential school facilities dominate their market, the fact remains that sound managerial practice is the key to success. 


Performance management apps not only simplify data collection and KPI visualisation for those in charge, but actually unify all members of an organisation at different levels. A consolidated or shared dashboard omits the need to juggle annoyingly incompatible operational systems, along with updating KPI’s and other useful information on a daily basis. Managers on the shop floor, bank directors and even those tracking student enrolment, progress and wellbeing all benefit from real-time responses. Apps which are easy to use and also offer chat and communication channels truly make companies the forerunners of modern markets. Their benefits are endless - they can even track happiness!


Summary – Change is DEFINITELY Good!


The jury might be out on ‘change’ in general, given life’s occasional setbacks and bad decisions, but with booming business in mind, taking a leap and striving for positive change is definitely a winner. 


Breaking down the need for change and focusing on the core factors prompting  transformation, doesn’t need to cause panic or disarray. In fact, problems or issues can inspire necessary changes! On that note, Sir Richard Branson once said:


"Frustration can be an enormous driver of change, if you are good at spotting the opportunity sitting right at the centre of a problem." 


Leaders - it’s time to ‘unfreeze’ any areas of concern and equip well-informed, organised teams and individuals with the power to develop new concepts, based on the success or failure of previous endeavours. With a view to improve and encourage prosperous possibilities going forward, such changes will always be well received and keep you in the lead.


Join us next time for more insight into sales performance management solutions. 


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