How would you complete this phrase?
“If it ain’t broke… __________?”
“Don’t fix it, right?
Here’s the problem with that: Time Breaks Everything!
You all know the story and have seen the casualties to go with it… taxis totally missed Uber and lost millions in sales and market share.
The casualty list is exhaustive and here are a few…
- Record companies didn’t see iTunes/Spotify
- Kodak didn’t see digital
- Typewriters didn’t see computers
- Blockbuster didn’t see Netflix
- Gillette didn’t see Dollar Shave Club
So, do you think that’s still going on? Well… duh.
How can you prevent your industry, organization, or even your personal career from being Ubered… disrupted… rendered completely irrelevant?
Plot your own demise.
As much as possible, I want you to metaphorically step outside of yourself, look at your business anew and ask, “What IF someone were going to “Uber” us? How could they do what we do in a considerably better, cheaper and/or easier way?
The Transportation Security Administration hires experts to randomly smuggle firearms, explosives and all manner of contraband through their security.
Why? They’re looking for vulnerabilities. And so should YOU!
There are three areas to consider immediately:
- Technology. How could someone totally reinvent your business using an app, robots, artificial intelligence, software or crowd-sourcing?
- Customer Service. The common denominator with most of the above businesses is their downfall was preceded by poor customer service? How could someone do the same thing you do and by simply being considerably better to their customers take you business? Where have your customers accepted sub-par treatment?
- Quality. What have your employees or customers come to accept as a limitation which someone else could solve and take business away from you?
All the businesses mentioned above were so busy doing what made them successful that they failed to see the larger picture, the trends, the changes happening right in front of them.
A great example we see in progress right now is the way Tesla, like them or not, is revolutionizing the automobile industry…
- Technology - theirs is the most advanced in the industry.
- Customer service - they have reinvented the sales/buying process getting rid of the objectionable tenets of the dealership model.
- Quality - a standard internal combustion engine/vehicle has approximately 1000 moving parts; a Tesla has eight.
Mindset: This isn’t about vulnerability, it’s about opportunity.
My point here is not merely a defensive play to guard against being rendered irrelevant so you can continue as before.
My real point is that discovering your vulnerabilities reveals your opportunities… to lead, to improve, to grow and to better serve your customers.
Every vulnerability is an opportunity… discover them before someone else does.
Plot your own demise!