With the unpredictability of the economy and the unrest on a global scale, people are starting to panic, screaming “We have to get on top of this! We have to change our business model!” Woah…slow down! Reinventing a business model takes time and a great deal of planning, and it can be done by answering the following seven questions:
1. Do you have a solid strategy in place before you being the reinventing phase? Many companies will tell you they simply react and don’t stop to plan. This plan needs to include very serious thought about how you are going to operate, the team you need in place and how you are going to educate your stakeholders about the reinvention.
2. Do you have the right person at the top of your organization? This is a quandary that organizations bump up against during a reinvention phase. The CEO or President of the company may have been a superstar during a crisis or in managing an old business model. The new model may be entrepreneurial, innovative or driven by technology, so looking at the person at the top and analyzing their skill set will be a critical component during a reinvention phase. If the person at the top is not your right man or woman, it may be time for a change. As hard as it will be, the visionary of your company must be forward thinking, or the new business model will die in about one month.
3. Can you financially afford to reinvent your business model at this time? Times are tough, and the financial resources may not be available for a full overhaul of your company. If this is the case, you might consider reinventing one department in your company as a beta test to see if reinvention makes sense and if you can truly afford to take this change to a company-wide level.
4. Do you have the very best talent on board...talented people who are not only great in one area but who have a wide variety of skills whose talents and knowledge can be used in a variety of ways. During reinvention, you will be asked to dare to be innovative and you will be bumping up against a multitude of obstacles, and if your employees have a wide variety of skills, you can pull them in when a challenge strikes and leverage their talent and skill sets. Tools like the Strengths Finder Profile can help you in analyzing the strengths of everyone in your company (including people who are your wage workers…they may have just what it takes to address a tough problem).
5. Do the employees in your company have the ability to drive new business growth? Some people are just plain stuck in the past and some people are forward thinkers. When it comes to driving new business growth, this is where online social networking can truly be an asset to your company. If your employees are what I call the “super connectors” of the world, they can bring new customers, partners, investors, talent and consultants to the table who can help you master your reinvention process and actually drive growth by bringing in their networks.
6. Does your culture need an overhaul? Look around your company. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Are you living with the 60’s look of vinyl furniture and cubicles from the 70’s and 80’s? Are people walking around with scowls on their faces, just watching for the clock to strike 5:00 so that they can get the hell out of dodge? If so, it’s time for a culture change. In today’s world, the cultures of companies that are working are open, bright, with the latest technology and most employees are receiving coaching and feedback on an ongoing basis. People are excited and dancing out the door just to go to work. If your culture is one that is stuck back in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s or even the year 2000, then wake up! We are in the year 2010, and boy have times changed. Your culture needs to change with what’s going on in the year 2010 and should pull you into the future…not the past.
7. Are you ready to think? In order to reinvent, true, deep thinking, brainstorming and masterminding to look to the future will be a part of your process. The thinking, brainstorming process is not as easy as it sounds, because you are going to have people on your team who are going to play devil’s advocate and will pop every balloon you blow up. I truly believe that the brainstorming process should be managed by someone on the outside who is skilled with pulling all ideas out onto the table…even the ones that are the crazy, far-fetched ones. Once all ideas are on the table, you can then bring in the nit-pickers to pick apart the ideas to see which reinvention strategy is going to best serve your company. But…at the end of the day, you are going to have to be willing to truly brainstorm, and if an employee just cannot get on board with this process, maybe it’s time to let that person find another place to hang his hat.
If you or your company is in the middle of reinventing your business model and you need help from a coach, give me a call at 910-692-6118 or email me at email@example.com. I am happy to talk with you to see if I can help or if I can find someone from my network (which is quite large) to help you.