Most companies are struggling so hard to defend their old model — feeding their herd of elephants — that they don’t have the energy and creativity to look for greener pastures.
Your challenge lies in making the required changes without harming your business during the transition.
Many CEOs have begun the search for greener pastures, but have run out of food along the way. They fail to recognize the amount of time it will require to fundamentally change their business model, and the amount of money as well.
You’re facing an extraordinary set of challenges when you’re thinking about making a transition for your business. It’s a long journey from here to there. You have to make sure you bring enough food to arrive intact at your destination.
Searching for greener pastures
It’s exciting to be on a search for greener pastures.
Just be sure you don’t have to beg for food along the way.
Many industries must transform themselves in response to market shifts and technological breakthroughs.
Many business journalists have written of heroic CEOs who have committed to all-at-once transformations —leaving their past business models behind, and focusing solely on making their firms into something entirely new.
That’s very brave and forward-looking, but it’s proven to be wrong most of the time. It doesn’t find its way into the business press, but real life experience is filled with sad stories of companies that have committed completely to new business models and left behind their established sources of revenues.
In industry after industry, companies that are built for traditional business rarely pull off a quick transformation by dropping one business model and picking up another one. That’s why you have to build a long-term vision while you’re also dealing with short-term needs. The conflicting demands are tough — and even more so when you’re too busy with too many things (including things you shouldn’t even touch!)
It’s exciting to build a new business model, but you’ve still got to bring in enough revenue to feed your existing band of followers.
That’s why managing the process of profitable change isn’t a simple matter of choosing between the rough and tumble of today’s business and the shiny glow of a tidier and easier future.
Many CEOs have a visionary view of a bright future, but they’ve been so focused on building a model for the long term that they’ve run out of money in the short term.
Searching for greener pastures is a noble effort. Just be sure you don’t have to beg for food along the way.