The world today is fast paced and full of excitement, with nowhere to go but forward. If you don’t keep looking ahead, you could fall behind. Here at The Vandiver Group (TVG), we had the chance to hear Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande, Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University, speak on the importance of staying relevant today and in the future.
Many companies today operate on outdated principals. They are stuck in a state of mediocrity; content to just do okay because that is what has worked in the past. As Dr. Akande described it, they are in a state of hospice. The key to avoiding this state of hospice? Relevancy.
So, how do you stay relevant in an ever-changing world? The first step is evaluating your mission. It needs to be aspirational with the ability to be modified over time. For instance, Dr.Akande cited the Walt Disney Company. The motto that is given to every Disney employee is, “Be the best 30 minutes of a child’s day.” It is simple, but it’s something that the company can aspire to everyday and that will never be outdated.
The next step is reinvention. You may have to change your company to stay in the game. What worked in the past may not work today or tomorrow. Many companies have hit this stage and adapted accordingly. For example, Sears has constantly updated their focus to fill the needs of their target audience. While they once were known for their catalogs, their focus now is on home appliances. Holding on to the past when they need to change may be the cause of a business’s own undoing.
Finally, set a “moon” goal for your company. Like President John F. Kennedy’s ambition to reach the moon, this goal is not something easy to attain. It is not something you focus on every day, but you continuously work toward it with unbending determination.
How is your company staying relevant and reinventing itself? And, what’s your company’s moon goal? TVG helps our clients stay relevant by offering strategic counsel and “seeing beyond the immediate” to get our clients ready for the road ahead. How can we help you? Let’s start the conversation and see where it leads.
Dr. Akande is a member of The Vandiver Group’s Advisory Board.