Companies large and small can sense when change is coming. They know that the environmental landscape is not stagnant. They know that new technologies emerge every day and along with that come opportunities to provide their existing customers with new products and services. Companies are not stupid. The question is what they should do about it especially if they are generating satisfactory profits and they have happy customers.

WHY should they change? What is the incentive and what is the risk when it comes to change? Even if change is wanted by middle management or upper management, there will be some contingency that finds change to be threatening in some way and they will make it their business to fight those seeking change. It takes courage and foresight to embrace change while managing the business as it is presently. Why enthusiastically take on the opportunities associated with an automobile when you can dominate the market for buggy whips? Some managers think short-term and figure they aren’t going to be in their present position for more than the next few years so why not let the next manager confront the messy task of dealing with change?

Change, which includes innovation, requires experimentation and most companies are set-up to resist it except for what goes on in the research and development (R&D) department. Those who propose new offerings, new business models, new partnerships, changes to the supply chain, etc. may be seen as disruptive. Those who resist change possibly out of fear or because they see no reason to change may sabotage those who are promoting it. Fortunately, the innovators of this world will continue to embrace change and if they face too much resistance, they will seek out opportunities outside the organization. Ultimately change cannot be suppressed and the companies that embrace it will be the leaders of tomorrow while companies that resist it will pay the ultimate price.