A guide to embracing change in your business

Your job as you know it and your business as it is currently run will eventually change; the only chance any of us have for prosperity is to constantly reimagine, rethink and reinvent everything we do and how we do it in order to remain relevant, according to Jason Jennings in his book The Reinventors: How Extraordinary Companies Pursue Radical Continuous Change. If your desire to be comfortable is greater than your need to embrace change it is probably time to call it a day, wrap things up and put the business into hungry hands.

So how do you go about creating the necessary amount of change without destroying your business? The author’s advice includes:

  • The leadership of a business is responsible for building a culture of change and growth, which includes keeping, growing and rewarding the right people, and finding, keeping and growing more customers.
  • Before you can embrace change, you have to be willing to let go of practices which might have been helpful in the past but which are barriers to innovation.
  • Reinvention starts with choosing a clear destination.
  • Try a large number of small bets on innovations, rather than trying big bets, because most successful strategy is discovered by taking lots of small bets.
  • Companies which succeed through change employ people who have basic smarts, are eager lifelong learners, have a good work ethic, like the company, want to climb some mountains, are optimistic, think like the owner, and feel like they belong.
  • Frugality spurs ingenuity, and companies which successfully embrace change have a disdain for waste and indulgence.
  • Successful reinvention works best by systematizing everything: determining the best way to do things step-by-step, making sure everyone does things the same way, and using the system as a baseline for continual improvement.

The book is filled cover to cover with stories of companies which made changes or failed to make changes, and these make it very readable and highly engaging. Some types of business are changing more rapidly than others, but all types of business seem to be changing more rapidly today than was the case a few decades ago, so this book will be a very useful resource for most business leaders.

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