In order not to be the victims of obsolescence, Today businesses and their leaders must be able to innovate and transition at much greater speeds. I want to start off this article with a favorite quote, which was written 500 years ago by Niccolo Machiavelli, Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian Renaissance historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer. He has often been called the father of modern political science. Born: May 3, 1469, Florence, Italy Died: June 21, 1527, Florence, Italy. Here’s his quote.
“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those, who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.”
I saw this quote a few years back, a time when I started talking with my friends in the Imaging Channel about my vision and thoughts of the future of the channel. Today unlike a few years back more are listening, however as in a few years back, many still are looking for absolutes to what the future holds. Too many leaders are managing the way things are instead of leading the way things should be. Too many leaders are allowing management practices to take precedence over their Entrepreneurial wisdom.
The facts are that a new order of things which is a result to fix that which is Broken or replace that which is obsolete. Becomes ever challenging if directions for the changes come from outside what I defined as the “Pasture of Least Resistance” The title of a previous article. In this proverbial pasture is where we find what I call protect my ass leaders. The introduction of a new order of things is too threatening to those with insecurities. A sad state of an ever-changing industry, an Industry which will take new ways, new ideas, and possibly new people. It’s this possibility of new people which always threatens the managers of the way it is unless of course, they are truly determined to lead the changes needed to reach the way it should be. Leaders or managers who drive toward constant relevancy are never threatened by the promoter of a new way.
My Grandmother taught me something a long time ago regarding leadership. Her lesson was this. Knowing what your weaknesses are and then surrounding yourself with those who make up for those weaknesses-is the most important thing a business leader must do.
That advice was so right and has guided me thought-out my career. I knew right then I wouldn’t have to be the smartest, and that was great news. Those who believe they are or must be the smartest will always set up fences around their kingdom, defined in the business world as Thief-domes. The goal for any Industry which is collapsing should be the absolute protection of the business not silos within the business. The Imaging Channel will face many challenges. Those who move on past these difficulties will do so because their leadership tore down the fences around the Pasture of Least Resistance, and explored, and collaborated with those outside the confinements of current circumstances.
The facts are. The Imaging Channel is fading into the background of something new. My vision becomes the Innovation Channel. The evolution of products stops when the evolution of Desired Outcomes destroys the need for the products. The Industry should ask themselves these questions. Is our organization in business based on a product or based on the people who deliver it? Second question. What would your Customer miss most about your organization if they reduced their printing so much they needed no management of it and fired you?
Well, we have all heard the saying no one has a crystal ball. I never interpreted that to mean never listen to or react to the warnings of impending doom, however sadly many do ignore or become hypnotized by their successes of the past.
Products, do not build industries People Do, Products will become obsolete, However, People have to choose whether they become obsolete.
Begin today. Choose to create what is Relevant, over Fighting to keep what was Relevant.
It’s Time we Innovate our Industry so we can Innovate our customers.
Your grandmother’s advice remains true today. Unfortunately, some weak leaders fear those with strengths that they lack, derailing their own success.