Is Your Bus Still Relevant?

“It makes no difference if the right people are in the right seats if the Bus is obsolete.”

When industries are going through market shifts, shifts which cause core deliverables to become less and less relevant to their end-users, leadership must not only look at improving, they must understand the importance of reinvention. During market shifts, the customers of the old way are quicker to gravitate to that which is new. Customers will leave behind their vendors who are stuck, blinded, and crippled by legacy processes, ideas, and goals.

All in leadership have heard the phrase “put the right people in the right seats on the bus.” The problem for many organizations is today’s technology disruptions. It might not be the people or the seats they are buckled in, but more likely the fact that the Bus itself needs replacing. When an industry’s deliverable is threatened by obsolescence, everything that was sacred to its past is more than likely irrelevant in the new business model as you drive towards relevancy.

This drive towards relevancy must be at the forefront of all leaders’ mindsets. Leaders will soon realize that those sacred processes, those sacred sales strategies, and even sadly those sacred people are susceptible to reinvention and replacement in the quest for relevancy.

So what if your relevancy requires a whole new Bus? What if it needs a new driver? What if there are fewer seats? And what if all the care and maintenance you provided the old Bus brings you no value if you determine just to sell it rather than go through the pain of replacing it?

For many organizations, their stubbornness to modify is a result of being too committed to the way it was or is instead of the way it could be, or more importantly should be. Sometimes the thoughts of erasing the past are too scary. Well, frankly, being displaced by those who bring the future to your customers before you should scare you more.

When we know change is mandatory, we must be ready to replace the Bus. Those who only focus on the people in the seats will more than likely get run over by their competitor’s new bus. Never allow those who are tightly seat belted in the seats they were in yesterday convince you that an obsolete, rusty bus just needs fresh paint. Customers want a final destination, and sooner or later the old Bus will make fewer and fewer pick-ups.


Ray Stasieczko
Ray Stasieczko
THROUGH my creativity and passion for innovation, I help organizations navigate through needed changes. Over the past thirty years, I have had successes and faced challenges. The challenges organizations face today, I not only recognize them, I’ve experienced and navigated them firsthand. Delivering services to all marketplaces continues transforming. Competition is coming from places no one would have imagined. My innovative thinking benefits organizations who recognize change is needed, and more importantly, recognize the value of creativity fueled by experiences. The future of the business to business or business to consumers marketplace will require unique collaboration. I understand the importance of collaboration and have the imagination to bring uniqueness in delivering it. I believe successful innovation and transformation only happens “When an organizations focus is on bringing the future to the present, instead of bringing the past to the future.”

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  1. Ray, great points and I love your metaphor! You point out that people are committed to the way it was, but how much of that commitment comes from fear of uncertainty? Do you think leaders worry they may fail faster by changing in the wrong way so they opt to fail slowly by not changing?

  2. Good points. Business go through these cycles of being operational-centric and customer-centric. Operational focuses on optimizing internally to meet customer demand. Customer-centric focuses on optimizing what can be delivered to customers and how then use that drive internal optimizations. If a business doesn’t follow these cycles, the business will fail.