I recently reconnected with a friend I had not seen in over 35 years (no, we weren’t babies). The first things out of each of our mouths were “You look exactly the same.” So I guess when I was a teenager, I had gray receding hair, crow’s feet, and a slightly bad back.
We reminisced about a lot of the usual growing up things, and caught up on college, marriage, children and careers. And even though we (ahem) looked the same, much had changed. The people around us, the cities in which we lived along the way, financial concerns – all had impacts on where we are now and how we “look”.
Businesses cannot look exactly the same, from the inside or outside.
Internally, businesses must recognize changing expectations, needs, risks, and technologies. Processes and structures should adapt to changing customer requirements, changing employee requirements and priorities, and employee turnover.
Externally, companies must respond to changing technologies, shifting customer and market needs or wants, new competitors, loss of competitors, and regulatory changes.
What shouldn’t change – values, ethics, commitment to employees and customers.
I told my now-grown children that if they can look at themselves in the mirror each day with a feeling that they tried their hardest and acted respectfully, then they can hold their heads high. That goes for how you treat your customers. You can change WHAT you deliver, but don’t change HOW you deliver your product or service with integrity. Those values drive the success of your business.
Next time you look in the proverbial mirror of your company, take stock of what was and what is. Hopefully, you will see something that looks a little grayer, wiser, and still vibrant.