We need to talk about change in your company.
B2B companies everywhere, from every market segment, have struggled with an onslaught of disruption caused from digital. Their struggle has manifested in a paralysis of go/no-go cycles when it comes to long-term growth.
Change must occur often and regularly for organizations to evolve and sustain their business model. Remind yourself of standing strong on a beach, as waves under-cut the ground beneath your feet; with every wave the ocean shifts one grain of sand after another as your feet react by digging deeper in the ground. In this moment your awareness may only be of your human smallness against the vast ocean. Philosophically I ask you to be wary of your resistance to the granular shifts and stay curious of opportunities that present themselves.
How does your company change?
Hire a digital partner to help you focus on capturing long-term growth. It starts with good research on your capabilities, your clients and how they apply to market trends and industry predictions.
After this discovery phase, the partner should articulate a strategic opportunity and future state for your brand. They should help you socialize and recruit key stakeholders who will share the responsibility for this transformation. This is the part of the engagement where the rubber meets the road; we need to be pragmatic around the organization’s in-house “ability to execute.”
Change needs to pace within the business’ current operating model. Check if the selected partner can help execute, especially around new technologies and emerging trends, as these are often critical to success.
To ensure your organization’s longevity with long-term growth, be prepared to take over the reins in a reasonable timeframe. Schedule training where your team shadows the digital experts before engaging in new tools like social; it will allow you to remove the training wheels before riding the “bike” solo.
Hire a partner, not an agency
Agencies have a tendency to leave clients dissatisfied and B2B companies stay stuck. Select a digital partner who has a balanced perspective, helping you build the implementation internally for whizz-bang visual delights delivered externally.
Your digital partner should have empathy for the challenges your people face organizationally, and knowledge for how to change systems and processes required to achieve that growth and vision.
The final component is the resolve and tenacity to manage the growth through your systems, with the regularity of clockwork and mutual accountability for a pay-as-you-go program.
So on a daily basis, as you are struggling to re-claim share from competitors, when another cheaper entry came in from across the globe, or new innovation that has knocked the market’s socks-off: select a partner — a real partner — who is watching for your growth for the long term.
That is how and why we must talk about that word T-R-A-N-S-F-O-R-M-A-T-I-O-N. If Digital 2.0 taught us anything, it is what Jeff Bezos once said: “If we have a good quarter it’s because of the work we did three, four and five years ago.”
So…transform? Or stagnate? Which do you chose?