Change is never easy. Baseball legend Ted Williams refused to hit to the opposite field. My dad still uses an aol.com email account. And how can we forget the likes of Kodak, Radio Shack and Circuit City. Well, easily but for Google. At the individual or organizational level, and in spite of obvious benefits (Ted Williams lost 15 points on his career average by refusing to hit to left field), change is simply a difficult thing to do.
How then does an organization keep pace with technological, social and customer pressures? It must, I believe, develop and nurture the leaders and the culture to adapt to change. A recent group of Harvard Business review articles entitled “The Culture Factor” describe how organizations can think about their culture in the context of where they want to go strategically. My take away is that culture must be deliberate, leaders must assess it frequently, and without a focus on culture the most brilliant of strategies are doomed to fail.
Change isn’t always necessary. Ted Williams never adapted to the Boudreau Shift but remains one of the greatest baseball players ever to take the field. However, the Ted Williamses of the world are rare, and the annals of business are filled with stories of failed organizations that could not adapt or change. A culture of change can be built. I have seen it done.
– Patrick Moore, May 2018 – [bio]