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“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” ― Charles Darwin

/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/274657_l_srgb_s_gl_881588.jpgAt the rate business is changing today, you have to stay a step ahead all of the time, while focusing on what made your business successful: the customers, your reputation, and driving outcomes. Technology is just one of the many ways to do this, but it’s an enabler, not a panacea. It should male and female lead togetherbe there to facilitate positive change, freeing up time for you as a business owner to leverage your expertise to keep things on track. Technology solutions need to work for you to stay on top of what your company offers as best practices to serve your customers. The good news is while change is good, what you have been doing today isn’t necessarily bad. It can be leveraged to keep up desired progress, saving cost and eliminating duplicative efforts.

Embrace the trends, but don’t forget the basics

When we as humans evolved, Darwin tells us we adapted some things (thumbs) and abandoned others (like big heads). Some things (fingers) remain and serve us very well to this day. This is important to remember as you embark on change and embrace the great new things that come your way. While customers may be looking for mobile technology to facilitate purchasing (replacing or combined with brick and mortar store purchasing), they will still buy from companies they believe in and trust.  81% of individuals say social media interaction about a product by a friend directly influenced their purchasing decision. Want to sell more? Get out there and create an army of friends who believe in you – it’s crucial to business success. The trust you gain from your customers/prospects won’t increase or decrease because they purchase on a mobile device; it’s your business promise that sells.

Stitch it all together

Ever seen a Liger? Nor have I, but I know one exists.

We likely haven’t seen them because the experiment of breeding a lion and a tiger just doesn’t work. Although it is a beautiful animal, it can’t function outside of captivity and without lots of extra care. While embarking on your organization’s change and putting in new people/processes and systems to succeed, make sure you don’t build a Liger. It will cost you a fortune to manage. Instead, build a highly productive donkey, taking the best of what you have and what you need to succeed in a manageable way. Your “donkey” may not be perfect but it will function well and keep you on track. Essentially think of a hybrid, highly functional landscape as your best solution. Not only are on-premise and cloud software being used together, but this blended deployment model also changes what skills are needed to deploy and stitch the infrastructure together to run effectively.

Beware of extinction

We don’t know much about the dinosaurs but we do know that when they were around, they were truly strong and impactful. They were on top of their game, roaming earth without a clue that they might not be around in the future. A few animals out there today are direct ancestors of dinosaurs and made it (ever heard of the Kimono Dragon?) What did they do right? The answer is they adapted and used the skills they needed to take them into whatever lied ahead. They took the best of the old world, used it in the new and kept adapting to their environment. You can do this with your business and technology too.  Need access to a great solution that you don’t have to manage? Have someone else do it for you. Don’t want to hire a multitude of people for a part time project? Outsource. It’s key that you adjust and provide immediate proof of concept and flexible solutions to customers so they understand your relevance and see immediate value. The benefit of this is that you too can evolve when and where you need to in order to stay relevant for years to come and avoid the way of the dinosaurs.

In closing, remember these words from Darwin: “A monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.” Learn to adapt and change (like the monkey). In doing so, you will be wiser. You’ll also take your business where it needs to go, growing when and how required and pulling everything together in a manageable way, facilitating success for years to come.

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