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 Change Your Business Mind-Set

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reggie
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reggie


Male Number of posts : 639
Age : 57
Registration date : 2007-07-26

Change Your Business Mind-Set Empty
PostSubject: Change Your Business Mind-Set   Change Your Business Mind-Set Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2007 12:09 pm

Change Your Business Mind-Set

In this excerpt from Mind Set!, John Naisbitt explains how most things remain constant in the business world despite the hype of change in the 24/7 media world.

On August 8, 2006, Amazon.com listed 56,170 book titles under change, 11,195Mind Set! - Credit: HarperCollins.com titles under business change, and 2,404 titles under global change. An uncountable number of newspapers, magazines and 24-hour news channels leave not one stone unturned, promoting the idea that everyone is changing. Now, who in the world can keep up with this? No one can.

Don’t bother.

Think about it: Most businesses stay in a steady state, day in and day out, year in and year out. Yes, products and markets have been altered, mostly for the better, and the tools we use have changed. But despite the avalanche of business books, business practices -- the basics of buying and selling, of making a profit as a necessary condition of survival -- have remained much the same during my 40 years of involvement.

Whether cell phones can display television and calls are made via the internet, your bathtub filled by taking off your clothes or your refrigerator opened by a rumble in your stomach, these are just other ways of doing what we do -- easier, faster, farther, more, and longer -- and not the substance of our lives. We go to school, get married, and have kids and send them to school, which, God knows, does not change despite the chanting for school reform. Home, family and work are the great constants.

Life on a sugar beet farm has not changed too much since my boyhood. As ever, the seasons determine the rhythm of life, although modern equipment has eased sowing and harvesting. Most of the farmers still raise chickens and keep farm animals, only the horses in my time used for transport and work are more often kept for leisure and delight. In the ups and downs of life, my parents were trying to make their living, educate their children as best they could, all in the frame of their potential and with the tools of their time.

At the beginning of their 11-volume The Story of Civilization, Will and Ariel Durant say:

“Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting, and doing things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise their predictable children, sing songs, write poetry, and even whittle statues.
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reggie
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reggie


Male Number of posts : 639
Age : 57
Registration date : 2007-07-26

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PostSubject: Re: Change Your Business Mind-Set   Change Your Business Mind-Set Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2007 12:09 pm

Returning to farming, what has changed is how agriculture is practiced. Advancement is dependent on how flexible farmers adapt their skills to new technologies and changing consumer behavior. But farmers stay what they are, farmers, although there are differences in how they farm. Some find their niche, adapting to changing demands in the market, like Chino’s, whose delicate organic vegetables and fruits are flown to celebrity cooks like Wolfgang Puck in Los Angeles. Others, for various reasons, have not made it and have given up farming.

Most change is not in what we do, but how we do it. Within all the hype, the more we are able to differentiate between constants and change, the more effectively we will be able to react to new markets and profit from change.

Sports are a good example.

The rules of team sports remain fairly constant -- with only very small changes from time to time. The changes we do make often come from a change in the way players play their game. A well-known big change was the popularization of the modern forward pass in football by Knute Rockne in the 1920s. The goal was still to get a touchdown, but how players could get to the goal line changed.

Occasionally an individual player’s style will change the game.

On the night of December 30, 1936, a crowd of more than 17,500 turned out at the old Madison Square Garden in New York City to see Long Island University, the nation’s No. 1 basketball team with a 43-game winning streak, oppose Stanford, the defending Pacific Coast Conference champion. Stanford ended LIU’s winning streak with a 45-31 victory, but something more important happened.

The crowd in fact had mostly come to see Hank Luisetti, Stanford’s 6’2”, 185-pound sophomore. He was the only player known for shooting the ball with one hand while he hung in the air, in defiance of basketball style. Everyone else was shooting the old style: two-handed set shots or hook shots. The huge publicity celebrating Luisetti’s shooting style did not change that the goal was putting the ball into the basket, but it forever changed how the game was played. But not without stubborn resistance. The establishment felt it was not the right thing to do. “That’s not basketball,” Nat Holman, the fabled City College of New York coach, said at the time. “If my boys ever shot one-handed, I’d quit coaching.”

Luisetti was voted college player of the year in 1937 and 1938. He finished second to George Mikan in the Associated Press’ poll to select the best player of the first half of the 20th century.

Hank Luisetti died on December 17, 2002, living plenty long enough to see his style perfected and embellished by the likes of Earl Monroe, Julius Erving, and, of course, Michael Jordan.

A change in techniques often opens a door to a wider potential.
the high mortality of change
So often we hear and read that “the only certainty is change.” There is an upside and a downside to this. The upside is on the side of the change management consultants. The downside is that people are driven into hysteria about the omnipresence of change. In the late 1990s, e-commerce was to change everything. Sell all your stock in retail chains; forget bricks-and-mortar.

Fashion, one would think, is all about change. Most of fashion, I would say, is a parade of fads. But there are many constants in the fashion world, and I don’t mean the little black dress. A constant of more than 150 years is jeans, which were “Levi’s” for about 100 years until the options increased. Now every designer has his or her jeans version coming and going.
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reggie
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reggie


Male Number of posts : 639
Age : 57
Registration date : 2007-07-26

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PostSubject: Re: Change Your Business Mind-Set   Change Your Business Mind-Set Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2007 12:10 pm

A constant joy in men’s fashion is its constancy. Don’t try to introduce something new. This market, unlike women’s fashions, hardly ever changes, and if it does only slightly. In my experience over the years, just about the only change has been the width of men’s ties -- every 20 years. More things are like men’s fashions than women’s fashions.

In November 2005, Coca-Cola announced that it was pulling the plug on Vanilla Coke, joining the long list of new products that die an early death. Of the 30,000 new customer products launched each year, more than 90% expire. “We are doing just fine with what we have” seems to be the response of consumers. The importance of continuity was highlighted in Built to Last, the 1994 book by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, in which they debunked the “myth of change.” “A visionary company almost religiously preserves its core ideology, changing it seldom, if ever,” they wrote. “Core values in a visionary company form a rock-solid foundation and do not drift with the trends and fashions of the day.”

In business, as in sports, new techniques sometimes introduce a new constancy. “Process management” took off in the United States in the 1980s, triggered by the threat of the Japanese taking over the world, and with its star methodology, Six Sigma, pioneered by Bill Smith at Motorola, became the new universal truth for quality improvement. Now its great champion, GE’s Jack Welch, has retired, and it is beginning to run out of gas, as it is now being seen by many as a hindrance to creativity. But it has been in play for 25 years.
everything new under the sun?
Long gone are the days when King Solomon (3,000 BC) wrote his famous words: “That which has come to be, that is what will come to be; and that which has been done, that is what will be done; and so there is nothing new under the sun.”

Now everything is said to be new under the sun.

Early in 2005, Newsweek started running a widely placed advertisement with an extraordinary quote by its gifted international editor, Fareed Zakaria: “The 21st century will be the century of change. More things will change in more places in the next 10 years than in the previous 100. Most countries aren’t ready for this dizzying ride -- certainly not the United States of America.”

No wonder reading statements like this make us focus on the future, desperately seeking the horizon for the next sign of change, each little cloud a possible sign of a thunderstorm. Fareed Zakaria might be able to look beyond the horizon, seeing more than any of us. But surely no quantitative studies were made: Adding up all the changes during the previous 100 years is daunting enough, but it is not possible to now list the number of things that “will change in more places in the next 10 years.” It is an attention-getting statement in the fog of speculation. To me it is impressionistic and not helpful. Better to make your list of what you think will change in the next 10 years and what you think is likely to remain constant.
the bottom line
The good news is that “the only constancy is change” is both ubiquitous and ridiculous. My bottom line is that “the only certainty in business is change” is just not true.
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