From globalization to technology, today’s successful companies are adapting and embracing rapid change. I’ve witnessed a lot of change in almost 30 years in business and I’ve found that comparisons with old and new trends can help us all move forward. 

Let’s acknowledge that anyone can imitate, but can we innovate? Our entire culture is based on the new. We are not going backward, so keeping our eyes wide open and innovating is what we should all be investing in.

Ultimately, adaptability can help our businesses with recruitment and retention for both clients and employees. This can often lead to differentiation and stability to help your business achieve a stronger valuation.

Here are 27 changes I see in business that we should all be watching:

OLD versus NEW

  1. Anchored to office versus work anywhere
  2. Top down, rank and file, command and control versus empower and inspire, sense of ownership management
  3. Made in China versus Made in USA
  4. Wisdom from older generation versus wisdom from all generations
  5. In-house versus outsource
  6. Focused on your business only versus opensource, community-driven mentality
  7. Marketing versus Cause-Marketing
  8. Commission only versus company investing in talent through base pay + bonus plan
  9. Clock-watching and time card-punching versus trust
  10. Social media inhibits productivity versus social media is embraced and leveraged
  11. Relationship selling versus challenger selling
  12. White old men in board room versus optic diversity and diversity of thought
  13. Products only versus products and services
  14. Inventory versus virtual, on-demand
  15. Two – three weeks for delivery versus next and even same day, free delivery
  16. Reliance on grandpa’s gospel versus investment in continuing education within industry
  17. Communication to the masses via email versus human to human, conversation with the individual
  18. HR violations are ignored versus celebrating the change that comes from getting rid of a-holes in your organization
  19. Disregard compliance (“no one will find out”) versus product safety as a go to market strategy
  20. Cheap “race to bottom” products versus quality products + stellar packaging and design
  21. Product versus purpose
  22. 9-5 versus flexible work schedule
  23. Territorial and protective versus open-minded sharing ideas, in a rising tide raises all ships fashion
  24. Beat up supplier chain for more, more, more versus reciprocal investment in long-term relationship with partners
  25. Selfish, insular mission versus bigger picture, longer-term industry vision 
  26. Lowest price, best customer service, largest catalog versus real value differentiation
  27. Product, price, promotion, place versus purpose, pride, partnership and personalization

What do you think? And what did I miss?

I am hopeful your organization can adapt and evolve during these precarious and exciting times. And as you go through your organization’s future-cast modeling and strategic planning, remember what Jack Welch famously said, “Change before you have to.”

Danny Rosin

Co-President, Brand Fuel