Because change is a constant, it makes sense to spend time understanding the process and harnessing how it happens, with the idea being to arrive at the best possible outcome. Sometimes methodical incremental change will make sense. At other times breakthrough change could be required to remain a viable and competitive business entity.
Incremental. You might, for example, know that by adding one more traditional sales person your sales will increase by some historically valid percentage. Normally, incremental change is supported by historic evidence and is quite likely to work if you follow a prescribed procedure. Please don’t misunderstand, I see nothing wrong with a near “sure thing” path to growth. Sometimes, in fact, it’s the right answer.
Breakthrough. Sometimes so much is changing in your business that traditional methods are not the “sure thing” they used to be. Either that or competitive pressures may demand a dramatic change in existing cost or quality structures. Large organizations often have Continuous Improvement departments staffed with six sigma black belts to help facilitate these types of changes. A breakthrough change in sales might be the replacement of your traditional sales force with an online purchasing and support model. There is nothing incremental about that kind of change.
Thinking can be incremental or breakthrough as well.
Recently I realized that the type of company ColorMetrix has become is quite different than the company it was three years ago. Many of the actual changes that brought me to this realization occurred incrementally. We used to be a color software and technology company. We have become the verified color strategy company. A company that builds color communities throughout the workflow and across the supply chain utilizing software and technology.
That’s a breakthrough change in the way I think of myself and my company. See how arriving at that breakthrough in thinking might change how I present myself to future potential customers?
How about you? What are your thoughts on the subject?