“There is nothing more constant than change.” Heraclitus
According to futurist Thomas Frey, 60% of the best jobs in the next 10 years haven’t even been invented yet. What does that tell us? It tells us that to keep relevant, we all need to be versatile as individuals and as organizations. We may need to change our skills and sometimes even the direction of our business to meet the changing environment.
Most companies today don’t stay around for longer than 10 years and those that do, understand how versatility is key to success and longevity.
“Today we only have to look to companies like Microsoft and Apple to understand how versatility equates to relevancy,” says Roy Murad, Entrepreneur and Business Consultant. “Microsoft and Apple are constantly reinventing themselves to maintain their goals and market positioning. They have the pulse of the competition and they make key strategic directional changes accordingly to keep their market positioning. Like Apple, the more versatile you are in business, the more successful you will be in getting where you want to go.”
I Need to Be More Versatile… But How?
Versatility is really made up of two key components: understanding when there is a need for a shift and understanding how you need to change to stay relevant. The largest mistake people make is staying too focused on their own business without understanding, or even seeing, what is happening around them.
While any single one of us would love hearing how great our company or our products are, the truth is that you can learn more from the criticism than you can from the praise; but that requires us to listen objectively. Those criticisms are what can drive improvement.
What do you do when you see a shift that could impact your business tomorrow or, preferably, five years down the road?
First, staying up-to-date on your industry will allow you to see what’s coming. The last thing you want is to become obsolete without even realizing it. In those cases, it is often too late to make the change without a complete fresh start. Join online conversations through LinkedIn, networking, joining a local club (i.e. Rotary), subscribing to trade magazines or journals, watching industry podcasts and talking with your customers. It shouldn’t be overwhelming, but is critical to staying ahead of change.
Next, be realistic about your own skill sets and where there might be a short-coming. Learning new skills, especially technology, which changes every day, could be the edge you need to remain current. This is where the next point comes into play.
Embrace the next generation. Older doesn’t always mean wiser and this next generation has a lot to teach, if you listen. This can’t be truer than when it comes to technology. Technology is as common as breathing to the next generation. Don’t be afraid to spend some time listening to their ideas, which will likely have you looking from a different perspective; ask them for help with technology; and share your business acumen with them as well. You can both benefit from each other in ways that will positively impact the company.
Roy Murad is a father, husband, business consultant, investor, advocate for new business ventures, and consummate entrepreneur. Over the course of 35 years building businesses, guiding companies and identifying strong investment opportunities, while nurturing a thriving family, Roy Murad has amassed a wealth of experience; experience, that may be of value to others who are looking to shape a balanced and successful life experience.
Follow Roy Murad on Twitter @roymuradca