Why Do Businesses Fail to Successfully Adapt to Change?

Interesting infographic on GigaOM on why businesses are failing to successfully deal with disruption, competition, and change. Many of the reported causal factors will be quite familiar to anyone who has worked in a larger corporation. Although this highlights some of those factors, there isn’t much offered in terms of potential solutions to overcome these issues.

Some of the factors affecting the pace of business change:

  • Volatile economic environment
  • Increased competition
  • Fast-changing regulatory environment
  • Rapid changes in customer preferences
  • Changing technologies

Barriers slowing business response to change:

  • Lack of resources to implement change
  • Lack of coordination across different functions
  • Inaccurate or incomplete data
  • Bureaucratic decision-making process
  • Reluctance among senior executives to change strategy
  • Lack of leadership
  • Lack of autonomy for managers/executives
  • Reluctance to admit that previous strategic decisions were wrong
  • Lack of innovation capability

There are certainly things that can be done by larger corporations to address these issues, but they require strong leadership, real vision, and bold execution.

First, it requires significant changes in how organizations hire, organize teams, encourage exploration, and reward success.

Second, it requires significant changes in business processes and product development processes to foster goal-directed innovation, weave it appropriately into the product process, and streamline decision-making so that products can be delivered more quickly to market.

Finally, it requires a clarity of vision and a focused strategy to engender passion, not only in your customers, but also in your employees. Without their passion and belief in your mission and what you are delivering to your customers, nothing of significance will ever be created.

Progress Software infographic based on research from the Economist Intelligence Unit

Credit: Progress Software’s infographic based on research from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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