Adam Hartung, over at Forbes magazine, comments on the recent discussion about “creative destruction” and how companies become unproductive by new processes and technologies.
Both my experience with creativity and with focussing on process have learned me, and I agree with Adam here, that companies can always turn around, as long as their leaders are open to new approaches, new trends and new ideas. If you continue to do what you did before and the market has turned a corner, it is obvious that you’ll loose out on opportunities and your competition will move away from you, as will your sales.
Effective leaders are creative leaders. You need to sit down from time to time and have the strength to look at your business, department or company through the eyes of an outsider and notice the new approaches you could take. Listen to interns and stagiars for a change, as they will bring you some fresh ideas and new science straight from the scientific departments they have just left.
A really bad example is Kodak, the inventor of the digital photography, who totally missed the rise of the digital age and now has to go for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Also think about other companies that are struggling with this topic, see how HP has moved up and down and looks to struggle to find their new identity. Look at how Blockbuster missed the boat that Netflix jumped on.
All examples of the same failing leadership, lack of focuss on process, lack of creativity and lack of seeing the opportunities in new technologies when they present themselves there right in front of your business.