"Sometimes the hurricane knocks down the biggest trees, to only allow the saplings to thrive." Is this happening in the marketplace today?
Are many of our cherished institutions failing and falling by the wayside? What saplings are beginning to grow out from under the devastation?
First, let's discuss the biggest trees in the marketplace — let's look at a basic company directory:
- Management/Admin - shrinking, less middle management, no admin
- Financial - in a tizzy, most are looking for 'inventive' ways to save
- Human Resources - outsourced areas, shrinking training, little hiring
- Operations - outsourced overseas, replaced by tech, do more with less
- Marketing - outsourced, social media typhoon, failing media institutions
- IT - enterprise to cloud, sexy area to basic plumbing transition, changes instantly
- Sales & Customer Service - most valuable of the bunch, yet do more with less
If you work in any of these areas, you've probably seen some of these things occurring (and some others).
But change is a constant. As I tell all my clients:, "Don't try to desperately hang on to what you're losing, anticipate the future based on what's happening now, and move towards it with your eyes wide open."
First — what can you currently do to stay alive and relevant in your department? You know what areas are growing and conversely, what areas are shrinking (or going away). Don't put your head in the sand — you need to take action TODAY.
Ask for more responsibility. Check out what the 'hot' projects are. Who are the stars? Begin to push yourself and challenge the internal status quo.
If you were unemployed and wanted a job in retail, I wouldn't point you towards Blockbuster, I would direct you to the Apple Store.
Second — start thinking strategically. Where is your area of expertise going? You don't want to be a slide-rule salesperson in a world of calculators. Start taking steps now to make what you have to offer powerful, relevant, and in-demand for the next 5-10-15 years.
Third — embrace change and stay flexible. Don't fight the rising tide. Don't watch the trees fall all around you and expect your tree to survive. Where are the saplings? If you don't make the jump now, you might not have the timing, resources and opportunity to make the jump when needed.
It all starts with a simple, clear plan coupled with ACTION. Start today.
What first step do you need to take to begin this process?