Become like water my friend – Bruce Lee
A few key elements of water are that it’s shapeless, changes direction easily, adjust speed when appropriate, it’s strong, free, powerful, and forges it’s own path.
Like water you and your business must be able to change quickly to ensure your survival. Change embodies movement, things that don’t move are usually dead. Paul Orfalea credits much of Kinko’s early success to each individual stores’ ability to change quickly based on what was working or not working in other stores as he went store to store with the news (there was no internet or email back then).
Changing is tough because changing always starts with admitting that somethings wrong with what you’re currently doing, or your outlook on things might be behind the times. Coke changed, remember New Coke. They changed again when they realized what a goof they’d made. Blockbuster Video refused to change and move toward online video rental, and gave up traction to Netflix. In 2007 Steve Jobs changed the name of Apple Computer’s to just Apple to reflect the company’s, then, newfound emphasis on consumer electronics.
The lesson here is that standing flat footed and sticking to one business line is risky. During the industrial age things changed but did so slowly. Now, trends change sometimes overnight…so become like water my friend.