Evolution is a fantastic topic … when it comes to business. As far as humans, since there’s not one single person who can prove physical evolution—us evolving from a single cell organism that got tired of living in a mud pit— believing in it is beyond ridiculous. But that’s another blog post for another time.
As a business leader, though, I can prove evolution to you all day long. Writing a letter now only requires an Internet connection to be delivered. If you want to go see your family, you no longer have to hitch up the horse and load up the buggy. Well … unless you’re Amish. In which case, you’re probably not reading my blog.
With the advent of the World Wide Web, it is now considerably easier for people to learn how to fix things, make things or create things. In the early days of the Internet, we would have to hire or pay someone to create a Web page. Now, within minutes, you can create your own from a free template.
So how does this apply to you? It’s simple. You have to make sure you’re willing and able to evolve with the times, which may mean becoming something different than you are right now. A railroad company that doesn’t become a “transportation” company and find different avenues to transport, like truck and air, will soon become all but extinct. (Perhaps you know of one.)
As you look at your product line, don’t just focus on how to make it better. Ask yourself the questions: Is this the only way for my customer to get my product? Are there easier and less expensive methods? Is my competition delivering it in a better way than I am? Do I need to reinvent what I have to fit customers now or in the future?
If your widget is, say, toilet paper, you’re probably going to be OK. But if you are like the Post Office, I suggest you start quickly reinventing yourself. Maybe look in the “Yellow Pages” to see if you can find someone to help with the process.
Question: How have you seen companies not evolve and pay a price for it?