Embracing Change in 2013

Execute smarter, more profitable New Year initiatives

Welcome to 2013 and another brave new year of change driven by profitable opportunities and painful losses, all thanks to our constantly morphing consumer electronics industry.

This will mark yet another year to accelerate market opportunity; fend off flinty competitive threats; strengthen Internet, mobile and in-store traffic; gain greater brand recognition; and compete for faster and more profitable turns. Yes, another year to deploy smart, highly competitive and profitable change.

As we learn and earn our way through highly fueled e-commerce, mobile and brick-and-mortar businesses, senior leadership will continue to accelerate, leverage and capitalize profitable cloud-based opportunities … not only to grow but also to survive.

If we stop changing, if we stop creating stimulating value in the language of consumer benefits, we are finished as a business. Jack Welch, the great global business leader and former chairman and CEO of GE, said it best: “Change, before you have to.” But change is not always easy; it’s not for the faint of competitive heart and it’s not always obvious, embraced or smartly deployed.

The hyper-speed of Internet-enabled transactions has forever recast retail opportunities. New technology platforms, though, are only a piece of the bigger picture. Dynamic online and mobile applications; innovative social marketing and engineering strategies, and highly competitive service initiatives must all be combined to increase revenues and profits.

We’ve seen it done before on a number of different levels, as smart CE manufacturers and retailers have embraced disruptive change and reshaped it into growth opportunities. I recently discussed the need for immediate business change within the CE industry on the NBC TV show New York Nonstop with Jack Wayman, founder and former CEO of the CEA, along with TV personality Joey Reynolds. Jack acknowledged how difficult it is for brick-and-mortar retailers to gain a multi-channel advantage against pure e-tailers that can push and pull profitable sales in mere seconds. A combination of super-fast transaction speeds with highly competitive pricing is as much a consumer demand as it is a CE industry survival strategy.

In the spirit of leveraging disruption, embracing opportunity and spearheading change here are 10 leadership principles to deploy throughout the New Year.

1. Define, publish and present a detailed 2013 company strategy for change.
2. Identify all touchpoints throughout your organization that are designated for accelerated change.
3. Identify all team members responsible for change and match them to the assignments they’re best suited for.
4. Hire your change-agent heroes before your competition does.
5. Establish a social network and CRM war room to learn about, listen to and service your customers much faster.
6. Empower your team to run faster and unleash new capacity in the language of competitive speed.
7. Create one sentence that best articulates your vision for change. All team members must memorize it and share it with all business partners.
8. E-invest to ensure profitable speed for 2013 and for years to come.
9. Embed the language of change into your corporate culture and institutional disciplines.
10. Share all results – the good and the bad – each week with every team member.

These progressive change principles are possible to execute only with top management’s complete buy-in, cooperation and participation. As we reflect upon the companies and brands that have fallen in the last year, we can see that it was their inability to change and implement new business tools and strategies that contributed to their demise. With that in mind, 2013 should not be viewed as the last chance for accelerated change. With the right change agent leadership in place, 2013 should be every company’s chance to accelerate their competitive advantages and shareholder equity for years to come.

Peter Weedfald, is president of Gen One Ventures and Author of Green Reign Leadership.

Peter Weedfald is President of Gen One Ventures, a sales, marketing and brand-product consulting company. He has served as SVP, Chief Marketing Officer of Circuit City, SVP of Sales and Marketing in North America for Samsung, and SVP of global marketing and EEVP, GM & Chief Marketing Officer for ViewSonic.
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  • Okang McBride

    Thanks Peter. What a great read. Now let me go take action on what I read. Okang

  • Stephen S.

    Peter, wise advice as usual. Thanks.