Thursday, 18 February 2010

Change Management

Change management, transformational leadership, business transformation

Have you spotted the replacement for your company yet?

I stumbled upon a fascinating article about change management the other day from 2007. I was struck by the power of the message which reminds us just how quickly new companies can arrive and how quickly they can take over and even dominate an industry. When the article was written, I wonder if anyone had hear the names Twitter, Squidoo, Technorati and many other household names that exist today? What may be even more fascinating would be to hear if any of the business ideas mentioned in this article ever took off themselves?

In a training video presentation, the famous leadership trainer Bob Johnson warned that, as leaders, “We have to find a better way to do things. If we don’t our competition will.”

As proof that this warning may be becoming a reality – right now – in several industries (including maybe your own), consider the following four examples profiled in the August 22 2007 edition of Business 2.0 magazine:

Startup wants to make power plants obsolete. Do you realize that almost two-thirds of energy produced in the conversion of fuel into kilowatts is lost as heat? Now, a company called Bloom Energy is taking solid-oxide fuel cells – a concept that been around since the 19th century – and using it to create more efficient, cleaner and more localized power production that can run on a variety of fuel sources, including ethanol, biodiesel, methane and natural gas. While making large, inefficient power plants obsolete, many experts also predict that this development could bring more affordable, more reliable power to developing countries and remote villages around the world.

Tired of car and insurance payments, fuel costs and auto maintenance? New firm has left a fleet of cars parked around town; use one of theirs instead. A company called Zipcar is out to prove that you no longer need an automobile. The firm has a fleet of 3,000 hip cars scattered throughout 23 dense urban areas – including London, Boston, New York and Vancouver – that subscribers can locate via the Web and use 24 hours per day for a $50 annual membership and $8 - $15 per hour. The firm already has more than 100,000 members and more than $60 million in annual revenue this year.

Who says that old dinosaurs can’t learn new tricks? If you thought that digital photography killed the old Polaroid camera company, think again. Housed in an old Polaroid R&D facility in Massachusetts is a little spin-off – with big plans – called Zink, which stands for “zero ink.” Zink wants to turn your cell phone, laptop or TV into a high-end color printer.

Think there’s a market for a $176 laptop that uses 90 percent less electricity than today’s models? While a “do-gooder” named Nicholas Negroponte set out to create computers for Third World kids, his invention, which relies on something called Wi-Fi mesh networks, just may transform personal computing for the entire world.

Remember Bob Johnson’s warning that, if we don’t find a better way to do things, our competition will. Maybe they already have. You can read the full story here.

Please do let us know if you have come across (or worked for) any of these 4 innovative companies? Did their dreams (and other peoples nightmares) ever come true?

Topics relevant to this article include change management business transformation, transformational leadership

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