Monday, April 1, 2013

Change with changing times and technology

In class, we discussed why being operationally efficient is just not enough for a company to become the market leader. Operational efficiency is no longer a factor that gives competitive advantage. The availability of high end technology has reduced the gaps in operational efficiency, and making the firms efficient over time. These days companies are almost as efficient as each other. This raises an important question of how companies can 
standout and make a statement. Companies need to reinvent themselves periodically before they fall behind the trend. The article "Reinvent Your Business Before It’s Too Late" assigned for this week reinstates this fact. 

When we talk about companies that re-invent themselves the companies that come to our mind are the consumer electronic companies and the hi-tech companies that develop cutting edge products to stay in
competition. But, today I want to talk about a company which doesn't fall into either of these categories, Nike. Nike has been reinventing itself time to time to remain as one of the market leaders in athletic footwear since its founding in January 25, 1964. Nike transformed itself from making sneakers from waffle irons to producing Nike+, which monitors a runner's performance via a shoe radio device that's linked to an iPod[1]. Through the transition, Nike maintained it's leadership. On the flip side is a company like Kodak, which once dominated the photographic film market, but lost the race when it failed to change with times when the entire industry has transformed to digital photography. Kodak did try to change their focus to digital cameras but it was too late, and company eventually filed a bankruptcy[2]. 

These examples say two things,

- Every organization has to reinvent and change constantly even to stay in the competition
- Change has to come in time. If you don't see the change coming, organization may cease to exist 

While change is a good thing, it is not so obvious as to which trend would ride the growth next, or which options to choose for growth. Nokia's partnership with Windows is a good example which proves that a wrong step in the right direction will also lead to failures. This would leave us with an interesting question, how to identify next big opportunity  and when to pursue the change?


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