Reinvent to Stay Relevant

What do Madonna and IBM have in common?

They’ve both reinvented themselves significantly in order to stay relevant and successful in the marketplace.

The original Material Girl now speaks in a British accent and espouses veganism and yoga.  And IBM, once the largest manufacturer of computers in the world, took a shocking tumble in 1993 that nearly put them out of business—only to rebound as the largest seller of enterprise server solutions in the world by 2013.  It’s a reinvention that is studied in business schools the world over.

Whether you’re an entertainer, a multi-national tech giant, or somewhere in between, the lesson is clear: innovate to survive.

Roger von Oech is a speaker, author, and toy-maker whose focus has been on the study of creativity. He created and produced the “Innovation in Industry” conference series in Silicon Valley that featured entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Charles Schwab, and many others.

He put it this way, “It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date.”

How do you go about “reinventing” your business so that your company doesn’t get left behind?  You have to be constantly evaluating 2 areas:  inside and outside your company…

The External View: Industry Trends

Industry trends are influenced by the economy, technological advances, government regulations, competition, current events, and more.  Keeping your ear to the ground so that you can spot trends early will provide a competitive advantage.

Consider the economy and how it’ll impact the way you do business. Many economists expect a rise in inflation soon, which will mean an increase in the costs of materials you need to run your business. Are you prepared for that? Ongoing unrest in the Middle East is threatening to result in a spike in the price of oil and gasoline. Ready for that?  What technological developments can you adopt early so that you can deliver faster, cheaper, better, than the competition?  Reinvent yourself before the market forces you to do so, which means you’re already behind the eight ball.

The Internal View: Business Operations

Another area for innovation has to do with the functional areas in your company. In what areas are you most vulnerable? Where is there waste?  What systems are sluggish and clogged? Do you need to raise prices? And don’t forget: sometimes YOU can be the one to fuel a shift in your entire industry by being the first to innovate solutions to problems your customers are experiencing.  Don’t wait for external factors to force you to change—allow innovation to grow organically from a forward-focused, solutions-driven, customer-obsessed company culture.

To learn how to be a leader in your industry, sign up today for my 1-day Growth Plan Workshop this September 26th (that’s with a hot lunch included) and you’ll leave with:

  • A clear picture of where you want your business to be in 10-30 years
  • A 3-5 year plan, a 90-day plan, & a ready-to-implement weekly Action Plan to get you there
    • Energy, vision, & focus
    • Strategies to build your profits right away
    • A network of like-minded business contacts


My business coaching clients attend this workshop every quarter. Attend and find out why. Regular planning for business success—in just 1 day a quarter. Sign up now at

Inspire Results Business Coaching

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