Get busy living, or get busy dying. Those simple words from The Shawshank Redemption represent a basic philosophy of life that applies well to business. While it's impossible to grow constantly and forever, a business must focus its efforts on at least attempting to grow. There are some ways that businesses can consider to better focus those efforts and improve the chances of positive growth.
First, make change the primary challenge. It's not easy to change, even less so in a field where change must be fairly constant due to rapid progression in technology, as it often is in telecom service provision. By making change the main challenge, businesses can focus on what should be done to accommodate these changes.
Second, don't be afraid to lose. Not all change is profitable, but not changing for the sake of risk of loss will get a business ultimately nowhere. There is “an education in losing,” as Net7 Solutions' Chris Checksfield once noted, so while not all change will yield success and profitability, just knowing what won't work can be a help in the future.
Third, remember there's a maximum limit to education. Education is important; ongoing learning opens up new opportunities. There must come a point, however, where one stops learning and starts doing. Right or wrong, just getting educated will serve no one. Learn, but focus on using that learning.
Fourth, focus on the general. Expertise is great, but with the rapid scale of change, expertise has a shelf life. Be able to coordinate the work of experts to form a coherent whole, being a “general contractor” of sorts in a world where hosted voice is a plumber, for example, is a smart play.
Fifth, let the suppliers be the experts. The supplier needs to know the most about the product line, so let the supplier handle those points. Again, be like the general contractor who dispatches the experts in specific areas where they're most needed.
Finally, remember the basics of change: start with a strategy, consider how to carry it out, then manage the time that goes into the carrying out. This basic path is most likely to yield success thanks to its simple approach; it not only acknowledges the basics of making a plan and following through, but it also allows for an exit should the plan not be succeeding.
There's a lot more than this that goes into success, of course. Everything from the environment to the internal components of a business contributes to overall success. That can be difficult to manage, but the more that companies stick to these basic steps, the more likely success will be to follow. Businesses must be prepared for change of all kinds, because a business that isn't growing is starting on the path toward dying. Not every attempt to grow will be successful, but even trying to grow is the opposite of dying.
Edited by Maurice Nagle