The board of the Chamber of Commerce is flexible. When we posted the line-up for the first breakfast of the year, a week or so ago, it took about half an hour for the phone to ring.
We were receiving feedback that we could possibly find a different line-up up for the first meeting of the year. Now, no one was yelling or ranting but there was some strong feedback coming in. Based on that feedback, the board, collectively, decided to change who would be on the panel. This process highlighted the importance of being flexible.
Being flexible in business, as in life, is one of the most important things we can learn and work on. Being flexible isn’t something that comes naturally, it takes work. Being flexible heightens the fight or flight response so it can take a lot of effort to overcome that response and, be flexible.
In this day and age, not being flexible in business will almost certainly lead to disaster. The internet age has almost immeasurably increased the speed at which everything in business changes, so we all need to be malleable to change as often as we need to.
Because the only constant in life is change.
The easiest example that comes to mind is the bitter feud to the end between Netflix and Blockbuster. When Netflix launched in April of 1998 it was the world’s first “online DVD store”. They were a festering splinter that Blockbuster chose to ignore (sort of). Did you know, in 2000, Blockbuster could have bought Netflix for $50M but Blockbuster declined the offer. Now, $50M is a fair chunk of change but Netflix now has a market cap of $151.43 BILLION dollars. Oops. We all know what happened to Blockbuster when they got stuck in their ways. When they refused to be flexible.
There aren’t going to be too many of us that will have that kind of decision to make anytime soon. But the smaller decisions we make could shape our futures dramatically. Do we move and shift what we are doing to make the most out of every opportunity? When an employee has a great idea for change, do we listen? Do we watch for trends in the market and plan ahead for what could work here?
Being flexible is absolutely essential for success in business, it is time to limber up or maybe even take a yoga class.
The Chamber’s first breakfast of the year is on the 12th of Feb at the Civic Centre. Tickets are available at www.gympiechamber.com.au