Change

So is it acceptable in today’s society to change your position? Well, if you look at the current political landscape, then no. In the case of politics, the moment that an elected official, public servant, or candidate veers the course, (no matter what side you belong to); the public immediately rebels against the institution.

We tend to knock people if they flip-flop, make an about-face, or drive toward a U-turn. Why is it that we insist on questioning everything and become skeptical at the moment of transformation? We’re somehow always keeping score. But is this a justified reaction? I personally think not.

For all of the naysayers out there, change is good. For god’s sake it’s human nature. We were born for change.

Today’s champions in business didn’t get to where they are today, building empires, by simply holding the line. If they didn’t change philosophies, direction, or strategies, as consumers we would never have new experiences or have the opportunity to purchase new products and services. One thing that I know is true is that disruption is at the root of success.

Whether you realize it or not, there is a gravitational pull toward change. We like “different.” We seek out things that are perceived to be better. Ask yourself; do you care about the centerline or the ordinary? No! And you know why? We don’t have the capacity or the time to spend our time listening to the ordinary. Ordinary is boring, it’s not remarkable. What interrupts our thinking and makes us listen is “different.”

Inventors, CEOs, business owners, product developers, and marketers know this path well. They have struggled to get to the masses, to make people listen. Their job is to create and then spread the word. But is the word worth spreading if it’s just like everyone else’s story? And now more than ever, companies have the challenge of voicing their messages to a more conspicuous consumer. To the consumers that are classified as innovators and early adopters. For this new kind of consumer, ideas that are worth spreading win.

Let’s look at toys. Matchbox, once a competitor to the Hot Wheel brand, owned the market when it introduced its small toy cars. Matchbox thrived as the standard everyday, Americana replica of a car. It was small enough to fit in a “match box.” Cool right?

But what if you could dream up a different kind of car? Trendy styling, lowered, 20”wheels, flames, performance-based; basically a “tricked-up” car.

Mattel eventually bought Matchbox to eliminate the competition and then created a new segment of toy cars, Hot Wheels, which consumers had never seen before. Although they now had two brands of cars, each was positioned to own a different part of the market. Mattel believed in disruption.

Now tell me the truth, if you had the choice of a Hot Wheel or a Matchbox car wouldn’t you choose the souped-up Hot Wheel? Don’t get me wrong; there’s still a market for Matchbox, just like there’s a market for a Camry. But when it comes to a ball-buster company like Mattel, they didn’t do too badly by inventing something new. In fact, Mattel’s powerhouse of Boy’s Brands: Matchbox, Hot Wheels, and Tyco-RC represents $1 billion in sales. And Hot Wheels reigns with the lion share of that revenue. Why? I’ll continue to repeat myself. Because change is good and there are tons of case studies that prove that it’s necessary.

If you don’t like the toy example then think about the milk case. Cartons, gallons, white, non-fat, 1%, and whole. We know the story. But what happens when you take the milk out of the refrigerated case? Now we have Soy and Almond Milk, maybe next to the refrigerated case, or even in the cereal aisle. It’s not refrigerated! What a novel idea. While milk sales plummet, soy, almond, and non-dairy products soar—to the tune of $1 billion in annual retail sales in the U.S. I think that you’ll agree that’s different. Change is good.

Sometimes companies avoid change because it’s risky. But the riskiest thing a business can do is to remain stagnant. I’m telling you that the same is average. And average doesn’t get anyone, anywhere. So if a CEO asked me my opinion, I would ask him or her to please interrupt me and seek me out because I’m willing to listen. I have too much information coming at me all of the time that I just have to ignore a lot of it. I demand better choices, great choices.

In the words of Socrates, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

I say you welcome change. Quit fighting it. Stop questioning it. Accept that it’s time to think differently. Fight for your right to change. Trust me, its justified.