• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Beliefs, change and transformation (2)

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The sweetness of victory is magnified by the effort it took to achieve it” (Chris Widener).

In the course of a change management workshop that I was privileged to facilitate in 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa, I used the Internet as an example of how change can be created by setting new bench marks. For example, it is clear that to remain in business today, you must use the Internet as an online sales machine to generate leads and make sales, while at the same time building and promoting your corporate brand. In other words, Internet marketing has become an important marketing strategy, meaning that having websites today is no longer just for online presence and information.

To emphasise the fact that the power of the Internet has universal application based on the change that it has forced upon us, I chose to use the 2008 United States presidential elections as an example. This is because one of the most astounding aspects of President Barack Obama’s successful campaign for the White House was the use of the Internet, which was hitherto not considered a possible major political campaign, marketing and fund raising platform by others. But in Obama’s case, the Internet provided his campaign with the best platform to reach young people of voting age. It also accounted for the bulk of the small donations, which made his fundraising to break previous records for campaigns and changed expectations for future elections.

If political campaigns can now appreciate and effectively utilise the power of the Internet to move ahead, it must be obvious that business organisations that can similarly make use of the Internet in their own campaigns would enjoy great benefits. It is all about adapting to, and utilising change. Today, the Internet has made it easy for consumers to access information, suppliers, services and brands exactly when and where they want to, within split seconds. Today, consumers can access the Internet in their cars, at home, at work, on their TVs – virtually everywhere.

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The digital world has definitely changed the way that we do business. Online (Internet) marketing is now one of the most favoured ways to reach the target audience faster, cheaper and meet their needs and expectations in the best way. As a matter of fact, the use of multi-channel online marketing approach is preferred to regular marketing. This is because, apart from the fact that it offers something different, it also creating multiple opportunities and platforms to engage potential customers, especially via social media.

What all of these mean and suggest is that for every leader that wants to be a successful change agent, there must be the willingness, desire and inspiration to break limits, create new bench marks and offer fresh challenges. This is simply an inspired effort to raise the bar of beliefs in what can be done and the extent to which desirable change can be facilitated through transformed thinking and transformational leadership. It is such powerful beliefs and inspired thoughts that differentiate businesses and organisations operating under the same macro environmental challenges. This is also what creates and establishes sustainable brands in the marketplace. It all starts with the belief in the power and process to effect desirable change.

Organisational success, and indeed survival, is dependent on the ability to respond to and manage environmental changes, and the identification and development of strong leadership to guide the process of transformation. Apple Computers, the global computer giant is an example of a transformational company, which created a strong customer base among people that desire more user-friendly features, especially on their mobile computer systems. With the variants of the Ipad, the iPhone and the iPod, Apple Computers has transformed itself from a company that competes with makers of laptops and PCs to one that leads the world in handheld devices. The key to being transformational, as shown by Apple, is to risk being a leader rather than becoming a better follower.

Organisational change in the manner that compels transformational impact is of course hardly possible or effective without strong leadership. This is because successful change management begins with an effective leader who can respond to, and lead the transformation challenge by creating new systems to drive the renewal process. Moreover, managing change requires a strong and unwavering commitment from the change leader and the team, so that desired change can be supported and driven through stakeholder buy-in and commitment. That is what also sustains the change. You can read more about the transformational power of coaching at www.ceedcoaching.com.

Emmanuel Imevbere