When I recently read that retailer Bed Bath & Beyond was in “deep trouble,” I thought of this from retired United States Army General Eric Shinseki: “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”
Like it or not, all leaders are responsible to not accept the status quo. They must constantly improve their current situation. One way is to seek out change—but not for change’s sake. It must be purposeful.
Yes, stability is important, but leaders also have to improve their organization’s competitive position. Did the senior leaders of Bed Bath & Beyond address this? Maybe they did or maybe they didn’t, but this article provides some insights:
The home goods chain made the announcement while reporting earnings for its third quarter. Bed Bath & Beyond’ s sales at stores open for at least a year dropped 8.3% during the quarter and the retailer lost $29 million.
New CEO Mark Tritton called the results “unsatisfactory” and said they underscore the imperative for change.
Yes, unsatisfactory results will lead to change. Isn’t it better for leaders to lead the change before the damage is done?
Proactively analyze one change you could make in your area of responsibility in the next three months to help, not hurt, your business for the rest of the year. Then work toward making that change.
This can be a difficult and uncomfortable challenge, which is precisely why many leaders don’t do it. It underscores the need to find the time and courage to “do something” before “something is done to you.”
To get started, follow these five steps:
- On a blank piece of paper, create three buckets: recent change – rarely changed – never changed.
- Drop different aspects of your business into the appropriate bucket. Examples: compensation, distribution, product lines, processes, reorganization, and so on.
- Scan the lists in each bucket, then select one you intuitively know you should consider.
- Take out any emotion; approach your analysis with a clean sheet of paper and an outsider’s mindset.
- If it makes sense to do so, build the plan for change. If it doesn’t seem right, go back to step 3.
I encourage you to be a leader who seeks ways to prevent unsatisfactory results by proactively making changes.