A business that remains on a journey of constant relevance. Its cartographer draws the map based on the customer's journey to the future. A business that becomes irrelevant. Its cartographer created a map to keep the customers circling back to the past. This cartographer stopped listing to the customers and drew from memories.
The declines in the needs of a product are the greatest threat to those who manufacture the product. When industries experience the evaporation of needs from those it services. Many of its leaders will search for fantasies instead of facing realities.
Leaders on a fantasy search find great comfort in the world of other delusional mindsets. Yes, It seems that there are plenty of Yes Men and Yes Woman in the ranks of all organizations facing challenges to their continued relevance.
Executive teams in declining marketplaces. Have two choices, one based on weakness and one based on strength.
1) The weak leaders will form allies with those who support their fantacies and refuse realities. Together they will fight till their deaths attempting to save sacred legacies to maintain a past relevance; a relevance which lives outside the reality of progress.
2) The strong leaders listen to customers and continuously seek why what was once sacred should be replaced. Strong leaders are driven by their customers desires and have no tolerance for saving anything which stifles relevance regardless of how sacred it once was.
"The directions from the traveler already on the trail are so much clearer than the maps drawn from a past traveler's memories."
Mature industries are inherently subjected to believing their past success will continue forever. Unfortunately, the original entrepreneurial whose wisdom which created the industry's unique and valuable deliverables are long gone.
In the absence of the entrepreneurs are executive managers who are great at managing what was. However, when what was is declining in relevance. It will again take entrepreneurs to recreate what one day managers again can manage.
Entrepreneurs create things from the directions of a marketplace needs. Legacy organizations strapped by red tape and the indecisiveness of a bureaucracy. Rarely respond in time to circumvent an impending doom.
There is no time for inaction or indecisiveness in declining and disrupted business models—even less patience for senior leaders insecure of their place in the future. Insecurity is the breeding ground for the procrastination behaviors of in-action and in-decisiveness.
The unimaginative executives will retract inwards when their insecurities are challenged. These insecure management teams will ignore the market's realities as they attempt to save what they know. Or, worse they will dedicate themselves to using old maps which never updated the changes in the landscape.
"When leadership seeks comfort over relevance, they will surround themselves with unchallenging complacency."
This attraction to the status quo is easier than engaging with the marketplace's end-users, who may confirm the impending doom's fears causing their insecurities. Those who deny the necessity to explore the unknown or verify what appears to be an accurate fate are doomed to those who do.
The document imaging channel's OEM leaders must reevaluate both the map of their current journey and decide how the cartographer's insecurities may have affected the details of the route.
Regardless of the pain toward relevance, a declining industry's leaders must go back to their customers with an open mind searching for what they need to hear and ignore those subordinates insecure about their place in the future, telling them what they want to hear.
An industry's customers do not sacrifice their progress to keep that industry's insecure management employed. Unfortunately, Insecure management will, by default, help destroy what could have been.
"Declining industries must pay attention to the customers and replace their stubbornness in delivering the past with an eagerness to deliver the future."
The cartographer who draws the map based on the customer's journey to the future will always have a more accurate map than the cartographer who creates a map to keep the customers circling back to the past.
"Status Quo is the killer of all that will be invented."
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