Monday, July 16, 2007

Keeping up with the Jones’ isn’t what it used to be

Are we finally learning to proceed along our own individual path? Or are there simply too many new products to keep up with?

A survey I recently read in Brandweek showed that the percentages of individuals to whom it is important to keep up with the latest technological trends, fashions, and styles has shrunk compared to 1999 data.

What does this mean?

To me, I see a marketplace filled with diversity. This is a beautiful thing. But when change comes so fast that people are incapable of keeping up, keeping up ceases to appeal to most. Customers need time to absorb changes and to get comfortable with the new product or feature.

If you apply our Change Agent® tool to this boom in technology, fashion, and style trends, you can see why customers aren’t rushing out the door to stay at the cutting edge. The need/reason for change is not always clearly defined (do we need to watch TV on our phones?) and rewards for early adoption to the change is not readily obvious.

• Define the need/reason for change and Relevance for key internal and external audiences,
• Create communications strategy, timetable, messages, measurements and tools,
• Delineate Risks, Roadblocks, and Rewards,
• Mentor managers through the current change event and prepare them for the next,
• Train and motivate audiences to embrace and execute their specific change event responsibilities; and
• Prepare for new change opportunities.

I guess the bottom line is that change takes some time to get used to. Remember that next time you are implementing a change in your organization or product line.

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