Change or Die.

by Patrick Liew on December 28, 2015

The lines between industries, markets and professions are constantly blurring, being disintermediated, or undergoing a redefinition.

If traditional companies do not constantly change, they may end up being acquired or worst, join the fate of the dinosaurs.

The executives running such companies should go from being “I-Shaped” to being “T-Shaped.”

In other words, they cannot just be specialists in their chosen field of expertise, they need to develop themselves in a holistic way.

They need to have the capacity to adopt a global mindset and the ability to have and acquire a wide range of knowledge and expertise.

They have to also adopt not just a “historian” but also a “futurist” mindset.

This is to prevent them from leaning towards looking at the past and equating it to the future.

Past success may cause fear for changes.

It tends to drive executives to hold on to the status quo and to perpetuate the temporary and transient value of past achievements.

Executives need to focus on future markets and opportunities and help their company make the necessary changes to capitalise on them.

In addition, executives need to move from being just a “fireman” to setting up a “firewall.”

They need to learn how to ensure that anything that can go wrong will never go wrong.

A virus should not be able to penetrate the company and cause a breakdown to the  systems and processes.

Even it is able to infect and affect the company, there are systems and  procedures in place to repel it and to minimise disruption and other inconvenience.

There should be a learning system in place to not only ensure that the breach will not happen again but that it will also strengthen operational resilience.

Executives need to open the “steel vault” of information and operate as “search engines” and as “system integrators” in the knowledge-based economy.

Executives hold a vast array of  critical and beneficial information for the company.

Very often, these information are held under lock and key or protected by multiple security levels and passwords.

These information may not be properly organised and analysed.

As a result, they are not being  effectively translated into useful tools and resources to help other business units and individuals to leverage on them for better outcomes, results and impacts.

Finally, executives have to shift from just being “custodians” to also become “creators” of new realities.

They should be restless souls, always desiring to know the unknown and discover the undiscovered.

They should be constantly thinking about how to disrupt current patterns and look for the next breakthrough.

While others are thinking about what’s next, they are deliberating about what’s coming after ‘what’s next.’

They are looking ahead of the curve and around the bend to invest in the future and be future-ready.

They recreate themselves rigorously, relentlessly and unrelentingly to stay above and ahead of the crowd.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

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