Because you have to.

Written by Remco van der Sluis

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In business one needs to be, and more importantly remain, relevant. This makes change come naturally. Although most of us are not built for change. Change means challenging the status quo and come up with a new order of things.

New is what scares most people. They prefer the status quo: it’s safe. This makes change a tough subject within any organisation.

Charles Darwin was already on to change. Not in the way us marketers use it, but there is a lot to learn. Change for the sake of it can be a very harsh way to go and risks are very high. Remember that most of us are change averse. That goes for employees AND for customers just the same.

Change in one big haul is also hard to be trusted. One day you are a trustworthy, reliable person and the next day you are the anarchist challenging the establishment. Would you believe that? I thought you wouldn’t. Same goes for brands.

Design Change

The right way to change is by designing change. Change doesn’t come naturally and doesn’t happen overnight. You do not need to be in a rush. Better, you should sit back and think it through, discuss with peers in and outside scope.

Workshop change and design a step by step approach. Design change. Design change by going from A to B rather than from A to Z.

Patience is a key word here. We all know we need to make deadlines and change shouldn’t be an endless gig. But you have to think it through and make it land.

Take a look what happens with hairdressers and barber shops. In recent years the craft of shaving has come to a renewed life. Changing backwards in time if you take it literally. Our human instinct would have hairdressers jump the riding train in a reaction to this change so they don’t miss out. But if you think it through one could argue that this isn’t the cleverest way to go: redesign in full your shop and make it look like a 50’s barbershop?

The better way is to try to understand what is happening in this market, what is the motivation of the consumer and design on these insights an approach on how to be a relevant part of this change. Change is a process, a process that needs to be designed.

Coming back to good ol’ Charles: It’s not the strongest of species that survives, nor is the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change!

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written by Remco van der Sluis

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