Signs of spring have been all around us this month as nature awakens from its winter slumber, the question is, did you?
In business we have so many examples of Companies that stand still, while others have passed by. Look at a Company like Motorola. Since World War II, they were the go to Company for hand-held communication, producing the first cellular phone for the consumers in the 1980's. The phones may have been gigantic by today's standards, but they certainly were a status symbol at that time.
As phones became smaller they adjusted and created devices that looked more like something from Star Trek...then something happened. They stopped growing. They figured by making it smaller they had done their job. Meanwhile in Canada and the world of Blackberry, they were already thinking of integrating that new medium, email, into a 'personal communication device', not just a phone. It was a roaring success and they rode that wave for several years.
However, then a California Company figured consumers would probably like to listen to music and surf the internet, while checking email and talking on the phone and the Blackberry experience soured in the palate of the consumer and the iPhone became the next big thing.
In each case, the Companies in question got caught with tunnel vision, instead of looking for ways to 'grow' their product. Does it make them bad Companies? Of course not, but embracing changing consumer demands is crucial. Some call it the 'Sports Illustrated attitude'.
For years, Sports Illustrated was the leading source for all things Sports within the USA. Their magazine sales were second to none and everyone who was anyone in the Sports world wanted to be on the cover. However, somewhere along the line, they neglected to notice the new medium coming through that was television, and before they knew it, ESPN had cornered the world of sports.
From a long-term perspective, maybe the old adage is true - If you're not moving forward, you are moving backward, and in a world of constant and rapid change, maintaining the status quo is quite simply passive regression.
And while it seems that life is about more than growth - life's incredibly uncomfortable moments are, in reality, opportunities for personal growth. For as we know life is also filled with hope. With vision. With dreams. It isn't all about prosperity, but it can be about growth.