In a challenging economic environment, remaining relevant to your customers and within your organization is critical to your survival.
Those who fail to deliver value to their consumers, shareholders, clients and teammates become extinct.
Want proof? Just ask Circuit City.
Circuit City became complacent. With a management group at the helm that failed to pick great store locations, combined with terrible inventory choices (think no major appliances) and customer service issues, their customers deemed them irrelevant and now shop at Best Buy, Wal-Mart or the other Big Box down the block.
Or Blockbuster. This movie rental chain failed to notice the change happening all around it. They failed to adapt.
For over 50 years NASA has been exploring the skies and atmosphere while teaching us more about our planet and ourselves. Have you ever seen a space shuttle? It is a wondrous thing. A peek at the inside of the space shuttle is a display of cutting edge-technology and representative of the precise teamwork necessary for successful mission completion. This formidable ‘office’ (or cockpit) is capable of International business and research (satellite recovery, anyone?)
And now NASA space shuttles are, sadly, irrelevant.
How did an organization like NASA fail to understand shifts in marketplace demands, of the customers’ perception of the importance of innovation, discovery, and research?
I don’t know a ton about space programs, but I do know this: in aviation, complacency kills.
Same is true in business: if you become complacent and fail to ignore the warning signs (shifts in culture, trends, global demands, budget restrictions), you could be facing extinction.
But if you remain relevant, fight off complacency, stay agile and adaptable, you will be able to thrive in any economy, and leave extinction to the dinosaurs.
Carey Lohrenz is the author of the Wall Street Journal Best Seller “Fearless Leadership: High-Performance Lessons from the Flight Deck.”, a motivational speaker and leadership expert.
Carey has flown missions worldwide as a combat-mission-ready United States Navy F-14 Tomcat pilot. Her extensive experience operating in one of the world’s most challenging environments, an aircraft carrier, and her unique position as one of the first female combat pilots make her the perfect opening or closing inspirational keynote speaker for your corporate meeting or conference.
Carey graduated from the University of Wisconsin where she was a varsity rower, also training at the Pre-Olympic level. After graduation, she attended the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School before starting flight training and her naval career. She is the mother of four kids, and is currently working on her Master’s in Business Administration in Strategic Leadership.