What do Jeff Bezos, Peloton (the fitness startup) and the stock market have in common? Change, massive change.
Bezos’ life is going through a major upheaval. (Divorce, from what I’ve been told, is rarely fun). Even the richest man on the planet (for the time being) experiences ongoing challenge. Professionally and personally.
Peloton, a true “unicorn” that is transforming the fitness industry, vertically integrates proprietary technological software, hardware, fitness products, content, music and retail. The major global manufactures of stationary bikes and treadmills like Life Fitness, Precor and Johnson Health Tech have been talking about the concept for years. It’s ironic that John Foley, Co-CEO of Peloton, a technology guy, is actually pulling it off. (In August Peloton raised $550M and the company is valued at $4 billion…an IPO in the making.) The evolution of Peloton is a prime example of how successful companies today manage change as an ongoing process vs. a static “strategic planning” event.
The stock market has been erupting like a volcano. Unpredictable, volatile and dangerous unless you are clear on your goals and timelines.
As a business leader how prepared are you to manage your company through change? How comfortable are you embracing and implementing new ideas and approaches? How well do you model the way for others to follow? Important questions. More important you have your own personal answers.
Having recently completed a successful manufacturing company turnaround while serving as the fractional CEO, here are a few thoughts you might consider.
- There are No Silver Bullets – just as there are billions of unique individuals walking the planet, no two companies are alike. Every business has its own culture. The shared beliefs within the organization have powerful influences on how decisions are made and the pace in which people operate. Don’t waste time trying to implement the latest fad or pithy advice offered through the most resent NY Times Best Seller. Become your own master.
- Focus First on Alignment – Is there crystal clarity on your company’s priorities? Are key leaders aligned on how the varying functions support each other? If not, get clear and get aligned
- Focus Second on Accountability – I’ve yet to meet ANYONE who is an expert in all facets of running a business. The finance expert is rarely a product design guru. The sales oracle often does not fully appreciate the myriad of details being managed in operations. The master marketer has a brilliant understanding of end-user demographics but rarely spends any measurable time in the field calling on buyers and customer executive decision makers. To truly drive strong strategic execution, clear cross-functional accountability is critical
- Finally Focus on Actions – Where it all comes together is integrating actions. Purposeful intentional and collective steps to move in a desired direction. Considering the marketplace is going through arguably one of the most tumultuous periods of change in the last decade, be humble and be open-minded to embracing fresh actions
To be a strong strategic leader in today, one must be comfortable looking in the mirror and fully embracing personal change. Further, your company’s current business model must embrace industry change. Finally, your company must be ready to weather another stock market tsunami. The markets will change.
Unfortunately for many, it’s only when one’s company is on the brink of disaster that genuine change is embraced. I know. I’ve been there…multiple times. Turnarounds are hard, painful and unpredictable.
Best to proactively plan in advance. Are you and your company ready to face the ultimate corporate killer? Are you ready to change?
Helping Build Amazing Companies
Core focus areas include:
Sales Growth & Turnarounds
Executive Advisory, Alignment and Accountability