Nokia continues to be my favourite phone. It is so nice and compact and sturdy. My phone is also my best friend. I love browsing, checking for messages and having fun on Whatsapp.
Like all normal people, once I like a particular brand, I continue to use it loyally and strongly recommend the product or the service to anyone who cares to ask for my opinion.
It came as a great surprise when I came to know that Nokia was taken over by Microsoft.
I like the word Nokia. I like seeing the word Nokia on my phone. And I read what the Nokia CEO said with a great sense of sadness.
Here’s what he had to say: We did not do anything wrong, yet somehow we lost. Sad but true.
If we do not change with the times, if we do not keep track of what the current market trends are- we will be left behind in the rat race.
Competition is fierce. Change is the norm of the day and the hour. Innovation is in. Creativity is held in high esteem.
So much so, that even the senior most generation is forced to change along with the times if they want to understand and relate to what is happening to the younger generation.
What then are the tangible factors that would help us adapt to this rapidly changing scenario?
Here are some pointers. We would welcome suggestions and ideas from all our readers as well. We do know that we need to constantly update our ideas, our thinking and remain flexible at all times.
- Learn, Unlearn and Relearn: This is the first and the most difficult stage that we need to work on at an internal level.
- We need to constantly question our beliefs and value systems.
- We have imbibed these beliefs over a long period of time ever since we were children.
- These may give us an illusion of stability and credibility – but often our very belief system needs to be revamped.
- For instance: Women need to be taken care of. The primary role of women is looking after the home and the family. This belief was adhered to and followed by almost all women till about 50 years back. Only those who had a financially weak background permitted women to work.
- Permitted? Today a woman like me will question that word very strongly. I will ask my spouse or my family this question: I can take my own decisions that are related to my life and/or my family and home. What is a priority for my spouse may not be a priority for me. I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT NEED ANYONE’S PERMISSION TO work. I work to be fruitfully engaged and put my talents and skills to good use. I work because I derive a sense of identity from my work. I work in such a way that I am able to balance all my priorities properly. I need the total support of my spouse to do this balancing act – and I too will extend that same support to him so that he can lead his life fully and freely.
- Shaking such deep rooted beliefs and thinking patterns generates a lot of friction and may cause misunderstandings. But this is a part of the entire process of changing.
- We need to apply this strategy to our enterprises too.
- We need to be ahead of our times.
- We need to think on a long term basis.
- We need a strong base of talented people who are constantly updating their skills and talents.
- We NEED TO BE OPEN MINDED AND FLEXIBLE enough to accept new ideas/concepts.
- We need to weigh the pros and cons of each new idea and concept properly.
- A test run or a trial offer will help us gauge whether the product or the service will be accepted by the market.
- The market too needs to be ready for our futuristic products.
- A whole lot of patience is needed because people take their time to adapt to such novel ideas.
- There is bound to be criticism and there will be a handful of people who will truly understand the long term benefits of launching such ideas/services or products.
- We need to allow the idea to sink into the minds and hearts of people and give them some time to analyse the long term benefits that such changes will bring in their lives.
- We need to emphasize and reiterate to our team members that unless we make such conscious futuristic changes in our thinking patterns – we will be left behind in the competition.
- This is most certainly bound to have a sobering effect and impact on them.
Change is the only constant in our lives. Most people really understand this but it takes a lot of time for people to come out of their comfort zones. Anything new will always remain unknown. An unknown domain creates a lot of fears because we don’t really know or can’t really predict the future. There are a lot of risks involved and a lot of money is often at stake.
The future of a big team of employees is also at stake. So the leaders of the organisation are hesitant to shake the boundaries of their thinking. They think it will affect the stability of the organisation.
And that is exactly what a big stable company like Nokia ended up doing. They did not perceive the consequences of not adapting or not changing. Like the Nokia CEO rightly summed up:
They did not really do anything wrong. But they ended up losing to their competitors.
Right does not mean – NOT wrong. Being right means thinking right, doing right and having the courage to adapt even if it causes us a lot of discomfort. Yes, the road may be filled with challenges and there may truly be a lot at risk – but at the end of the day – only our flexibility will give us long term stability.