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Keeping Up with the Rate of Change

About four years ago I wrote an article entitled “Change Planning or Planning to Change”. While still very applicable for today, one of the latest measurements is “Rate of Change” (ROC) which attempts to predict how new developments are affecting business models. As you can imagine technology is one focus area of Rate of Change, but it also includes marketing techniques, product development and even employee engagement.

Rate of Change is constantly increasing evident by knowledge levels which are expected to double themselves every twelve hours thanks to the propagation and exponential growth of the internet fueled by Moore’s law that states computer processing speed will double every eighteen months.

So, the saying “the only thing guaranteed not to change is that there will be change” still holds true. And if change was happening fast four years ago, imagine the ROC today. Are you a bit skeptic about all this? Consider these disruptors that have appeared in the last few years in some cases out of nowhere but because of demand; Snapchat, BuzzFeed, SpaceX, SurveyMonkey, DocuSign, Pinterest and AngelList. The list goes on and spans many types of industries. They were started from nothing or from existing companies by individuals with a finger on the pulse of change. As I had written four years ago, the key to dealing with change is preparing, planning and looking ahead.

If you look back at your business and haven’t seen desired growth, there is a good chance there has been limited changes in your operations and it may be time to revisit these tips. Have contingency plans in place for a sudden downturn in sales as well as upticks that increase sales and floor traffic. Ask yourself how you can handle these variations differently and creatively. If you are understaffed can technology be used to fill the gaps? Are you taking advantage of new methods to engage suppliers and vendors to ensure product availability? How can costs be reduced? How quickly can policy changes be implemented when a new idea is presented? It is good practice to regularly think through any potential controllable or uncontrollable changes that may impact your business. Make it a goal to position your business as a leader and one that is flexible to meet the challenge of the changing world in which it operates.

Ted Saul is a business coach that assists with Business Plans and Project Management. He holds a master certificate in project management and has earned his MBA from Regis University. Ted can be reached on LinkedIn, TedS787 on Twitter or emailing