The Importance of Developing

Why it's crucial to be ready for inevitable change. 

In order for you to run a successful organization long term, developing your team is crucial. Yet, for most leaders, that seems like a time-consuming task. Between communicating vision, managing budgets, overseeing personal, planning and conducting meetings, and many other important leadership duties, developing your team needs to be a priority.

Why? Because our world demands that we adapt to change.

Take the many examples of businesses of 20 years ago that were booming then but no longer exist now. The one that comes to mind is the great video rental place known as Blockbuster.

During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Blockbuster dominated the movie rental business. Going to Blockbuster was a treat for me and my brothers when we were kids. It meant our Tio was going to let us choose whatever movie we wanted to watch from their large selection and pair it with popcorn and soda.

Aside from Christmas mornings, this was the most fun we had in our den.

Blockbuster was so huge that it would take business away from mom and pop video stores in a matter of weeks within an opening of nearby franchise. They could absorb the financial losses of running promotions that other store owners could not afford. Loyal customers would willingly jump ship over to Blockbuster for their video renting services.

They were huge, financially strong, globally recognizable, and they had an identity. People loved watching movies and Hollywood was always going to make movies. Therefore, Blockbuster had a perfect combination of supply (movies) and demand (viewers). 

Yet, in what can be considered one of the biggest fails of business, Blockbuster decided not to buy Netflix. Yes, the video company could have purchased Netflix, the online TV show and movie service for only $50 million.

Today, Netflix is worth about $20 billion.  Also, Blockbuster closed all of its stores last year. It is now obsolete.

Blockbuster did not adapt to change. You can find many articles online that will tell you why Blockbuster did not jump on the opportunity to purchase what is now the biggest video service out there but basically it can be summed up to this: Blockbuster did not have the foresight to realize that they needed to adapt to change.

By the time they established their own kiosks for movie rentals, Redbox had already garnered a steady stream of customers. And when Blockbuster wanted to get in on the movies by mail or online streaming, Netflix was thriving.

This true story should serve as a cautionary tale. You have to develop constantly. A lot of leaders are good with leading in the present. Most get complacent with past accomplishments. However, great leaders lead with an eye towards the future.

The owners and creators of Netflix new that the way people consumed TV shows and movies was going to change. They realized that technology would allow them to be in every home as oppose to just in every town like Blockbuster. Netflix realized that technological advances would make it possible for them to succeed. All they had to do was get ahead of the market. 

Now, millions of people can open up a Netflix application on their phones and consume visual entertainment after browsing for their preferred selection. 

If you lead people (like in a church) you must realize that cultures directly influence the people you lead for better or worse. It is up to you to figure out how to stay on top of the trend rather than falling behind. 

If you run a business, you have to think how you can best manage your resources to set you up for future success. 

Great leaders understand that change is inevitable and that without proper development, most leaders miss out on prime opportunities. They then get caught playing catch-up with all of the other successful organizations.

Do not let that happen to you, your team, and your organization. You cannot be ready to adapt to change if you are not preparing for it.

In the next three weeks, I will give you three easy ways you can help yourself and your team develop, grow, and be ready to adapt to change.

As a leader, you control the path your organization goes. You can be successful like Netflix. Or you can become obsolete. 

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