On a course recently a participant offered a throw-away comment during a discussion on stakeholder engagement: “I find there is so much stuff I have to do that I don’t have the time for communications”. This seemed to sum up for me the way projects and change teams deal with communications and why a lot of change initiatives fail for a lack of good communication! The question is: what can we do about it?
I have written in the past about the need for change in an organisation being driven by strategic change outside. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review on Transient Advantage by Rita Gunther McGrath (one of my favourite management authors) shows that there are internal drivers for change which are just as powerful. This is particularly relevant for Fast Growing businesses.
McGrath identifies 5 stages of growth and decline that an entrepreneurial business goes through to seek and exploit a competitive advantage. She argues that a sustainable advantage (one that once secured is there for ever) is a fallacy and that competitive advantage comes and goes as markets and technology change. To continue to be successful a business should cycle through a number of competitive advantages by repeating her stages of growth and decline.