There is nothing permanent except change (Heraclitus, 2,500 years ago)
M21GLOBAL helps you to harness change, be it in the technique in the production, in marketing or in sales… M21GLOBAL helps you to produce, to create, to sell, to innovate, to reach your audience, whether it is in France, or on the other side of the World.
In 1990, digital technology took its first steps in replacing the analogue phone. Motorola, pioneer in mobile telephony and holder of this technology its main market, hesitated.
In the internal debate, it was argued: should Motorola keep its focus on the analogue, or switch to digital? Should it continue with their skills or start a new game from a weak position? Can both technologies coexist side by side? Or only one will survive?
All of the company’s engineers stood by the analogue. Digital was simply inferior as a means of storing and transmitting audio:
- 60 % of the information contained in the original analogue message was lost in the scanning process.
What these engineers didn’t want to see was that, for most users, the advantages of digital technology (small size and low price) exceeded by far the losses many times undetectable during scanning.
The engineers had devoted much of their lives to the analogue technology and a change to the digital would force them to lower their standards and learn a lot from scratch. So, it was easier to see the negative than the positive aspects.
The end result was that Motorola’s changeover to digital took much longer than it needed to. The company lost the industry leadership that it had invented in 1973 for a rookie, Nokia, and, today, it is only a brand purchased by China’s Lenovo. Sony, another giant of the analogue, lost market share due to its preference for the analogue.
In recorded music, the replacement of Vinyl (analogue and with better sound quality) with CD (digital), and, finally, the option of online streaming was a natural one, because the digital era was already among us.
The very invention of the phone found resistance. No one thought it was useful.
At a conference on new 3D printing technology in the industry, everyone found reasons not to use it:
- A young woman took the podium and said: “I’m glad I didn’t meet you before. Otherwise, my company wouldn’t have billed 40 million dollars last year. You are so busy looking for what 3D printing can’t do and prefer to ignore what it can do!”
This reaction to what is new is a recurrent one. The prospect of abandoning investments already made and not yet amortised is terrifying, not assuming that simply staying in the course leads to disaster.
The secret to avoid stagnation and resistance to change is a process in which one says “Yes, let’s do it”.
This YES, LET’S DO IT process can be summed up into 4 steps:
- Gather updated knowledge from the outside.
Do not rely solely on internal experts – some of them can be guardians of the status quo. Find out who’s doing what. Contact with universities and bring their experts into mixed learning teams, but make sure that these don’t dominate the discussion.
- Take one small step at a time.
Build knowledge and reduce internal resistance through incremental experiences, explore and adapt to new technological developments or others.
- Focus and set priorities.
No company can explore many possibilities all at once. You should start with the most promising and feasible options, and build on each small victory.
- Look for the long term.
How does the present prepare for the future? What are the possible scenarios? How to prepare for the most likely scenarios in the future? What are the social and political changes possible?
M21GLOBAL is a translation company with over 10 years of experience in the national and international markets, having already translated more than 200 million words. Contact us, we can help your company in the most diverse fields.
(with contributions from the Harvard Business Review)