Learning from Vegas: Practice Renewal

El Rancho ImplosionDuring a recent business trip to Las Vegas I was reminded how important it is to occasionally rethink your current state and build something new.  If you look at the history of that desert town, you’ll see a city that has continually rebuilt itself over the years.  Whenever something outlasts its productive life in Vegas, including a complete hotel, the next one is created to take its place. That same premise holds true in our professional and personal lives.

In business, continued success over the long-haul depends on occasionally taking a critical look at what is working and what isn’t, and determining where you need renewal. It is extremely rare for any business to succeed if it does not evolve over time. Even younger companies cannot stand pat and hope to bear fruit in the future. There are plenty of examples, but Amazon provides a good lesson to learn from.

Over time, Amazon has taken their strengths that started early on with online sale and delivery of books, and they’ve applied it to other products. They’ve also gone beyond their own virtual walls, and offer up the same fulfillment capabilities to other companies large and small.  Not everything has worked, but had they stayed a book seller, they’d have eventually died a slow death. (See more about Amazon’s continual renewal at: Amazon’s Pivot on fastcompany.com)

In order to know what is or isn’t working, you do need reasonable measurements. Depending on the area of review, you won’t always need hard and fast numbers, but you need knowledge and understanding to provide a good basis for those decisions. Additionally, when you decide on the change, commit to it. Know why you’re making the change and devote the necessary resources. Failure to do so will virtually guarantee that your change won’t succeed.

Before closing, I have one word of warning. Don’t change simply for the sake of change.  Ensure that whatever you do change, it is done so with a purpose based on solid information that drives the change. Change might mean blowing something up – figuratively speaking, of course – to make way for your next endeavor, so know why you’re changing and put in the effort to make it a success.

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