There is one thing most constant in this world, and that is change. Some of us like change. Others live (accept) with change. And others simply hate what change does to their daily lives. So let’s ask ourselves the question; is change such a bad thing? Or let’s rather rephrase the question to; is change consistency a good thing?
Through my travels, most success stories I have encountered have revolved around the constant evolution of one’s daily practices, be it in the personal or professional environments, or both. But why is it so important to be consistent, whether you’re a father or mother, sibling or friend, employee or employer? In my experience, and personal view, it is what leads to simplicity.
Somehow most SME’s that have stumbled upon some form of success either due to them finding a niche in the market, being in the right place at the right time, or inherited large sums of money or a business, etc. have failed to grow internally with systems and processes. These procedural must-haves are what eventually lead to consistency within a company’s daily, weekly, monthly, operations.
Being consistent has a ripple effect on other businesses (and employees) that a company may do work with. For example, if your billing processes is to issue your invoices out, to all suppliers and customers alike, by the end of each week as the rule, then all suppliers and customers dealing with that company would eventually conform to its operational requirements. This then translates into consistency – which over time – becomes the simplicity of doing inter-company business. But being inconsistent has the same ripple effect, just in the reverse. If a company has no procedures that it consistently follows with its suppliers and customers and therefore operates haphazardly, then in return the suppliers and customers will deal with the company in the same loose manner. This ripple effect may lead to bad or delayed payments, delayed delivery of work, over-promising and under-delivering, which ultimately reflects lack of resource, lack of respect, and unprofessionalism.
I’ve yet to meet a business that exists for the sake of existing. Every business intends to make a profit. Some do it excellently while others fail miserably. Those that fail have not evolved their business operations to either grow with their market, with technology, with their clients, or generally with industry or global change. Nowadays the business environment is evolving so rapidly, whether influenced by technology, competition, new management, etc. that both management and staff have to learn to consistently change and evolve.
If one studies global giants, like pharmaceutical companies (among others), one could complacently think that their billions of dollars keeps them content. On the contrary, these giants are constantly looking for growth via mergers, acquisitions, or even disbandment of assets. This constant hunt for growth is to keep a competitive advantage over newer and fresher competition. The ever-changing world economy and evolving consumer behavior has also revealed cracks in giant corporations, forcing them to downscale, or even liquidate. Some of these case studies have shown general complacency that led to their demise and the loss of thousands of jobs. They simply lacked the drive for consistent growth. So, is consistency a good thing? If you’re serious about growing your business, your professional stature and ambitions, your personal self, then yes. Consistency is all that matters!
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but rather a habit” – Aristotle.
The author is a Marketing & Advertising Ad Agency Director working in Rwanda