MBA Research

Trend #15: Adapting to Change

Business Trend

In our ongoing conversations with the business community, we asked them to identify business trends impacting the workplace. One of the most frequently identified trends: adapting to change.

Workplace Implications

Companies are at risk of going the way of the telegraph, eight-track tapes, or floppy disks. In other words, companies risk becoming a dinosaur if the business or its employees refuse to face the realities of a dynamic business environment.  

Every aspect of business is subject to rapid change. Doing things “the way we’ve always done them” will eventually shutter a business. Today, it’s about a business’s ability to quickly adapt its processes so that it can stay relevant to customers and ahead of the competition. Product lifecycles are shortened; technology’s rapid change is through the roof; and customers rely heavily on the opinions of their peers. The need for agility must permeate management’s and employee’s thinking and actions, thereby better positioning companies to respond quickly to new opportunities.

Here a couple of insightful articles about the need to adapt to change:

Classroom Implications

Students need to be encouraged to think about, look for, and implement increasingly efficient processes at school and in their jobs. They need to understand what processes are, why they’re important, and how changes to a process in one part of a company can impact processes in other parts of the business. Teachers should challenge students to be innovative and flexible in their thinking. Students need to be encouraged to become lifelong learners since many of the knowledge and skills they acquire now will become outdated. Students need to read not only industry publications to keep up to date with changes that will affect them on the job, but they also need to expand their reading to encompass a broad spectrum of issues and innovations so that they can bring these insights to their jobs. Students need to understand the value of a broad professional network and strategies for leveraging that network to deliver fresh insights to them.