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How to Adapt to Change in Business

In this article I look at how to make it easier for senior leaders to adapt to change in business. Change can offer leaders new and exciting opportunities. On the other hand, failure can lead to business disaster. Leaders may not fully appreciate the complexity of changing their business system. They can find the chasm between vision and delivery a major obstacle.

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Embracing change is good

Of course, good leaders and entrepreneurs embrace change. They know that as the sands shift, it reveals new treasures. New and better ways of solving problems. Netflix streaming video instead of a DVD mail rental business. eBay and as an online marketplace that has influenced many other trading platforms such as Airbnb. In short, adapting to change is good for business.

But change is constantly happening around us. A shift to remote working and online customers; unrelenting technology change; and climate change. Closer to home there’s a need for better customer experience; shorter product lifecycles; time to market; and increasing value to customers. All these external forces create huge internal business pressure to adapt to change.

The business change challenge

This pressure falls on senior leaders. It’s one thing to tune into a changing world, and a changing market, but adapting to business change can be a challenge. Part of the reason is the way business systems develop. Built up overtime, they become a monolith, with people hanging on too tight to what they know. Even if you know what to change, they are difficult and expensive to change. Leaders pour out time and energy with little reward. They discover that developing a learning culture is only part of the solution. They need to change their operation.

Good design is key to adapting

As a kid I loved Lego. Creativity was endless with building blocks of different shapes and sizes. The key was their simplicity of design. You could quickly put them together in different combinations. I could visualise an outcome and (as long as I had enough bricks) create what I wanted. This is a helpful way to think about business design.

A good business design is modular and like a series of building blocks. As you think about scenarios, you can think conceptually how you’d adapt the business to change. With these building blocks, you can add, subtract, tweak, or completely reconfigure the business operation. More than that, it provides a communication tool for explaining how a business will move from vision to delivery.


Using the right building blocks helps leaders to take control, move faster and make course corrections without all the headaches. This empowers leaders and gives them confidence to optimise or transform their business. If you’d like to have a chat, give me a call on 01344 266567 or contact me on or DM on LinkedIn to start a chat.

If you’d like to explore the ideas in this article further or need help and advice, please contact Rogan at – to arrange an informal chat.

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