Change is what we do at Spring. We are The Agency For Change, transforming the businesses we work with to become stronger, bigger and ultimately more profitable. And one of the biggest obstacles we come across is a resistance to change, especially when things are going well. The mindset too often is tied to the old adage – if it isn’t broken, why change it?
So, imagine if you will, that your business’s annual revenue was $66bn. That you had over one billion people using your product and a global market share of around 75%. Imagine that the name of your business had become synonymous with the service you provided and that it was even in the Oxford English Dictionary. And all this had happened in the last seventeen years. You’d be pretty pleased, wouldn’t you? This is pretty much the ultimate definition of ‘not broken’.
It’s also the definition of Google, currently ranked the second most powerful brand in the world (behind Apple), and also a company that have gone through some seismic shifts in the last few months, most recently a change in their brand style. The serifs have gone from their logo, the blue ‘G’ has been replaced with a four colour version, and a host of other changes have been made across the Google family. This is the sixth change since the Larry Page and Sergey Brin first launched their fledgling search engine, and it won’t be the last.
So why the constant changes? Everything is going swimmingly (bringing to mind Scrooge McDuck in the opening titles of ‘Duck Tales’) and yet Google is always tinkering, tweaking, transforming. They could just sit back on their Stanford laurels and watch their bank balance grow but they know – as does any other successful business – that to stand still is to get left behind. The world doesn’t stop and often an unwary business can be left floundering in the tar-pits when they refuse or are unable to make a change (Kodak, Blockbusters, MySpace). Change is a positive and powerful thing, perhaps more so when things are going right than when they’re going wrong. Having the vision and courage to make changes, especially when things are going well, is the mark of success. Of course the caveat to all this is that the change has to be the right change. Spotting this is the art, implementing it is the skill, and this is where Spring works best.