Change.

It’s the only thing we can count on in an uncertain world.

As change masters, we know a lot about change: chiefly, its power to transform organizations and keep them in their sweet spot.

How do you know if you’re operating in your sweet spot? Here are the tell-tale signs: competitive leadership, delighted customers, highly engaged employees, strong community support and, of course, a healthy balance sheet.

Sweet spots are not static and they’re certainly not about the status quo. Getting—and staying—in your organization’s sweet spot means accelerating change and continuously adopting new ways of doing business. It means continuous improvement. Or, in some cases, completely reinventing your business while simultaneously operating under your current model during the transition.

Bette Davis famously said, “Aging is not for sissies!” With apologies to Ms. Davis, we would substitute “aging” with “changing!” However, it’s the only game in town and, if played correctly, change actually can be immensely profitable and psychologically rewarding.

Endurant has changed significantly since I founded it 25 years ago. Even our name was different in 1990: Jannick Management Consultants International or JMCI. In our early years (Endurant 1.0) we were a boutique consulting firm helping strategic business units within large companies to become more effective. Not surprisingly, that focus was my personal sweet spot after spending two-plus decades as a rising executive in several of Minnesota’s largest and most successful corporations (Pillsbury, Medtronic and Cowles Media).

Endurant 2.0 evolved right along with the business environment. We began helping our clients navigate culture changes as everyone began to recognize that as Peter Drucker said “culture trumps strategy” in any internal competition. This also was the age of “e-business” and the move to centralize IT functions for greater efficiency. Technology also was moving to the forefront as the solution to a better, faster and cheaper way of doing business.

As our clients’ experienced success, so did Endurant. We grew to sixty-three associates and served more than fifty businesses and organizations (governmental and non-profits). It was an exciting time and others began noticing our success. In 2001, we made the tough, but financially rewarding decision to sell our business.

Welcome to Endurant 3.0. With the advent of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, our focus continued improving customer processes before the application of technology. But that change, which appeared to be our last, eventually led to the re-birth of Endurant, or Endurant 4.0. Luckily, we maintained the right to our name so we brought Endurant back to life and began working with organizations struggling to find their core strengths and their sweet spot. I developed proprietary methodologies to align people, processes, technologies and their sweet spot. We partnered with dozens of companies and organizations to refine their focus on the customer experience, which is key for any successful enterprise.

Alas, today we find ourselves at the dawn of Endurant 5.0. As technology continues evolving in new ways and at a faster pace than any of us could have predicted even five years ago, we, too, have evolved to keep pace. We’ve transformed our business model to reflect the realities of these fast-paced times: accelerating change and transforming organizations at the speed of business.

Throughout it all, some constants have never changed. We maintain a fierce commitment to providing honest, smart and unbiased strategic counsel. Rather than consultants, we excel as executive thought partners. Many of us have sat where today’s leaders are sitting now. We understand the challenges and the opportunities.

This blog, Endurant 5.0, will share the lessons we’ve learned—and are continuously learning—about the exhilarating process of business change. We welcome your feedback and invite you to sign up for our RSS feed, which will deliver each new post to your inbox on a regular basis.

But if you join us, prepare to be surprised and even to have some of your most ingrained notions about business challenged. As Bette Davis also famously advised, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

 

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