Many of us fear being labeled as Luddites, dinosaurs or technophobes. “Why yes, I’d like to be perceived as backward, stubborn and resistant to change!” said no one ever. But if we’re honest, we don’t like change. Not really.
So, fearing judgement from our peers, we disguise our resistance to change. Cliché phrases allow us to resist change and sound smart at the same time: “I don’t know if our culture/business model/systems/client base/budget would support that.” Sound a little too familiar?
We are hardwired to maintain our own comfort. When we are comfortable, we resist change.
As the story below illustrates, our present comfort and our innate resistance to change could be, and probably are, blinding us to amazing opportunities.
The RCA Story
Think back 10-15 years. Do you remember how big, bulky and heavy televisions used to be?
Back then and for 50 years before, RCA built hundreds of thousands of those big bulky televisions in Bloomington, Ind. RCA had beautiful offices on the north side of Indianapolis. Thousands of people had jobs, enjoyed life and supported their families. RCA made a good product, sold at a reasonable price.
Then, one day, a day like any other, RCA executives were presented with a landmark opportunity. Choosing well could mean unimaginable success. Choosing poorly could mean devastation of the company and their employees’ lives.
But on that day, there were no signs, no flashing lights, nothing that would say to them, “Be open to opportunity,” “push outside your comfort zone,” “embrace change,” “no pain, no gain”, or any other motivational poster theme.
RCA’s research and development team presented the executive team with its newest creation, a radically different kind of television. The screen was only 1⁄2 inch thick.
This new screen type was nothing like the massive, hernia-inducing Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) televisions that RCA and every other manufacturer produced.
To their credit, RCA’s executive team was intrigued. The C Suite attempted to think outside the box. Members tried to embrace change. They knew that’s what they should do.
But it takes courage to be a visionary. It’s hard to be a leader. Leaders accept the credit for success, but also the blame for failure. True leadership is uncommon.
So, they sought second opinions from the CRT team.
The CRT team were operations guys, not visionary CEO types. Their conclusion? This lightweight screen was not now, and would never be, a match for the picture quality of CRT technology.
They recommended selling it to another company that had applications for low-definition displays. So, RCA’s lightweight video screen technology, patents and rights were sold to JVC for $100,000.
RCA soldiered on. The company continued to sell lots of big, bulky, CRT televisions. Everything seemed okay. For a few short years.
The Rest of the Story
Fast forward 20 years, and the lightweight screen technology is something you and I now know as an LCD screen. JVC saw LCD’s potential, envisioned all kinds of applications, invested, developed and improved the technology.
Today, LCD screens are on smartphones, computer screens, 95% of flat-screen HD televisions, tablets, laptops, watches, calculators, highway information signs, car instrument panels, and on and on. Billions upon billions of dollars per year in LCD screens are sold, in every shape and size.
RCA’s thousands of employees, including the executive team, had to find new jobs. RCA is virtually gone from Indiana, though a few local companies still license the name. If only RCA had really, truly embraced change.
A No-Risk Way to Flex Your Change Muscles
Do you host conferences, conventions, or other paid events? If so, you probably have significant, untapped opportunities for increases in attendance and revenue.
Video is ubiquitous in 2017 and allows access to your content from any device, including your members’ smartphones. Giving conference attendees an online video attendance option is an easy chance to embrace change in 2017.
TelSpan has an upcoming webinar series that will help. The webinar will show actual case studies of clients who use our HD Video service. The results? Increases in attendance, revenue and (if you have members) member engagement. You only concentrate on producing a quality event, just as you’ve always done.
The webinar will feature a case-study of one client who regularly earns $17,000 more per event, simply by offering online attendance to his event. He creates the event. We handle all the techie parts: the HD video and recording it all.
We’ll announce the webinar in an upcoming blog post soon. Click Here if you’d like to be notified!