Innovation is a change in the process. It happens when innovators change the means to the desired outcome. Nearly all disruptive platforms are a result of outsiders taking advantage of the insider's complacency and stubbornness.
Imaging Channel leaders, it is now time to bring in outsiders and work with new human capital bringing new ideas and the talents to execute. The channel's commonality in human capital is killing the channel from within. There are too many fighting the insecure future behind shields of compliancy. Nothing is changing, and very few are moving the needle to innovative change.
Why does the imaging channel continue to merely rotate its talent? Or, how does a Private Equity roll up change the game by providing money to those owners or executives who still play by yesterday's rules? The digital world is swallowing all the once grandiose attributes of the channel's past deliverables, and very few are responding to the impending doom. I believe the complacency is a result of unawareness to what things could be, based on what things should be, and what things should be is recognized when the realities of the market are observed through open, and different mindsets.
The industry is still fighting as an example, e-commerce, and has an obsession with walking away from all transactional business opportunities. I believe those two things are tightly connected. The leaders inside the Imaging Channel are, for the most part, a collection of push economy collaborators. From the manufacturers pushing products to the dealers, and the dealers pushing products to the end-users. The functionality of the model is 100% product-based and is ignoring actual customer needs. The channel must end its product-centric thinking and actions.
Today's buyers are not looking for product pushers; they instead are looking to pull solutions to themselves. Many in the industry believe they have control over the buyer if they control how the buyer buys. The problem with this strategy. Is that buyers are continually searching for better ways to accomplish both the means to and their desired outcomes, and innovators are welcoming the searchers by providing better experiences. Many times, these better experiences are based on the innovator delivering a different means to that customer's desired outcome. Innovation is nearly always process based. it's not about getting new products, as much as it's about the how, or the process used allowing them to achieve their desires.
My friends, it's the time for the Imaging Channel to answer some questions, and when finished a more critical exercise, is to decide when the channels customers will begin asking these same questions? Or, face the reality that many have already started asking.
What is the imaging Channel doing to end product-centric leadership?
What is the Imaging Channel doing to diversify its mindset?
When is the Imaging Channel going to stop investing to save yesterday and instead invest in creating tomorrow?
When will the Imaging Channel's customers be presented alternatives outside the channel's current processes?
When will A4 replace the majority of the oversold A3's and will the channel's current providers do that, or will that disruption come from outside?
Here's my solution to enable the channel to deliver the future to the present. I challenge the channel's leaders to open new doors and find some new mindset; mindsets to help those stuck in what was once relevant.
What if the Imaging Channel recruited senior executives from Google, Facebook, Netflix, Pay-Pal, and of course, our friends at Amazon?
The changes in consumer habits are passing the skills of many in control of the Imaging Channel's deliverable. If the industry continues to look as they always have in the places they always went, they will only re-discover what they already know and one day soon what they already know won't matter.
Experts from the organizations I mentioned above could teach the channel the new realities to consumer behaviors — everything from the power of digital information, subscription selling, the facts to e-commerce benefits to bottom lines, alternatives to outdated leasing models, distribution enhancements, 21st-century marketing and, of course along the way. The channel will discover what has been hidden from them because they never looked in new places. That discovery will give birth to a new relevance.
Collaborating to change the game takes both imagination and persistence.
Changing the game in declining industries is much easier by collaborating with expanding industries.
Anyone can continue buying yesterday. It's time the industry steps up and invests in tomorrow. Remember, those who believe that collaboration is a group of like minded thinkers will be out thought by those who can disrupt themselves with different mindsets. The Imaging Channel must end its obsession to put be comfortable before being relevant.
"A company becomes obsolete when they focus on delivering the past to the future instead of delivering the future to the present."
"Status Quo is the Killer of all that will be invented."
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