Shannon Hewlko writing on a large notepad while her team discusses corporate culture
March 20, 2023 | Written by Steve Whittington

Why You Need a Culture That Embraces Change

We all know change is constant, but what is the cost of a change-resistant company culture?

According to a study by Innosight, the average lifespan of a company on the S&P 500 has decreased from 61 years in 1958 to just 18 years in 2012. This means that companies must constantly evolve and innovate if they want to survive in the long run. While it's difficult to provide exact failure statistics related to change-resistant company cultures, many companies have struggled or failed due to their resistance to change. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Blockbuster: Blockbuster was once the dominant player in the video rental industry, but their refusal to adapt to the rise of online streaming ultimately led to their downfall. Despite the success of companies like Netflix, Blockbuster did not invest in online streaming technology until it was too late.
  • Kodak: Kodak was a pioneer in the photography industry, but they failed to adapt as digital photography became more popular. Despite being one of the first companies to develop digital cameras, Kodak did not fully embrace this technology and continued to focus on traditional film.
  • Sears: Sears was once one of America's most successful retailers, but their inability to adapt to changing consumer preferences and increased competition ultimately led them into bankruptcy. Sears failed to invest in e-commerce and digital marketing, which proved disastrous as consumers increasingly shifted towards online shopping; this story has rinsed and repeated often in mass retail.

These examples demonstrate the high cost of a change-resistant culture. Companies that fail to adapt risk losing market share, falling behind competitors, and ultimately going out of business. Companies must be willing and able to embrace change to remain competitive and successful in today's rapidly evolving business landscape. But how can you create a culture that embraces change?

It needs to be strategic. You need to align your culture with your company's strategy and goals. Your team needs to believe that a culture that embraces change is a competitive advantage, and the tactics to foster this culture will flow naturally, and that starts with the leadership: The company's leaders should be the first to embrace change and set an example for others to follow. Further to this, continuous communication, encouraging innovation, embracing diversity, baking in continuous learning and taking risks are all tactics and traits needed to support a culture that embraces change.

Of course, creating a culture that accepts change is not an overnight process. It takes time, effort, and commitment from everyone in the organization. But considering the alternative, maybe it is time for your culture to change.

Let's Talk!

March 2023 Round-Up: How Does Branding Create Value?
April 5, 2023


February 2023 Round-Up: Customer Acquisition, Retention & Expansion
March 6, 2023