Stay Relevant

June 16, 2010

People in “business” love to talk about mission statements or “five year plans”.  I often hear people discuss “aligning to your goals” or “casting their vision.”  I am fine with all that – for you.  Not for me.  Not for Concord.  Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a successful business focusing on adhering to their mission statement, or vision, or five year plan.  But we at Concord have taken a different approach altogether.

We are trying to adhere to one thing and one thing only: staying relevant.  Now, some might call that a mission statement (or plan, really), and I would not necessarily fight that.  However, have you read a typical mission statement recently?  They are usually so overly word-smithed that they have lost their edge.  They become benign.  Long winded sentences that account for every last variable and are ensured not to offend.  But staying relevant, now that has a bite to it.  In fact, the inverse terrifies me.  Waking up one day and finding this company (or myself, for that matter) irrelevant is a horror show.

And having a traditional “plan” tends to complicate things for me.  I have seen too many companies “stick to their plan” and slip out of relevancy.  Believe me, it is easy to do.  The computer industry transforms itself every six months nowadays.  And the clients we serve are changing almost as quickly with government regulations or recession economics or their own relevancy initiatives.  What if your clients or the industry you serve no longer aligns with your “strategy”?  Well, the answer is obvious to me – change your strategy – immediately.

One way to look at this, I guess, is to have a fluid plan.  One that can change on a dime.  A plan that is “agile” or “iterative’.  Another way is to not have a plan.  I mean, what is wrong with that?  Since when did having a plan define good business strategy?  I have a “plan” for you – stay relevant.  That is our 30/60/90 day plan.

And our 1/5/10 year plan.

Stay relevant.

Jeff Northrup, CEO

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One Response to “Stay Relevant”

  1. Well said. Very refreshing perspective and something that all of us need to mindful of.

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