How to Move a Sleeping Giant and Revive Its Strengths

It happens that even strong and successful companies fall asleep in order to stay active and fit concerning their current and future business model. Therefore it is a constant management task in fast changing times to keep eyes open and act if imperative.

Colorful lights on a car window with raindrops

But how to wake up a «sleeping giant» which is still riding on the wave of success, not realizing the sharks are already swimming around?

Wake up «Sleeping Beauty» on Time

«Too big to fail» is a fairy tale. Today’s business environment is extremely challenging and even strong industry giants can be wiped out within years. So the aim is to keep your business model up-to-date, detect and anticipate imminent changes on time.

Create Awareness

In times of success most organisations and their people tend to neglect potential risks. Two conditions make companies vulnerable: First, when companies earn too much money, they get overzealous about their ways to invest in the core business. Second, when companies strive from bad results, they tend to be paralysed and get stuck in the situation. Both conditions require strong and prospected leadership in order to keep the organisation moving and facing future challenges. Therefore, leadership today means, above all, to encourage and enable people to move forward. This requires, for example, a commitment to lifelong learning and the ability to adapt. The next twenty years will change our way of working and living dramatically. While «survival of the fittest» meant yesterday to be able to escape the tiger in the jungle or traffic in confusing urban environments, tomorrow means «endangered species» as a results from artificial intelligence, robots and the internet of things. Leaders should address these unavoidable changes to their people on time and prepare the organisation for the new way of working together.

Provoke Pressure to Act

Stay ready and act, even if it means to adapt while moving. The times where business models where written on blueprints are over. Today, organizations and people have to learn to accept the principles of trial and error to achieve their goals. Scrutinising and rebuilding, testing and modifying, are the main skills in tomorrow’s work environments. Leaders have to prepare their organization for new ways of thinking and doing. In order to have a ready to act company, developing people’s skills is crucial for future success. One focus should therefore be on human capital development. However, moving people forward requires high pressure and convincing answers at the same time. The main question is, what makes people be willing to move?

Show the Big Picture

«The Big Picture» is essential to get people started. It includes the chances and risks facing future challenges. Leaders have to make the necessity of change «digestible» for their entrusted. The right mix of pointing out risks and showing the chances in moving forward, is essential to get the crowd in motion. What’ s most important, is to act according to their believes and words. That is what brings people in motion.

Think Big and Begin Small

«A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step» — Lao Tzu

The long and winding road, that leads to success, is fearing people. Therefore, the most important thing is to make the journey ahead «digestible» for the organization. A step-by-step-approach is — in order to hit the pan in the face — the most recommended in times of controlled change. In times of need, a bolder approach is required. Instead of forcing people into a change, it is much more efficient to make them a willing to be part of the movement. Pulling is much more efficient than pushing. So get people being curious and willing to be part of the journey. Hence, show them where they belong, what title they will have and that they are save and protected by their leaders. And most of all: do first things first and one step after the other.

Show that It Works and Create Successes

Nothing is more convincing than proving simply that it works! Daily business is obfuscating people's minds. The limits resulting from acting on the daily agenda is disenchanting. Stagnating market environments, problems with customers and limiting organisation structures experiences are robbing people’s ambitions and motivations. Therefore, leaders have to live by their vision and walk ahead and prove the vision to be right by setting examples. Successes and proofs are the most motivating and aligning experiences we have. It is crucial to use them to move the giant towards the future by realising small steps in the right direction.

Define KPI’s to Measure Success — External & Internal

Monitoring progress on a wide range of levels is important to sensitise the organisation on it’s day-by-day and week-by-week progresses. Today, we have more data proofs then ever in history. But we do not use them. Complexity and speeding up business environments are making things more and more difficult to comprehend. So, the key lies in defining the right KPI’s and anchor them in the management information systems.


In times of fast changing business environments, organisations have to prepare themselves to act instead of re-act. The new way of doing business is requiring people to stay constantly being aware, continuously learning and adapting to it. This is the difference between surviving and being eaten by the wind of change.

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