If a business keeps selling the exact same product or service for 10 years (think Blockbuster), chances are that a competitor with a fresh offering will displace it.
Support functions in a business (like HR, finance, and ethics & compliance) don’t have the same competition. So many of them to the exact same thing, over and over again. Same onboarding, same reports, same training – while the world is changing.
Eventually this creates a drag on the business, giving an edge to competitors with better support functions. If we don’t recognize where that edge comes from, we will simply ask the sales force to “sell harder”. That pressure is likely to lead to wrongdoing (remember the fraud triangle?), which must be addressed by – you guessed it: stale support functions. Talk about a vicious cycle.
Never lose sight that changes in the marketplace impact more than your products and services; they also impact vital support functions like ethics & compliance.
Keep it fresh.
HT to Seth Godin