Assuming - and why wouldn’t I? - that you’re running a successful business it’s equally fair to assume that you know your market, products, competition and media opportunities.
Whatever the history of your company, a long established family firm or relatively new start up, you and your team will have driven it to the point it is by hard work, and, crucially, knowledge and expertise.
Certainly one thing you’ll have learned along the way is that nothing is forever. Change is inevitable and necessary. Even if you’ve not decided on a change yourself it will probably be forced upon you to react to a competitor’s product development.
Or, if you’re in the service industry sector, changes in legislation or consumer pressure might mean an overhaul of systems.
But here’s the thing, as well as you know your company, do you actually know how, when it becomes necessary, to change it?
We live in a world of increasing specialisms. Whilst companies have never doubted the need for a specialist accountant, it is difficult even now for some business leaders to acknowledge the need for specialists in some other critical fields. Everybody considers themselves to be an expert on advertising for example. So it is with ‘IT’ where all too often an internal team, aware and dedicated as they might be, are tasked with implementing change.
The danger of such a task allocation is that because the team are internal they lack the objectivity that an external resource can bring to the problem. A completely ‘fresh pair of eyes’ can see the past with no nostalgia, change with no aversion and the future with clarity. Their not having a passion for the ‘way things were’ is their very strength. As Abraham Maslow put it, ‘Dispassionate objectivity is itself a passion, for the real and for the truth’.
It’s where I believe I have made some of my most valuable contributions, by providing objectivity and clarity to enable people to make informed choices.
To return to my overall point. It’s not a question of doubting a business owner’s, or a board’s, knowledge and grasp of their business. It’s about, when change has to be made, and certainly when it involves the ‘IT’ and systems, external, objective and specialist guidance is invaluable. They will doubtless know less about your business than you do, but because of that they will be better placed to help you change it.