What do Netscape, HMV, Kodak, Borders and SAAB have in common? Surprisingly, a lot. They have each struggled to cope with change and as result, have lost the battle for relevance.
The latest book by social commentator and best-selling author Michael McQueen, “Winning the Battle for Relevance”, reveals how organisations, individuals and brands can remain viable and relevant in an ever changing and rapidly evolving world.
Having worked with brands such as Pepsi, Nokia and Tupperware, and shared the stage as a speaker with the likes of Bill Gates, Larry King and Whoopi Goldberg, Michael McQueen is in a highly unique position to dispense advise on this topic.
In 2010, Michael embarked on an extensive study of over 500 brands and organisations worldwide, tracking their rise and fall (and occasional rise again). Drawing on this research, Michael highlights how most businesses and entities have no idea they are becoming obsolete until it’s almost too late. This is due to the fact that most leaders only pay attention to audible pulse indicators such as profits and sales figures, while completely ignoring their organisation’s silent pulse, the measure of their relevance.
In an effort to help leaders gauge their silent pulse, “Winning the Battle for Relevance” features a model called The Relevance Curve which tracks the four phases every organization or brand goes though in their journey from emergence to prominence, and then obsolescence.
“The key at any point is to determine where you are on the Relevance Curve,” said Michael McQueen. “This will determine the steps you need to take in order to avoid becoming obsolete in the future.”
“Simply because an organisation has been successful, dominant or powerful in the past, does not automatically mean it will remain so in the future.”
One example of this is the music industry which, at the end of 2012, had shrunk to almost half the size it was in 2000. As the digital age has obliterated the status quo, music manufacturers, product distributors and retail outlets have found themselves undermined and undercut, with many including British music retailer HMV going under as a result.
In early 2013, David Bowie released his latest single straight to iTunes, skipping the CD format altogether. As physical music products almost entirely disappear, analysts believe Bowie’s move is a sign of things to come.
In addition to highlighting businesses and organisations that have failed to remain relevant, Michael McQueen also investigates how brands such as Lego, Volvo and IBM have re-invented themselves in the face of change and achieved enduring relevance as a result.
Drawing on case studies, Michael McQueen offers practical advice for any business, leader or organisation committed to staying ahead of the curve and competition. The book offers readers step-by-step recommendations on how to create a game plan on how to remain in the prominence side of the relevance curve.
Winning the Battle for Relevance is available in bookstores across the country and through Michael McQueen’s website www.MichaelMcQueen.net. RRP $22.95.
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