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One Month In, 2016 is the Year of Change

January 31, 2016 9:34 AM | Columns

By Barbara Bowes


(Sunset image via Shutterstock)

The mayor of Winnipeg has declared 2016, the Year of Reconciliation. Others have named 2016, the Year of the Woman. The agriculture industry on the other hand has named 2016, the Year of the Pulse in celebration of Canada’s expertise in growing and selling beans, peas, and lentil as a key means of attaining protein in our diet.

Frankly, I’ve personally named 2016 as the Year of Change! And, I mean dramatic change! Just look at how the falling oil prices are impacting our economy! Look at the massive job losses, the mergers, acquisitions and business closures. However, at the same time, let’s look at the positives as we see changing social values push established businesses to change how they do things!

Take the new Uber car service for instance. Marketed as a “ride on demand” alternative to taxis, this upstart ride service is revolutionizing the old business model and upsetting the status quo. Local taxi boards that control this business sector don’t know what to do with it. On the other hand, upstart “NewLeaf Travel” is shaking up the traditional air travel business. This innovative business has recognized customer demand for a new “low-cost” airline and is working hard to meet these needs. Yet, the licensing bodies don’t know what to do with it.

Demand for these innovative services is growing. Technology savvy young people are quickly climbing on the UBER band wagon. Air travelers by the thousands are signing up with New Leaf Travel eager for their low cost airfares. And, best of all, these innovative new businesses could represent the addition of hundreds of new and innovative jobs! Yet, both of these new businesses are experiencing fierce resistance from the established industry leaders. Why is that?

Let’s face it, change is hard at the best of times but it’s even more difficult when established industry sector leaders fail to recognize and accept they’ve not stayed in tune with customer needs.

I’ve named the year 2016 as the “Year of Change” because I see that the timing is right and that society is ripe for new ways of doing business. MMMMmmm, I wonder what additional changes the year 2016 will bring?

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Barbara J. Bowes, FCHRP, M.Ed., CCP is president of Legacy Bowes Group, a leading talent management consulting firm in Winnipeg. Barbara is also a well-known speaker and workshop leader. She can be reached at barb@legacybowes.com.

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Tags: Winnipeg