One of the basic principles behind the concept of evolution is that organisms either adapt or perish. The same thing can be said for evolution in the business world. If businesses are not constantly adapting to changing conditions, they will find themselves bankrupt very quickly. This has caused certain companies to fail even when their competitors have found a way to thrive. The same can also be said for the individual workers in those companies. If they are unable to adapt to new roles, the company will find someone who can.
In the world of corporations, adapting quickly and changing direction is very hard to do and takes time. However some companies have done it and succeeded where their competition has failed. The doughnut industry is actually a great example of this. About 10 years ago it looked like Krispy Kreme was poised to take over the doughnut world but suddenly they started having to close stores. Meanwhile their chief competitor, Dunkin’ Donuts, was thriving in this new environment. This happened because a health craze suddenly hit America and Krispy Kreme did not adapt to it. Dunkin’ adapted by focusing more on their coffee and using that as the selling point in going there. They shifted their focus from the doughnut industry to the coffee industry and it worked out great for them.
The same thing can be true of the people who work in your company. For example, it happens to athletes all of the time. R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays is a perfect example of this. Coming out of college he was regarded as one of the top pitchers in the country but a physical found that he had ligament damage in his pitching elbow. His velocity was down in the minors and it looked like he would never live up to that potential. But he then learned to throw the knuckleball which has led to him becoming one of the best pitchers in baseball and a multi-time All Star. All because he was able to adapt himself to changing conditions.
These are just 2 of the millions of examples of how businesses and people have adapted to changing conditions and succeeded. Please comment below with times that you or your company has adapted to change and come out better for it.