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StrategyMar 07, 2012

Smart Leaders Initiate Positive Change

Kyle Wahlquist

When the going gets tough, the tough get smart. Smart leaders initiate positive change.

In 2010 the economy had been sluggish for over two years and GameStop (the largest retailer of used gaming media) planned to grow its market share. However, the prevailing industry-wide perception that the PC gaming industry had been on a steady decline for almost a decade created an apparent roadblock. GameStop performed a market analysis and discovered that this was not the case.  In fact, the industry had grown significantly over the past 10 years.  This misperception had originated from an old and dying model … that consumers were buying their gaming products predominately from traditional brick and mortar retailers.

Digital distribution was (and is) continuing to grow rapidly and it was already available instantaneously to consumers through the online channel. This provided unprecedented and easy access for consumers to the gaming product. GameStop saw the threat and associated opportunity and decided to act by wisely acquiring Impulse, a digital distribution platform for PC games (originally created by Stardock).  Integration of a small and strategic company (i.e., product offering, people, process, organizational structure) into a multibillion-dollar retailer can be a challenge (to put it nicely).

Companies are organic, social entities and smart companies who have benevolent leaders understand how to initiate and respond when the opportunity for positive change becomes apparent.  As variables begin changing so can the desired outcomes and profitability. Sometimes variables are not within our control, such as economic, environmental or competitive shifts. Strong leadership and change management disciplines are essential during these times.

Accepting change requires leaders and organizations to know, care, commit and do what is required through effectively communicating, educating, training and supporting a new direction. Good leadership and well executed change management discipline enables the organization to take a threat and turn it into an opportunity.

Change is inevitable.  Are you ready?