The relentless tide

Corey Chambas has over 25 years of business experience. He is the president and CEO of First Business Financial Services, Inc., serves as a director of several of First Business’ companies, is a board member of M3 Insurance Solutions, an advisory board member of Bellbrook Labs and Aldine Capital Fund, and a member of the Strategic Issues Campaign Committee for the United Way of Dane County.

A client recently gave me a book called Younger Next Year (yes, I am turning 50 soon). It's a good book. It examines the “relentless tide” of physical decay that happens as you age. Thanks for the uplifting book, Mike! The good news is you can combat the tide with minimal deterioration (until age 80, the authors promise!) primarily through rigorous cardio and strength training.

Established businesses operating at the status quo also face this “relentless tide” with advancing competition threatening to steal market share. Now, this is even more of an issue with the accelerated pace of technological advancement constantly changing what it means to be an efficient and modern operation (lean manufacturing, cloud computing, and systems accessible to mobile devices, etc.). In addition, technology changes the way businesses now reach and retain clients with behavioral-based Web ads, mobile apps, and social media.

As your organization matures, either your company is embracing these technological advancements and using them to your advantage, or your market share will deteriorate as your competitors make these strategic advancements.

The same holds true for any employee. Every year, new technology/business tools are introduced at most companies. Employees who embrace these tools make themselves more efficient and productive, while those who don't fall gradually behind. This is further exacerbated every year as more tech-savvy people enter the workforce. In addition, there is regularly new research producing great books and articles on evolving business practices and strategies, in areas such as sales and management, to examine and adopt. To stay at the top of your game, you need to continually upgrade and sharpen your skills.

No one likes getting older (unless you’re under 21), but it’s going to happen. And like it or not, the tide is constantly working against us and our businesses. If you don’t want to get washed up against the rocks, you better make the effort to advance and swim against that tide.


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