Is your company a melting iceberg?

Perhaps you’ve heard recently how the trillion-dollar US food industry is at a critical tipping point. More and more shoppers are opting for fresh, organic choices, and this is costing packaged food companies serious market share. In fact, the top twenty-five US food and beverage companies have lost more than $18 billion in value since 2009. And that trend is picking up steam.

An Edward Jones analyst suggested that the major food labels’ fundamental existence is being challenged. The big questions in the food industry are these: can industry leaders reinvent fast enough to right the ship? And can they transition from being organizations that are decelerating to ones that are back on track?

Much of this depends on the eventual outcome of a powerful metaphor we discovered while researching this subject. A respected industry analyst offered this: “I would think of these big food companies like melting icebergs. Every year they become a little less relevant.”

Wow. Melting icebergs.

With that, let’s begin by asking four “Confront the Brutal Facts” questions to get the conversation started.

  1. Melt-Rate: Is your professional or organizational iceberg melting? If so, at what rate? And why?

  2. Relevance Trend: Are you and the organization you lead increasing in relevance in the eyes of customers and shareholders or decreasing in relevance? Why or why not?

  3. Adding Value: Do you continually push yourself and your organization to add greater value to customers and stakeholders? Why or why not?

  4. Internal vs. External Change: Is your current and projected rate of internal change greater than the current and projected speed of external change? Why or why not?

How would you answer these questions for yourself and for the organization that you lead?

Becky Schrumm

Boston, MA