Listen to the music
Want to know one of the signs that an industry or business is going to fail?
They don’t think they can.
It has been true over the ages and it is true to this very day. Organisational arrogance is the very first step towards organisational decline. This was why I was slightly disturbed about an exchange last week regarding the future of the recruitment industry. The response to a purposefully provocative question about the death of the recruitment industry was essentially,
“A £25bn/yr industry blown away by social media?? never.”
When I responded that the music industry said the same, there was low-level derision that, the music industry isn’t dead.
Well dead, no maybe not….but significantly altered to beyond recognition it is. And the music industry big wigs stood before pronunciations of doom in the late 90’s and scoffed in exactly the same way.
There are a whole host of reasons that the music industry came under pressure and these are well documented, but you know, the biggest reason for their demise was because they did nothing about it. Because they didn’t think they had to. Because they were institutionally arrogant. They watched the world changing and they reacted too little and too late because they never thought it could happen to them. And then BOOM!
Do I think the same is going to happen to the recruitment industry? Actually yes, I do. Because everything I see, everything I hear points towards group think and institutional arrogance. The drivers of change might not be the same, the end result might not be identical. But the industry that has grown fat and arrogant on easy pickings is showing every sign of being slow to react and dismissive of any suggestion of change.
It won’t be the end of course, that would just be wishful thinking, but the future will be so radically different that you might not even recognise it.