It’s very easy to get caught up in your day-to-day activities and forget about the importance of thinking bigger.

Working with different clients/partners often means that your planning has to be up-to-date and you need to make sure that you are ticking things off your to-do list. When you are fully immersed in getting things done, you sometimes forget to take a step back and evaluate what you are doing or take things in from a different perspective.

When thinking about a tangible example of this, there were plenty that came to mind. The one that stuck, is driving a car on the open road.… very few roads are straight for all eternity, even ones that run through the Karoo in South Africa, at some point you are going to have to change gears, brake, and change direction.

Brands and businesses around the world go through change on a regular basis. They have to adapt to changing market environments, consumer needs, and regulations to name just a few. They, too, have to learn to take a step back, evaluate, learn, and plan. Very few brands will continue along the exact line that they started on, and the ones that do are no longer around today… Kodak is one of these brands that springs to mind and how Instagram has changed the way that we share, take, and view photos.

Change is often viewed with much apprehension, it shouldn’t be and here’s why…

Being exposed to different brands, spaces, people, and conversations is something that gives you energy, ideas and a desire to continue to learn. Over the last couple of months, I have immersed myself in this environment. It has grown, challenged and taught me to adapt.

I recently wrote a blog about collaboration through reading, how we can benefit from reading and learning from those around us. There are millions of books, articles and blogs to get through so let’s share insights and thoughts with one another rather than operating in isolation.

As many people will be aware, I am a keen cyclist and have spent hours on my bicycle with just my thoughts and the open road. Below are a few of my favourite cycling-themed reads over the last little while that have taught me a lot and contain lessons that can be considered by brands in other industries.

  • Rapha, an established name in the cycling world, is undergoing a few changes of their own and repositioning where their key focuses are.
  • Cycling continues to grow around the world, with different sponsors involving themselves in a variety of ways. Neal Rogers, wrote a great piece on Cycling Tips where he discusses some of these points, “I’m not here to say which model is better, because it’s all entirely subjective — not just to fans and journalists, but ultimately to team sponsors. Corporate pro cycling sponsorships are marketing endeavours, and what works and what does not all comes down to a sponsor’s marketing objectives, and their target audience.” Read the full piece here.
  • Cycling Tips, a daily read of mine as I use their articles to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the cycling world. Over the 10 years they have experienced their own growth and changes, the emergence of digital media has play a big role in how their brand has developed.
  • Extreme events often have some of the best stories. Telling these stories is something that we don’t do nearly enough of. Race to the Rock, is not everyone’s piece of cake although we can learn from the experiences that these ultra-endurance riders go through.

How and what we learn from those around us has been on my mind a lot lately. Reading about different perspectives, brands and people has helped me immensely over the last couple of months. The change Rapha has made with regard to the positioning of its brand in the cycling space, reminded me how important it is to take the first step and make the change. You may surprise yourself with what it leads to, you may also remind yourself about why you started something in the first place! You will probably fall along the way but instead of staying down, get back up and continue to learn.

Embrace change and continue to learn from those around you.