“…their homes destroyed, their buffalo gone, the last band of free Sioux submitted to white authority at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. The great horse culture of the plains was gone and the American frontier was soon to pass into history.” -epilogue from the movie, Dances With Wolves
Herds of buffalo once roamed central North America. Some herds were as large as states and provinces. Native Americans/First Nations depended on the buffalo for their existence. These people used every part of the animal for some useful purpose (Skins for clothing, bones for cups, decorations, crafting tools, knives and of course the meat for food). The tribes were nomadic, following the herds wherever they roamed.
But settlers moved in from the East and killed-off the plentiful herds by the thousands in a few short decades, often just for the hides/skins allowing the carcases to rot in the sun. In fact the US Army sanctioned and even encouraged the wholesale slaughter of the buffalo to make way for railroads and “civilized” settlers. Soon the culture of Plains Indians were almost extinct as well… or totally submitted to trespasser authority. It didn’t happen by killing the native peoples. They subdued them by killing off their economic supply.
Your business has always depended on “herds” of customers and lived off the economic supply they deliver. But when that the herd has moved on to greener pastures (or become extinct) you are either forced to move with them, or find another supplier for economic sustainance. Now that the herd you once depended on has roamed off, what are you doing to make up the difference?
I have always said, if you can’t reinvent the message, then reinvent the audience who will receive it. Maybe you should consider finding another herd. Perhaps there are other groups who you can target and sell to or service. A more receptive herd.
It is time to ask yourself and your team: Where have our buffalo roamed?
If they are off our map, where can we find other herds to live off of?
Change your strategy, change your results.
Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional and best- selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results. To receive free articles like this each month, simply send a SUBSCRIBE message to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive an e-zine and you may reprint the articles for your herd as well.