Friday’s Change Reflection Quote - Leadership of Change - Change Leaders Cultivate a Customer-Centric Mindset


1994, founded in Bellevue, Washington by Jeff Bezos.

  Happy Friday!

On this day, July 5, 1994, was founded in Bellevue, Washington, by Jeff Bezos. This landmark event marked the birth of what would become one of the world’s largest and most influential e-commerce and technology companies, revolutionising the way people shop and consume digital content. Jeff Bezos, a former Wall Street executive, conceived the idea for an online bookstore while on a cross-country drive from New York to Seattle. Recognising the rapid growth of the internet and its potential for e-commerce, Bezos saw an opportunity to create a virtual marketplace that could offer a vastly larger selection of books than traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Initially operating out of Bezos's garage, started as an online bookstore with the ambitious goal of becoming “Earth’s most customer-centric company.” The company's name was chosen both for its association with vastness (like the Amazon rainforest) and because it began with 'A', which would place it near the top of alphabetical listings. Within its first month of operation, Amazon had already shipped books to all 50 U.S. states and to 45 countries. By September 1995, the company was selling $US20,000 worth of books per week. Amazon's early success was driven by its innovative features, such as customer reviews, personalised recommendations, and one-click ordering, which set it apart from traditional retailers. In 2023, Amazon’s annual revenue was approximately $US574.79 billion, representing an 11.83% increase from the previous year. Today Amazon’s market capitalisation stands at approximately of $US2.056 trillion.

Jeff Bezos famously said, “What's dangerous is not to evolve,” highlighting the necessity of continuous adaptation and innovation in today’s fast-paced business environment. This philosophy has been at the core of Amazon’s success, driving the company to constantly explore new markets, technologies, and business models. Leaders of change foster a culture of experimentation and risk-taking, embracing failure as a necessary part of innovation and growth. They prioritise customer-centricity, using a deep understanding of customer needs to guide decision-making and strategic direction. Change leaders balance short-term execution with long-term vision, maintaining focus on future goals while addressing immediate challenges. They cultivate adaptability and resilience within themselves and their teams to navigate uncertainty and overcome setbacks. Leaders of change communicate their vision clearly and consistently, ensuring alignment and buy-in across the organisation. Change Leaders Cultivate a Customer-Centric Mindset.

“Effective change leadership balances customer-centric innovation with long-term vision, fostering a culture of adaptability and clear communication to navigate 4IR uncertainty and drive transformation”

Beyond the Change Charade: Embracing True Customer-Centric Strategies: Having a customer-centric mindset is not just beneficial but essential for survival. Leaders must deeply understand and prioritise customer needs, preferences, and experiences to drive effective change. In the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), where digital, physical, and biological systems converge and are reshaping industries, this approach becomes even more critical. Organisations that fail to adopt this mindset risk falling into a change management charade, going through the motions without truly addressing what matters most, the customer. This superficial approach to change can have severe consequences. Competitors who genuinely prioritise customer needs will inevitably surpass those stuck in outdated paradigms. Customer dissatisfaction and loss become real threats as organisations struggle to remain relevant. In the worst-case scenario, sustained neglect of customer-centricity can lead to business failure. To thrive in the 4IR landscape, leaders must leverage emerging technologies like AI, automation, and data analytics to enhance customer experiences. This involves not just implementing new tools but fundamentally reshaping organisational culture and strategies around customer needs. By doing so, organisations can unlock new opportunities, maintain market share, and ensure long-term viability in an increasingly competitive and rapidly evolving business environment.

Final Thoughts: Do your leaders cultivate a customer-centric mindset, leveraging data and technology to deeply understand and anticipate customer needs? When implementing change, do they fundamentally align every aspect of the business with customer value?

Further Reading: Change Management Charade - Leadership of Change Volume 8

Have a fantastic weekend with the ones you love and care for, enjoy some fresh air, exercise, eat, drink and be happy.

Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®. He advises CEOs on how to prepare and align their corporate leadership teams to successfully lead their organisation's change.

For further reading please visit our websites: Peter F Gallagher: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Leadership of Change® Body of Knowledge Volumes: Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBoK) Books: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, & C available on both Amazon and Google Play:

Leadership of Change® Volume 1 - Change Management Fables

Leadership of Change® Volume 2 - Change Management Pocket Guide

Leadership of Change® Volume 3 - Change Management Handbook

Leadership of Change® Volume 4 - Change Management Leadership

Leadership of Change® Volume 5 - Change Management Adoption

Leadership of Change® Volume 6 - Change Management Behaviour

Leadership of Change® Volume 7 - Change Management Sponsorship

Leadership of Change® Volume A - Change Management Gamification - Leadership

Leadership of Change® Volume B - Change Management Gamification - Adoption

Coming Summer 2024

Change Management Charade - Leadership of Change Volume 8

By Peter F Gallagher

Keywords: Business Strategy, Change Management, Leadership

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