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French Version

Keep ahead in ever-changing environment

For more years than anyone can possibly remember, Arab Bank has been one of the leading financial institutions in Jordan and has never launched any advert to promote its services until one year ago.

In the past, strategists in the bank thought adverts were against the bank’s image of being appreciated and popular, and yet the bank had, and still has, the largest market share in Jordan. But how is it possible for a bank to be one of the largest businesses in Jordan without a single advert for many years? Doesn’t this run counter to most of the managerial theories? Arab Bank has been at the forefront of the banking sector in Jordan since the formation of the Kingdom. Client loyalty has been a main factor that gave the bank the edge over its competitors, as most businesses in Jordan were recipients of good and sound banking services from Arab Bank.

Furthermore, Jordanians of Palestinian origin felt close to the bank as its roots sprang in Jerusalem. So Arab Bank had it all: Loyal customers and a large customer base. But strangely enough, last year the bank had a massive change in its strategy by launching a huge campaign for youth: “Shabab Offer”, in addition to corporate adverts that promote the bank. Why did strategists decide to change the direction this way, given the bank’s largest share in the market; what forced them to do what they did? Well, a new generation of customers joined the workforce needing banking services.

This generation was less emotional than previous generations and had more focused and quality driven demands. And this generation was shopping around for the best deals. And so marketers at Arab Bank decided to tap into this demand by adopting a new strategy to capture the attention of this segment. Like Arab Bank, many businesses opted to change their strategies to cope with the turbulent environments in which they operate. The momentum of change continues to build up; if a certain company is not prepared for ongoing change, then that company risks the possibility of being overwhelmed.

This dramatic situation is reported constantly by forecasters of business and economic trends; with technology and globalization of trade driven trends, businesses must learn to adapt, gracefully, to this change or otherwise playthe very difficult role of catch-up. A change-ready organization is committed to continuously sharpen its competence to respond as needed to in a complex and ever changing environment. Ever wondered how Bill Gates became the richest man on earth? Or what is the real value proposition behind Microsoft? The real value proposition for the huge corporation is simply its ability to change! Microsoft started off back in 1975 with only 3 employees and $16,000 yearly revenue; then they decided to go with the software line of business instead of hardware. They introduced computer languages like FORTRAN, COBOL, and BASIC through the years until the early eighties, when the company decided to change its policies into mainframe business. With IBM entering the software industry, Microsoft introduced MS-DOS that ran over 150 million PC’s back then. After the mid eighties, APPLE introduced Graphical User Interface for the first time, while introduced Windows!

When the market demanded paperless offices Microsoft introduced the MS Office bouquet, then Win XP, followed by .NET. Microsoft has always been able to continuously change and adapt; their strategy is flexible and proactive, they don’t wait for enemies to act, they straightforwardly keep striking the market, creating the wave of change, whereas others would only follow. Change-ready and high performance organizations, like Microsoft, recognize that in complex environments customers always have new needs and desires to be satisfied. And such organizations manage to identify those needs that are, or will be, critical to their success. They then design strategies for ensuring ongoing satisfaction of these needs and they keep changing these strategies as much as needed. Needless to say, an organization or company does not change, people change, and they then change the business. Professor Irwin Corey once said: “If we don’t change direction soon, we will end up where we are going.”

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