Now is different
The wine industry needs to change. It needs to realize that now is different, and the old ways of making and selling wine will have to change.
The wine industry needs leaders, not managers. As we enter a period of rapid change, the wine industry will only thrive if it is led by brave, visionary leaders. If it is led by managers with a fear of failure and a tendency to maintain the status quo, then we're stuffed.
Note: there's a difference between embracing tradition and heritage as part of a deliberate strategy, and sticking with what we've always done because that's the way it's done, and the way it has worked in the past.
If you use sales figures or other data points as performance metrics, you need to understand the time-lag behind adopting new initiatives and the results of these initiatives in the marketplace. Often, this time-lag can be significant. As a result, those statistics you are looking at are telling you about what happened in the industry some time ago. You can get caught out in this way: it can lead you to think all is well, when in fact a lack of innovation today will only become apparent in two or three years time.
Leaders and managers are different. Often, organizations are born as the result of the vision of a leader, and they start to grow - often quite fast. Leaders frequently make the mistake of hiring people like them - other leaders. This doesn't work out, so they hire a manager to work with them and look after all the details. Things are much better.
Then the initial period of growth begins to wane, and the leader wants to move on to a fresh challenge, or retires. What the organization badly needs now is a new leader. But what they invariably do is reward the manager by promoting them to run the organization. This invariably results in stagnation, because the manager hires other managers and feels threatened by leaders within the organization, so they end up leaving.
The wine industry is facing a difficult time: there's oversupply, and there's a recession. What it needs is not managers to give a safe steer, although there's a temptation to play things safe in such difficult times. It needs visionary leaders, who are fearless innovators, looking for opportunities, developing new markets and recruiting new wine drinkers.