Embrace Change and See Your Company Grow

    At a crossroads - Decisions and choices concept with large arrowWhen it comes to coping with change, one of the challenges for the leaders of most industries today is their tendency to think inside a box.

    They refuse to step outside the boundaries of this imaginary prison. Thus they are unable to take advantage of the altered circumstances knocking at their door.

    Now enough about the leaders of most industries. Let’s talk about you. Whether you are a business owner, CEO, manager or employee, you must begin by changing your paradigms to take advantage of the changes that appear on your business doorstep.

    According to futurist, Joel Barker, paradigms are “problem solving systems”. Whichever role you play, with an outdated or ineffective paradigm, you could be playing your part in driving your company toward extinction. However, with the right kind of paradigm, you could dramatically influence how your business will grow and thrive in today’s and tomorrow’s economy.

    The way you see the world determines whether you respond or react to what you encounter. It is safe to say that most people have not experienced anything exactly like what they are experiencing in today’s business environment.

    Across the country, the market has shifted, customers demands have changed, and employee and managers expectations are different in today’s world.

    The old saying, “If you keep on doing what you have always done, you will keep on getting what you always got,” has been changed to, “If you keep on doing what you have always done, you will get a lot less of what you always got.”

    If you are an employer, as surrounding circumstances change, you need to adapt, or in some cases, completely change your approach to attracting, recruiting and retaining millennial employees. If you are an employee or manager, you must modify or alter your expectations of what your company wants from you.

    Whichever role you play, this all begins by changing your perspective on how you see your problems. Once you change the way you look at your problems, you can choose to view them through different lenses and begin to see opportunities.

    But it is hard to change. As Mel Robbins puts it in her book, “Stop Saying You’re Fine,” perhaps “the biggest reason you are stuck is because you are used to it”.

    No matter what shape it takes, constant change will always be with you. There is no running away from change. It has been with you. It is with you now, and will always be with you. With that kind of a realization, it only makes sense to see that change can be your magic stallion to the future. By that, I mean, if you board the bullet train of change and boldly ride it into the future, it will take you places you have never been. You will be riding with change, instead of being obliterated by it.

    One only needs to look around, and see evidence of change almost everywhere. In your company, your job, your state, across the country, around the world, and with your friends, all these provide evidence of this eternal and constantly evolving reality on a daily basis.

    Dr. Eric Plasker makes the point that, “Thinking about change is hard. Changing is easy.”
    What he means is that, the more you think about change, the more you vacillate and find every excuse possible to not take the actions that will allow you to embrace the change you are facing. By simply taking action, you create the energy you need to support your intention to change.

    Right now, where in your business or organization are you face to face with a change that could improve your company or your position? What do you need to do to begin to take action? It could be something as simple as a phone call or a meeting that will allow you to break some internal resistance that is holding you back.

    Back in the mid-80s, the late Kop Kopmeyer shared with me a formula for change. He called it the 4 A’s to Effectively Dealing with Change. Let me share it with you.

    The first A stands for Admit. One of the hardest things to do when it comes to change is to admit that something has happened. To move to the next step, we first must come to terms and understand that whatever it was has now shifted.

    The second A stands for Accept. Once we have admitted that the change has taken place, we must accept it. Mentally and emotionally we must embrace the change and free ourselves from a holding pattern that is keeping us from moving forward.

    The third A stands for Adapt. At this point, we need to come up with a plan of how we will do things differently. We must think through the situation and come up with a strategy to move forward.

    Finally, the fourth A stands for Action. We must start implementing the change. Getting into action and taking one step at a time is absolutely critical to moving forward and getting results. Far too often I have seen individuals, (myself included), procrastinate and hesitate in taking action, hoping things will change all by themselves. Experts have referred to this as paralysis by analysis, the quandary of waiting until things are just right before pulling the trigger. When we do this it can be fatal.

    We must get over the fact that things are changing. Thomas Hardy put it this way, “Times change everything except that something inside of us that is always surprised by change.”
    In other words, each of us silently believes that the changes we see around us might affect others, but they do not have to affect us.

    Here is my point, get over it! We are affected by these changes. One way or the other, just as a pebble tossed into a pond has an ongoing ripple effect, so will the changes around us have an affect on our professional and personal lives.

    Once we can get past the fact that everything is in a constant flux of change, we can begin our journey to tomorrow.

    So when it comes to dealing with change, start thinking without a box, and start changing the way you respond to your business and personal problems. When you do this, you begin creating new solution-orientated possibilities that can help you take full advantage of the opportunities knocking on your door.