We often hear that change is the only constant in life, and it is true. But we also hear that lots of businesses fail because they cannot deal with change. Why?
As a business coach, I often meet leaders who say they cannot deal with change. They complain that because of the pace of change in the world, their productivity is low, employee morale has fallen and they cannot visualize what’s coming at them. Yes, there are rapid changes in technology and the way we do business and I tell them that we must face change with boldness, confidence and an entrepreneurial spirit.
My simple advice is that all business leaders must develop a mindset for change. A mindset for change is simple- it gives you a roadmap to follow the basic business principles of identifying clarity, managing time efficiently and always staying focused on your objectives
Do whatever it takes to always be prepared for change. What worked yesterday more than likely will not work tomorrow? What you have done the same way for years will soon not exist. Innovation and change is now the constant. So, the new mindset paradigm is to forget the old, conservative ways of holding on to the way it’s always been done. For example, how many people or businesses still use the fax machine? Aren’t we seeing the slow demise of the personal computer? When they were first launched, how did we react to that change?
An old and trusted mentor has always said, “If you continue to conduct business the way you’ve always conducted business, you most assuredly will soon be out of business!” And, I believe he is right on!
Take the story of Blockbuster. For decades, the Blockbuster was a required stop on a Friday evening, rent a couple of movie, eat popcorn and relax. However with the advent of Netflix all of that changed. Change killed a product, a culture and a lifestyle. Blockbuster’s leaders knew that change was coming but didn’t do anything about it.
During times of rapid change, we should focus on pursuing the great opportunities that change brings in its fold. And, we should not lose sight that our end goal in business is to run a business successfully, and efficiently. The best way is to handle change is in increments, taking the time to understand what it entails. For instance if one of your new divisions requires a technology that can increase efficiency and bring in greater profits, make sure that you act fast before your competitors get their hands on it. Change requires you to be nimble, agile and ready to adapt to a fast changing world.
One greatest detriment that I have seen among business leaders facing change is their fear to deal with change itself. They fear reduced income, loss of markets and total chaos. But remember, if you have the mindset for change, you can easily overcome that. Smart businesses will constantly inform their employees of impending change, educate them and train them fast on handling change and above all do everything they can to improve their morale and productivity. Is your business one of them?
During times of change, it is critical to gain employee confidence by informing them of what’s happening. And, remember to inform everyone and not just your inner circle. This is vitally important because honest feedback from your employees regarding change will help you make rapid adjustments in tackling the needs of the market. Make sure your employees are thoroughly trained to deal with new technologies and new thought processes in producing and selling your products. Do not dump stuff on them and hope that they get it.
During times of change, great innovation occurs. Smart leaders experiment and fail. And, it’s okay to fail during times of change. But with the right mindset, a mindset of accepting and even welcoming change you can jump back fast and focus on the next big thing coming at you. Today, change is like chasing a storm. When you think it has gone away, it comes back headlong at you. And, when it comes back, only your mindset can save you.
So, do you have the mindset for change? If not, do you need help creating a mindset for change and accelerating your business and personal life? This is what I do as a business coach and I am always eager to help you!