Market conditions and competitor challenges often cause change. Don’t fight it. Instead, embrace change and figure out how to take advantage of it.
Disruptions in the market almost always create business opportunities. While your competitors may be confused and indecisive, you want your team to respond quickly and positively to change.
Hesitation by competitors can create big opportunities for the team that is nimble and responsive. Make sure you are that team.
You Are Not Insulated From Change
Companies of all sizes are powerless to stop their business from being impacted by change. But you do have a choice in how you respond to it. Too many people resist change until it’s too late, or the response becomes very costly.
They don’t like change. They complain about it. They even ignore it.
It is far better to pull your head out of the sand and try to understand what’s behind the change. Observe what’s evolving, and how it might impact what you do. Methodically identify the factors that are causing or influencing the change. Pinpoint the likely outcomes, and what you can do to react positively.
Don’t forget to consider how to take advantage of the change. Enlist your team to brainstorm and strategize. Avoid negative, knee-jerk reactions. Instead, get them focused on how to first cope with the changes, and then how to take advantage of them.
Change From Within Can Be Positive, Too
Change also occurs internally, and we often try to fight that, too. I’m referring primarily to key employees who want to leave the company.
I see managers who try desperately to hold onto these employees. It could be that they don’t want to deal with the change, or they believe the person is indispensible, or they simply don’t want the hassle of finding a replacement.
While we can all sympathize with the problem, often it is just forestalling the inevitable. Sometimes people just aren’t happy and they want to move on. Trying to retain them under these circumstances doesn’t work. Everyone on the team needs to be 100 percent committed to the team’s success. If they are not, it is time that you both move on.
In my experience, the person you hire to replace an unhappy employee usually performs better than the person you thought you couldn’t afford to lose.
Change from within can also happen when you are listening to your customers and employees. They can tell you a lot about the changes you to need to make. Listen! New people joining the company also bring new perspectives and potentially important changes. Make it a point to encourage and reward this type of positive input.
Change Can Be Beneficial
Careful self-examination is important. You should make time for this regularly, but if it is prompted by impending change that’s wonderful.
Take time to review practices, policies, and procedures to ensure they will enable you to quickly handle and facilitate change. This makes you better and can be a way to involve the team in improving how you operate.
Since change by its nature threatens the status quo, many competitors will resist it. Take advantage of the moment. Harness the energy and momentum change can create before someone else does.
Employees may initially be resistant, so explain the long term benefits. Help them understand why it is better to respond sooner than later. Make them part of the process, and you will find you have a stronger team for having conquered the changes together.
Be Nimble and Quick
Success in business is granted to the quick and nimble. This must be your mindset.
Avoid being mired down by unnecessary bureaucracy. Don’t waste time defining the issues but not discussing solutions.
The faster you recognize change, define what needs to be done, and lead the team through it, the more likely you will emerge as the company who thrives.
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