Accept Change and Make it Work for You

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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