The late, great Sam Cooke said, “I know a change gonna come,” and it is happening faster than what most of us were expecting. This change feels forced and scary. No one likes to be forced into a decision; we would like to be given an opportunity to make our own choices.
The thing we need to focus on is what we can control. Ask yourself, “What part of this change can I control?”
The Importance of Embracing Change
Change is something different for everyone. How quickly do we adapt and open ourselves up to change?
To be honest, change isn’t bad. There are many great success stories and beautiful things that come from change. In nature, we see a caterpillar change into a butterfly. In the world we live in today, imagine not having the ability to stream content or access everything on your phone. Do you remember when Amazon just sold books?
Change is positive and can be beautiful once you embrace it.
Some of the biggest company failures were due to their inability to develop and/or adapt to the times. We don’t have to look far back to find companies that didn’t embrace change: Blockbuster, Blackberry, and MySpace, just to name a few.
According to a Forbes article, Accepting Change is Vital to Your Company's Growth:
“No company that hopes to exist in a globalized world with ever-higher pressures and competition can afford to ignore the opportunities that changing technology represents.”
You’ve heard of the cloud, right? Well, that’s child’s play now. It’s practically passé not to have your company’s assets stored for mobile retrieval. Business can happen wherever business happens these days. *
Change versus Transition
To start, we need to understand the difference between change and transition. The Center for Creative Leadership has a great article on How to Transition Through Change.
Here is how they defined it:
- Change is defined as the situations and occurrences that impact organizations and individuals. Change creates the need to move from the way things used to be to the way they are now, such as a new boss, a move to a work-from-home environment, or a shift in policy. Adapting to change requires flexibility.
- Transition is the internal psychological process of adapting to a new situation. A transition can happen quickly or slowly. It is the process of moving successfully from the old to the new.
“To survive change in your organization or industry or profession, you must first lead yourself through the process of transition,” notes CCL’s Allan Calarco, co-author of Adaptability: Responding Effectively to Change.
How to Embrace Change and Take Control of Your Business
To help with the transition, here are four things you need to ask yourself: These tips were from Jason Clarke’s Ted Talk, “Embracing Change.” Check it out here.
- KEEP - What do you need to still continue and move forward?
- e.g. Does your staff need to still come into the office?
- What you keep doesn’t have to be physical.
- Tangible - like software, computers, etc.
- Intangible - like core values
- TOSS - What old ways can you do without?
- We tend to pick and choose which old, outdated technology we are willing to keep.
- e.g. Your cell phone is probably no more than four years old.
- But you're OK with a 10-year-old TV, Laptop, Desktop, Windows Vista, etc…
- You're just used to it. Now is your chance to embrace the new.
- Again, what you toss can be tangible and intangible.
- CHANGE - Think about it not as changing, but embracing a better way.
- e.g. If your car is getting 15 mpg, wouldn’t 50 mpg be better—or not using gas at all?
- If putting together you end of the month numbers and billing takes you hours, wouldn’t reducing it to an hour or less be better?
- ADD - what would you like to add?
- This list doesn’t need to be physical.
- e.g. I want to add more creativity to the office.
With these tips, you can now embrace change and take control of your business and life. It shouldn’t feel as scary when you have laid out your plans and decided what you want to see change. So when you keep hearing, “change is coming,” you can now say to yourself, “I’m ready”.
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