The only constant in business is change. One way or another, waves of transformation constantly flow through most organizations as they fight to get or stay ahead in the competitive global marketplace. So keep these pointers in mind while dealing with change:
1. Don’t make changes for change’s sake alone. We’ve all experienced the “new broom sweeps clean” effect, suffering as a fresh leader came onto the scene and changed everything just because he or she could—regardless of how well the existing system functioned. Whenever this happens, chaos reigns and productivity plummets, and sometimes it never recovers.
2. Accept change as inevitable. Many changes are desirable, so greet change as a friend; go with the flow, and view it as an opportunity to grow and learn. Conservatism has its place, but if you refuse to change, you may end up breaking when you need to bend.
3. Roll with change as it occurs. Otherwise, old inefficiencies may pile up until work grinds to a halt or the latest opportunity passes you by. What doesn’t grow either stagnates or rots. Like the dinosaurs, you’ll die if you can’t evolve.
4. Spark Innovation. Seek some levels of change at the creative level. Encourage risk-taking. This often results in profitable new ways to conduct business, or in inventive new products and services. Make incremental improvements when necessary, and take quantum leaps when possible.
5. Bounce back quickly. When a change unexpectedly knocks you flat, get up immediately and do what you can to take advantage of it. Flexible entities survive the storms, while those too old or slow to respond to what’s coming over the horizon may shatter.
6. Don’t let fear hold you back. Face change head on and take the risks you think will put you ahead when the change-wave has passed. Once you’ve crashed through the fear barrier, there’s no telling what you can accomplish.
We live in a dynamic world. A line graph tracking change in the last few centuries manifests as a steep parabolic curve with no end in sight—and the billions of vibrant personalities comprising humankind make it all the more chaotic.