Why embracing change is crucial for your success?

We avoid it, we fear it and often times we downright hate it. Change is a dirty word in the dictionary for many of us. It turns our lives around, it challenges the status quo and with it our sense of stability too. It drags us out of our comfort zone. But like it or not, change has always been and will always be a part of our lives, private or business.

Especially today, when change really is the only one constant and it takes over so rapidly in certain areas of life and business that it makes your head spin. You can ignore it, you can deny it but it is not going away. That being said, it makes much more sense to embrace it and learn how to get the best out of it.

In nowadays business environment, where everything from technology to customer needs and business tools change constantly, you only have two options: either disrupt your industry, bringing about the change yourself; or stay alert and adapt quickly to the changes happening around you.

Either way, change can work for you if you come to terms with the fact that it is there. Once you’ve accepted it, you can build upon that and actually learn how to use it to your own advantage.

This is what, the movies and TV provider Netflix did almost 20 year ago before the Internet was that widespread, in 1997. It introduced a DVD video subscription rental by mail, which soon took over clients’ preferences forcing all sorts of companies, including thousands of video stores, to close down and slowly disappear. It changed the whole industry by introducing a new distribution channel that people quickly embraced.

All the same, companies that ignore change can be really hurt by it, even if they are leaders in their industry. In fact, it seems to be particularly difficult to embrace change for companies that are successful. This is what happened to Kodak. Despite the fact that they themselves invented the digital camera, they were so focused on their film business that was thriving, that they ignored the digitalisation. Their competitors however didn’t and Kodak was soon left behind, turning from a leader in their industry to just one of the many companies.

Change can be as much of a threat as it is an opportunity if you spot it and act on it, or if you proactively look for ways to get your business to evolve and move in a direction where you think the future is.

Easier said than done you will say; and I agree. Dealing with change is a daunting task because it is in our nature to not like change. However, change can be a winning move and especially for small businesses which are so much more flexible and easier to manoeuvre. It is much easier to initiate change than to simply react on it feeling threatened. Don’t expect to be ready to dive into all sorts of changes over night, getting your head around it is difficult but I have a few tips for you that might make it easier for you to learn to exploit change.

Do you want help with innovating and differentiating your business?

Click Here To Schedule A Call With Paul

Think about possible changes in your business

Chances are you are probably comfortable with the way you do business now, your processes, your procedures, your offerings, your marketing tools etc. And that is because you are so used to it. You know how it all works. But there’s always room for improvement, you may be able to offer something better, something extra or there might be a more creative distribution channel or way to reach out to your customers.  Sit down and brainstorm, get your colleagues and employees to come up with different ideas. You don’t want to be changing things all the time but you do need to do it sometimes. The problem with being comfortable is that it is very easy to become complacent and the next thing you know, you’re not relevant anymore. Think, read, stay informed about what is happening in your industry and stir things up every now and then. You never know, you might be the one bringing about the next big change in your industry, which of course gives you an edge.

Take small steps

If you come up with something new that you think might have a potential but is too big, keep in mind that you don’t need to take a huge leap. Anything that is too time or finance consuming scares you because it is too risky and thus stressful. Think about where you want to get and work backwards breaking it down into small steps.  Start with the small changes that you can make today and that will eventually lead you to what you want to achieve. But be proactive, don’t wait for your competitors to disrupt the environment instead when you will inevitably have to deal with it and feel stressed anyway.

Be open & positive

People are very hard to engage in making change eagerly. The status quo is something we tend to take very personally and defend fearlessly. With that in mind, you should expect for your employees to be sceptical to any changes you might want to implement. They will see them as a threat and this is quite normal. However, if you explain your objectives and the reasons behind the need for the changes, people will be much more open to them. If you want to take it one step further, demonstrate excitement and a positive attitude towards the changes you want to make. When people see that you are confident and optimistic, chances are they too will feel positive. Furthermore, once you involve people and get them to come up with ideas themselves, this will improve the work morale and motivation and thus their commitment to making the changes happen.

Don’t be afraid to fail

There’s always a chance that your new idea proves to be not so great and you fail. It is not a nice feeling, but let’s face it: some ideas will fail, these are the facts, and it is simple statistics.  Does that mean you shouldn’t try new things? Of course not! Your idea might fail but it might also launch you into the stars… you never know. So be aware of the possibility that it might not work but if it does it would be great. And keep in mind that even if it doesn’t work, there’s always a valuable lesson that you can take away. Sometimes failures inspire new ideas for things that do work. It is a process and as long as you don’t jump into anything too expensive that would affect your overall business, it is always worth the try. Just remember: small steps.

Yes, change is the one constant and it couldn’t be any more true or obvious than it is in the world we live in today. It took 75 years for 100 million people to adopt the telephone, and it only took several years for Facebook to become the main marketing tool for thousands of businesses, inspiring  tens of other social media channels, some of which just as powerful.  With the Internet today, changes in various industries can almost happen overnight and this is why if you want to stay on top of business, you need to stay on top of change.

Do you want help with innovating and differentiating your business?

Click Here To Schedule A Call With Paul