Is Change Something to Fear or Something to Embrace?
The world around us has started changing at an ever increasing rate. Everything seems to have become more and more interconnected. Events outside your industry and sphere of influence, very often have a huge influence on your business, family and your wallet. It is for this reason that, if you want to prosper. Your daily routine and activities can no longer be insular and based on a narrow world perspective. Everything we do, in both our business and private capacity, is affected in some way or other by social, technological, political, economic or cultural changes virtually every day.
So it follows that, anyone who wants to be successful today, must consistently survey and understand their environment and the world at large. Not to do so is naïve and will leave you unprepared to innovate or able to respond to any changes or challenge, which any change may present to you or your business. Stop listening to the people who constantly say that you do not need to be well informed to succeed, as you can seldom do anything about the change anyway. You may not be able to affect the change in any way, but you can most certainly respond to the change and limit the effect it will have on you and your business or even innovate and take advantage of the change and create a new opportunity.
Newspaper Editorial Sums it Up
“The world is too big for us. Too much going on, too much crime, violence and change. Try as you will, you get behind in the race. It’s an incessant strain to keep pace and still you lose ground. Science empties its discoveries on you so fast that you stagger beneath them in hopeless bewilderment. Everything in business and life is high pressure. Human nature can’t endure much more!”
Does this sound like a newspaper article written in the local paper recently? It seems to sum things up in our world pretty well, doesn’t it? Well what if I told you, it is an extract from a newspaper article, which appeared more than 179 years ago, on the 16 June 1833, in the Atlantic Journal.
Have an Effective System to Survey Your World
Change is not something new, but your choice about how you will survey and respond to change, had better be. You can no longer avoid becoming a casualty of all the bad news around you and bury your head in the sand. You must design an effective system of alerts and selectively survey your environment using twilerts, selectively reading newspaper articles, subscribing to informative and valuable news alerts and even following carefully selected blogs.
Take the initiative and find innovative ways to observe your world. It is time to stop “stewing” and complaining about change and to start “doing” something about it. When you are watching your world, you are able to see any early warning signs, which may warn you of any impending changes in your industry, region, business or personal life. You can seldom innovate, if your understanding of change is misinformed, outdated or incomplete.
Success Depends on Innovation
Succeeding today is dependent on your creative capacity, how well you can make decisions, your affinity to successfully solve problems and your ability to innovate in the face of change. New technology is often the driver of economic or social change, but there are also opportunities to use existing technology in new and innovative ways. Federal Express for example, is one the best examples of this. Fred Smith saw the opportunity to innovate, when he saw the need for increased speed in the parcel delivery business. What changes or trends offer you or your business a similar opportunity?
Don’t just collect Information, Interpret it and Create New Ways of Doing Things
Succeeding today is dependent on how well you can think. You won’t earn any extra income, because you have a fantastic system for exploring your world, where you sort, store and retrieve information or can you? What if you offered a new innovative way for clients to survey their world, where you sorted through the clutter of information all around, but only supplied them with the targeted information they needed? Could that not be an innovative way of creating a new business opportunity for you or your business?
The challenge is that not all of us are experts at surveying our world and it is unlikely that we will be able to convert this into income. Our role as business leaders is to find ways to sort through the clutter of information all around us and then to interpret it. We then need to create and implement new innovative ideas, which will allow us to utilise the inevitable change all around us, rather than allowing change to overwhelm us.
Action Idea: Strive to have an open and inquiring mind at all times and consistently ask yourself these questions:
- What is changing in my world?
- How can I use these changes to create new opportunities?
- How can I add value to my current products or services, as a result of the change?
- Is there any new technology available, which can help me or my business?
- How can I adapt current technology to do things better or faster?
- Are there any new trends, which offer new opportunities?
The quality of your life or business is most certainly the product of the quality of questions you consistently ask. Keep adding or removing questions to your own list of change questions and over time you will become a champion of change. Breakthrough ideas often emerge, when you keep an open exploring mind and you consistently are on the lookout for new opportunities.