Business writer and author of Change or Die, Alan Deutchman, writes in his article, Three Keys to Change (you can read it here), that even in “do or die” situations, fewer than 10% of the people facing them will make the necessary changes to survive.
I’ve been in the personal growth industry for over 25 years. I’ve worked with thousands of individuals during my career. And by far, change is one of the most difficult things for people to embrace. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. People in general object to change.
Because our world is rapidly changing, people’s opposition to change creates problems. The speed of change has increased exponentially, and there seems to be no signs of slowing down in sight. So our capacity to change – and to do so quickly -- is of paramount importance in today’s business environment.
I’m convinced that people and organizations must reinvent themselves in order to thrive, let alone survive. What this means is that EVERYTHING should be up for discussion. There are no “sacred cows.” The world is a different place with different realities -- ones that didn’t even exist a few years ago. Whining, litigating, fighting or ignoring these realities won’t help. We need to embrace this paradigm as opposed to resisting it.
Fact: the Internet has changed the way we do business.
Fact: technology is making entire industries obsolete in a matter of months.
Fact: how we shop, date, communicate, interact with our kids, etc. is incredibly different today than 10 years ago.
The world is changing at a much faster pace than ever before and yet our ability to process change is not keeping up. Information used to be a very scarce commodity prior to the Internet. Now, the opposite is true. There is too much information and we are practically overwhelmed by it.
"When the facts change, I change my mind.What do you do, sir?" John Maynard Keynes, British Economist
The past two years have been extremely challenging for our company. We lost 90% of our corporate business - which was close to 30% of our total revenues! We knew we were vulnerable because many of our clients were in the finance, mortgage and real estate industries. We knew we needed to change some of our practices and diversify. And yet we didn’t. And so, we paid the price.
Although I must say, as a result of this, we have finally started doing things differently -- more than we ever have before. We are pursuing opportunities we have both ignored and ridiculed in the past. These circumstances of change are both very exciting and very unsettling at the same time. People who have known us over our 18 years in business are wondering if we lost our minds. And to a certain degree we have. Fact: times have changed, and we have changed our minds.
How about you? Are you embracing, fighting or ignoring change?
I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and/or experiences relating to change. Where do you see your greatest challenges and opportunities?