Change and Transition
August is a month that heralds a triumphant end and a new beginning for the many graduates from high schools and colleges around the country. This is also that time of year when many are directly faced with change and transition in their lives.
Change can be tremendously exhilarating and it can also be tremendously frightening. For the young graduate, leaving the comfort of a well-accustomed routine can be a challenge. Ahead are the untested and unknown waters of what lies beyond. Further, looming ahead are the prospects of leaving family and friends to start a new chapter of life in a new place, a new school, or a new job. From those who have successfully navigated this phase of our lives, we empathize; but many of us also relish the thought of having those opportunities in front of us again.
Change is the one constant in our lives. Personally and professionally, change happens. In business, change is an inevitable part of what drives creativity and innovativeness. New technology, new markets, workplace changes, and new customer needs and tastes often are the drivers. Can business strategies pursue the status quo and remain effective? Yes, it may be reasonable for a period of time. However, inevitably there will be a catastrophic event that causes the business to face reality and embrace the change that surrounds it, or it will go the way of the dinosaur and face extinction. The choice is yours as a business leader.
What prevents many of us from embracing and proactively adjusting to change? One factor is that we all fear the unknown that happens when stepping outside our comfort zone. One becomes attached to the comfortable existence that life within the comfort zone brings. However, change demands that one is always putting one step outside of the comfort zone. Being open and flexible to the new reality and not holding on to the status quo is imperative. Through that process, the comfort zone is enlarged and we have grown personally and professionally as individuals and as organizations.
Take this time mid-year to evaluate whether you are doing all that you can to embrace change? Are there lead indicators that you are not paying attention to: Is productivity falling? Is staff turnover increasing as employees find better options in the workplace? What is the trend in fee backlog, future orders? Are customers/clients leaving? It’s time to re-evaluate. The rest of the year depends on how you address the changing market now.
“For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy