Archives For Change

 

Larry KleinIs that your mantra?

Consider this quote as you start another week:

“Results are a function of your beliefs – about yourself, about others, about ‘That’s just the way it is…’” – Larry Klein

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CHANGE

May 6, 2015 — Leave a comment

newspaperOK, we’ve talked about this before and agreed that one of the only people who likes change is a wet baby! But change is inevitable. Remember Agent Smith in the movie The Matrix? “That, Mr. Anderson, is the sound of inevitability.”

Well, if no one else has informed you, allow me to be the first. Your crew wants change, even if they don’t know quite how to do it.

Now they may reject that opinion, but realistically they are looking to you, their leader, to guide them through the turbulent seas of change that are happening all around them. If you do not step up to lead them, they will look elsewhere for that leadership – or may even look to another “ship” (competitor) that is or appears to be weathering the storm just fine and consider signing on with their crew.

I’ve worked with organizations who want to bury their corporate heads in the sand and ignore or deny the changes happening around them. But those changes are still occurring! Whether you have your head in the sand or not – whether you agree with the changes or not – they are still happening.

The difference, once again, is in how you prepare proactively or react to said changes.

So get ready, change is coming. I’m not a prophet, nor the son of one, but I do know that change is a natural part of living. All living and growing things change – or the alternative is they die.

Don’t allow your organization to die – nor to stagnate. Whether you like it or not change is happening and is going to continue to happen.

How are you preparing for the next round of changes that will affect your job/organization/church/non-profit/school?

 

doingtimeAs I’ve visited with different people from different backgrounds and different walks of life over the years, I’ve noticed that there is a common thread among many of those I’ve met. When you ask about the work they do some will respond by telling you how long they’ve been at a particular job or place of employment.

Note the difference. I ask what they do, they respond by telling me how much time they’ve got in. Do they not know what they do? Or perhaps they are a bit confused by my question.

I’ve also heard others tell of the long, arduous hours they spend at whatever it is they do to receive a paycheck. As if they are bragging about the time they spend, or that if they spend X number of hours at their job then they are somehow obviously doing better than you, since you only put in the minimum 40-45 hours each week.

Again, I ask what it is they do each day and they respond by telling me how much time it takes to do their tasks. I guess I’m supposed to be impressed that they would spend so many hours each week doing whatever it is they do, because I still don’t know – they have not answered my question.

I’ll ask it another way: “what is it that you do that contributes real, lasting change to our society?” You see, I’ve met another group of people who talk about their existence by telling me how much time they have served – prisoners. Is that truly how we feel about the employment we have? Or the job we get paid to do?

For if you are only “doing time” then I wonder what the rest of the world is missing from your lack of creativity, your presence in this moment, your contribution to real and lasting change.

So don’t just “do time,” make a difference!

How can you do just that?

pennzoil truckOK, so we missed a week or so of posts. For that I am truly sorry – circumstances have just been out of control lately. No excuse, I know, but the truth.

So read this quote from the Wizard today: “People in business are uniquely unqualified to see their own companies and products objectively. Too much product knowledge causes them to instinctively answer questions no one is asking.”

Does that define you or your business? Are you so close to what you do that you are “answering questions no one is asking”?

So how do you deal with that info? How do you distance yourself from whatever it is that you do so that you can see it with fresh eyes, or from a different perspective? I’ve talked with people who tell me that every so often they try to do that with their company or non-profit. That’s a great start.

Another way is to actually ask someone else, outside of your organization, to interact with your business as an outsider. Have them go through the entire customer experience and give you feedback – what’s working and what’s not. Even better, get more than one person to do that same interaction with your organization. More and different eyes can be a good thing.

But you need to be ready for what they might tell you. How you handle the info they supply will be a test of your courage. Learn from their observations. Evaluate what can be tweaked to become better and what needs a major overhaul and when.

As difficult as these reality checks can be, they also contain the potential to take your business to the next level – if you’re willing to be open and honest and make the necessary changes, as hard as they may be.

What keeps you from ensuring your answers are to questions people want to ask?

changesI was able to do a bit of reading, the other day, and the article I read reminded me of how difficult it is to implement change in any organization. I’ve witnessed it first-hand in non-profits, for profits, families, marriages, dating couples, governments, educational institutions and more.

So I thought I’d list the five groups and give a brief, global definition of the group. Perhaps you need to be reminded as well.

1)    Innovators. The people comprise only 2% of the general population – wherever that is for you. These are the dreamers and visionaries who, in rare instances, can become the leaders of organizations. They need a great supporting cast.

2)    Early Adopters. This segment is made up of another 18% of the population. They are respected, influential, and made up of great potential leader qualities. They know a great idea when they see it and are quick to snag it. They also can help the rest of the organization see the value in the new change.

3)    Middle Adopters. Here is the largest portion of the population – at 60%! Most of these people react to ideas while some come up with their own. Mostly, though, they like the status quo – and they like maintaining it.

4)    Late adopters. These people represent another 18% of the total. They are some of the last to accept the change – they often use older terminology when referring to the changed items. They speak out against change, but will eventually go along if the majority accepts the change.

5)    Never Adopters. The last 2%. These people will resist change no matter what. Often they sow discord among the troops – speaking out against the change and will eventually leave if they cannot reverse it.

Take a few moments to read over those five categories again. Where would you place yourself? Where would you put your co-workers? How about your boss?

Now think about your family members. Into which of the five categories would they fall? How would they see themselves?

As you answer those questions you’ll discover how ready you, your family, and your organization is to adapt to or adopt change.

Share your discoveries or thoughts with us.

Others may be thinking similar thoughts, but need you to share before they will share.

fans3Here’s another one of those darn fill-in-the-blank posts. So take your time to think about what you want to fill in the blank with. I’ll wait.

Take your time.

Ok, got it?

So let me ask you that question again: How much do you love your spouse? children? family?  Job? Significant other? House? Whatever you used to fill in the blank.

Now let me ask the same question in another way: do you love your ____________ enough to change? Change what? How about, change the way you communicate? Or change the way you relate? Or change the way you approach the relationship?

You see, you can say you love your wife, but you don’t really until you’re willing to change the way you relate to her to meet her needs. It’s all about others and how we serve them.

Do you love your customers? Yeah? Are you willing to change the way you currently do business with them to help them become repeat customers? Or to help them become “raving, lunatic fans” of what you’re offering them?

We quite often think that once we’ve got the customer/spouse/job we have a customer/spouse/job for life. What do you need to change to ensure that?

Change is Faster

June 17, 2013 — Leave a comment

waveA while back, we discussed here that change is inevitable. Though many do not like it, change happens – whether we want it to or not.

The next thing we need to consider, when we talk about change, is that many changes happen faster today than ever before. Look at the rate of change in the technology world, just as an example.

My parents and many in their generation never owned a computer, or only reluctantly. My father-in-law only had a cell phone so that he could call for an emergency if, while he was out driving, some event occurred with the vehicle he was currently driving. Let’s not even discuss the many VHS players he bought over the years because he would not use them and the belts inside would dry out and fail to drive the mechanisms inside.

My grandmother witnessed, just in mobility issues alone, the transitions from riding a horse to a horse-pulled wagon to the automobile to airplanes to rockets to landing someone on the moon and more. That’s a lot of change to deal with!

But the rate of change is ever-increasing, partly enhanced by the Internet. We are more connected now than we have ever been, and yet we feel more isolated at the same time. Just 15 years ago the Internet was a baby!

So the metaphor we use to talk about life has to change as well. We used to talk about “career paths”, with the idea being that we chose a career, planned for it, went to school for it, and then stayed in it for 20 years to receive the gold watch when we retired from it. But change happened and we began to think not in terms of a path, but more in automotive terms – we could now choose the direction the path took us and change it along the way if needed.

But then change happened again and now we talk about our “careers” in nautical terms. The world and how we react to it is much more fluid – ever-changing – almost tsunami-like. How do we navigate? We need a nimble craft that will allow us to stay on top of the current wave, while readying us for the next one coming.

How has all this change affected you, your career, and/or your family?

Share with others how you’re navigating this faster pace of change.