I know it may sound clichéd, but I love the saying “turn over a new leaf.” It’s likely because I can be described as a “change junkie,” investing my time and energy into a never-ending list of pursuits and perennially considering, “What would happen if I changed that?”
Staying in the spirit of the “leaf” analogy, September is an ideal time to consider what you can do today to set your business up for better success in 2018. Though the weeks are fleeting, you can take critical steps forward over the next month to start more aggressively tackling your business goals.
Though I am incredibly risk-accepting and adventure-seeking, I recognize that for others change can be hard, evolution can be daunting and transformation can feel wholly unattainable. But change is so much a part of our everyday lives that we can’t ignore its importance.
So, today, I want to explore the two types of change we face daily:
- That which we react to
- That which we enact ourselves
We’ve all experienced the first type. Many times, macro or economic shifts occur that place sizeable burden on our business, causing us to have to course correct and pivot immediately to keep up with changing market conditions. Other times, it could be something closer to home, like one of our top executives deciding to move on to another company, or an esteemed client taking their business elsewhere.
This type of change, that which is forced upon us, creates real pain—a pain that is so acute that it is hard to ignore and so we are forced to react. However, because we did not choose this type of change, we may not respond efficiently or effectively.
And yet many times, we are creating the pain ourselves… and forced to react to our own doing! For example, we could be managing our financial process by way of spreadsheets; operating siloed systems that lead to disparate data; acquiescing to an environment in which broken processes and inadequate workflows are the norm.
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So how powerful would it be if we could have more moments of change that we choose to enact and less that are forced upon us? What if we could spend a little more time being strategic, getting a handle on our desired future state and better understanding the setbacks in our organization today? What if we could proactively tackle broken process and embark on a culture shift to organizational excellence? What if we could reject the notion of a “good enough” technology environment and fight for a better, more transformative way?
When we embrace change—by choice—we experience massive gain. We can improve business workflows; expedite processes; and work towards more positive business outcomes. And, perhaps more importantly, we can do so on our own accord and timeline.
My good friend Steve McClatchy discusses the very notion of pain and gain in his book “Decide.” In fact, Steve contends that when you actually invest in doing a “gain task”—like choosing to change versus being forced to—the return on investment is greater. Imagine how much we stand to gain if we take action, versus react.
No matter the type of change, we as business leaders have to be ready to seize moments to improve. Today, it seems more and more people have resigned themselves to the fact that there is nothing they can do to make a difference. We hear that in our conversations every day!
But this is a fallacy; we all have the ability to make change. We need to recognize that we have complete control of our lives and our businesses. Change starts with you. If you want to create change, you have to become an agent of change, an ADVOCATE of change. Once you do, you can start working on whatever you need to do to lead change.
Next week we will be exploring the notion of change and growth at our Trilix VIP Launch Party, taking place Sept. 21. Seating is limited but if you would like to know more about the event please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.