How to make better decisions about your future.
If there’s anything the last 12 months has taught us, it’s that change is inevitable.
Sometimes changed is forced upon us quickly (COVID being the obvious example). Sometimes change reflects the ongoing evolution of technology. Or changes in the way our society thinks about certain issues, such as environmental impacts (when was the last time you saw a plastic bag?).
So, if we acknowledge that change is ever-present, why does it become such an issue?
The biggest problem is that people tend to judge change by the good or bad things that happen to them. But what’s really important is how we anticipate it and react to it.
Embrace or resist?
From a personal point of view, getting out of our comfort zone certainly has some positives. Dealing with change teaches us to adapt and help us develop resilience. Our ability to overcome a challenging situation also builds confidence and gives us courage to face future endeavours free from self-doubt.
From a business perspective, adapting to change is crucial. Indeed, the success and demise of many high-profile brands is well-documented.
Kodak’s resistance to digital photography guaranteed its downfall. And did you know that Blockbuster Video once had the opportunity to buy Netflix for mere millions? They didn’t and the rest they say is history!
On the positive side, you have household names like McDonald’s, who have thrived by changing their menu to cater to a market that demanded healthy choices. And Disney who has recently changed the way they deliver their vast library of content – at last count Disney Plus had nearly 95 million subscribers.
Not sure what direction to take? Complete this quick ‘Ready for change?’ exercise.
If you’re faced with a decision that requires making a change, and you’re not sure what direction take… find a pen and paper and jot down your thoughts. At the end, your decision may become a little clearer!
List the following:
1. Change – Positives
List the potential benefits that could come with making a change, i.e. How would your life or business improve if you make this change?
2. Change – Negatives
List all the potential concerns that could come with making a change. This could be obstacles such as financial costs, lack of time, fear of failure, relocation.
3. Staying the Same – Positives
List the benefits of sticking with the status quo. What will life or business look like if you continue on the same path?
4. Staying the Same – Negatives
What’s wrong with doing what you’ve always done? Are you happy with your current position – if not, why?
This exercise is designed to get you thinking about your current position and how you move forward. For example, if you List 1 and 4 have more reasons than List 2 and 3, you may be more motivated to change and vice versa.
Words from the wise…
“There is no evil in things changing, just as there is no good in persisting in a new state.”
– Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor
“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence, only in constant improvement and constant change. Winners must learn to relish change with the same enthusiasm and energy that we have resisted it in the past.”
– Tom Peters, American Management Guru
What the future holds.
We can all look at trends and theorise what will happen in the future. But in reality, nobody really knows what the world will throw at us. We do, however, know that change will happen. And if we take the right approach, we can adapt to changes and create positive outcomes for years to come.