One of the greatest challenges businesses face is to stay relevant to their customers and target market. Think about the chronicles of Kodak, Sony Walkman, Indian Telegram Services and many more such examples. Their failure to foresee and master change diminished their relevance in changing times and ultimately cost them their survival. Individuals like you and I are no different. Regardless of our current expertise and legacy, we never can escape the constant scrutiny for relevance.
To stay relevant through broad shifts, we need change mastery. Change mastery is not about knowing the way around change. Rather, it is about knowing the way through change.
Here is the three-step process that we can incorporate to gain change mastery and not fade into obscurity:
Know the change:
We know change as a continual, unavoidable and unstoppable way of life, yet we seldom anticipate it right. For those who are complacent in their current zones often stay blind to the shifts in the society until change hits them hard. When it comes to change, ignorance can never be bliss. Awareness acts as the key. A large part of change mastery is to magnify the vision by staying on top of trending news and developments across the world. With the advent of the web, it is now easier than ever to read social commentaries, follow industry influencers, network with global professionals and participate in relevant conversations on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Aggregating news feeds that suggest next wave of change and acknowledging future needs emerging in preferred disciplines will award us the fair chance for pro-active honing of required niche.
Embrace the change:
Neuroscience studies show that our brains are hard-wired to favor familiar routines and norms because they provide supreme solace. We naturally fear change as it disrupts mental equilibrium and psychological comfort. Persistent denial or resistance towards the new only complicates things and makes the process of change harder. Change when done properly, is a good thing. It is the essence of all progress. Allowing ourselves a brief fallow period can aid in seeing things in their proper context, letting go of the old and greeting the new. As Dr. Spencer Johnson in his all-time classic ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ puts it, “The quicker you let go of the old cheese, the sooner you enjoy new cheese”. Embracing change early enables us to put the chaos behind and propel toward solutions, thus gaining a distinct competitive edge over the others.
Leverage the change:
The Chinese character for crisis consists of two parts - one signifies danger and the other opportunity. This is the inherent nature of change too.
When the fog of change descends, the adaptive resolve their confusion by asking not how change will impair them, but by asking what the destined change enables and what they could do now to make the most of it.
Remember the Sony Walkman? While Sony failed to take advantage of the digital music era, Apple leveraged this seismic shift to introduce iPod and set new trends. Like the adaptive, we too need to be excited by and committed to the opportunities of change. Leveraging change by accepting responsibility and assuming control of the newfound prospects will lead to fresh perspectives and insightful experiences leaving us wiser for the unknown future.
So let us revel in the change mastery, by employing this three-step process to move beyond quick fixes and instead tap into the new zone where possibility, creation, and relevance flourish.
So how do you adapt to change? Share your story of change mastery!