Blog: Embrace Change in 2020

As we start a new decade, there will be inevitably lots of changes in the business world. Oftentimes people feel that changes happen to them. Changes can come from clients, from employees, from government regulation, and several other sources.
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Todd Palmer
Todd Palmer // File photo

As we start a new decade, there will be inevitably lots of changes in the business world. Oftentimes people feel that changes happen to them. Changes can come from clients, from employees, from government regulation, and several other sources.

Change also can come in the form of eliminating stagnation. Is your company doing business the same way it did 10 years ago? The phrase “we’ve always done business this way” is the sure kiss of death for long-term success. I’m giving you permission to recognize that it’s not OK to be “just OK.” In order to create change, you must be unwilling to except the status quo.

The final area that drives the need for change is when your business simply isn’t growing. Is your business “stuck” with flat growth or, worse yet, a revenue decline?

I would challenge you, as a leader within your company, to consider change from an empowered position. Ask yourself, what does a successful next 10 years look like in my business? What do I want my legacy to be within this organization? In business, it’s not about what we are willing to do, it’s about what we are unwilling to accept.

What changes do you want to initiate in 2020? And what behaviors as a leader do you need to change or initiate in others to see better results?

Growth requires self- examination. Three factors to keep in mind are:

  • People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.
  • To counteract stagnation, break through to the next level.
  • As leaders, people will believe our resolve to make things better through our daily actions.

In our business life, we are seeking predictability. We want as much certainty as possible. Certainty is a craving for prediction – trying to figure out what’s going to happen and what we can expect. We want to be safe.

Unfortunately, that mentality is a falsehood that doesn’t exist. When we choose the pursuit of certainty over the reality of uncertainty, we stop achieving. In order to change our businesses or grow our skills as leaders, we need to embrace uncertainty.

Change occurs when we are unwilling to accept our current reality.

Are you unwilling to accept the current state of your business? Hire a coach.

Are you unwilling to except your miserable job? Post your resume online.

Are you unwilling to accept your current weight? Eat differently/join a gym.

You can decide in simply one day what you are unwilling to accept and make the changes from there. Engage with what isn’t working.

However, its more than just positive self-talk and positive thinking. In the book, “Rethinking Positive Thinking,” author and psychologist Gabrielle Oettingen discusses the actual process of how to make any change we want, through the science of goal achievement.

She combines the theories of mental contrasting with implementation intentions through her program of WOOP (wish, outcome, obstacle, plan)

  • For example, What do I really want? Be incredibly specific (wish)
  • What does my vision of success look like? (outcome) It’s key not to stop here. Oettingen’s research shows that the more you simply think about your dream, the less likely you are to achieve it. Our brains cannot tell the difference between dreaming of an experience (i.e. experiencing a wish) versus actually living out the experience. The more we dream about our wish, the more we become pacified by it.
  • What is holding you back; what is the hard part? (obstacle)
  • What is my strategy and execution method to deal with the obstacles? (i.e. If…then…) (plan). Mental contrasting triggers subconscious motivation.

After doing the WOOP exercise, you should feel optimistic and energized. If you feel overwhelmed and defeated following the WOOP exercise, you will need to ask yourself if this change is something you truly want to make and whether you have the capability to do it.

Change is a challenging undertaking. It’s not always going to be a journey dotted with one happy moment after another. It is, however, a satisfying journey.  The biggest successes are born out of discomfort, uncertainty, and risk.

Challenge yourself to take it and be willing to look bad in order to get good.

Todd Palmer is founder and president of Troy-based Diversified Industrial Staffing and Extraordinary Advisors Coaching, and a regular contributor to DBusiness Daily News.

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