Adapting to Change

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About the Author: Ariel Boone

Change is inevitable. In a society that constantly looks for sustainable opportunities to grow, innovate and improve, it’s unlikely that you or your business will ever get to stay “the same” for long. It’s only human to be afraid of the unknown, and change is often accompanied by uncertainty, so one of the most important steps to adapting to change is to look ahead and prepare yourself for what’s to come.

So, what are the most tangible ways to become more adaptive to change? I recommend three strategies.

  1. Research the current trends around you and identify the ones that may affect you 
    Having an open mind is critical in adapting to change, but it’s tough to have an open mind if you don’t know what’s going on in the world around you. Broadening your scope to explore new ideas allows you to not only anticipate what’s coming next, but also to recognize that you’re not alone in the challenges and changes you face. Researching current trends allows you to study what’s worked, and what hasn’t, in taking on a change. What results have others in your industry found? What caused your peers to succeed or fail? What can you learn from their triumphs or mistakes? The important step here is to graduate from the research phase when you have sufficient data to move forward.

  2. Take training courses to equip yourself for the most probable changes ahead 
    Once you have a good grasp of which changes may be coming your way, there are likely opportunities to learn a specific skill or be trained in a technology that will help you manage the change more effectively when it arrives. Evaluate yourself and your company and observe any gaps. What are your competitors doing really well? Is there a process or procedure your supervisor does regularly that you’d like to be taught? By suggesting improvement opportunities in relevant areas, you’re not only progressing yourself, but also becoming a viable candidate for promotion and an increasing asset to your organization.

  3. Surround yourself with people who embrace change 
    You’ve gotten on board with the inevitability of change. You’ve prepared yourself with training in relevant subjects. Now you’re ready to implement change; but your team isn’t so sure. What do you do with the naysayers? I know you’ve heard things like, “We’ve done it this way for years and it works,” or, “I’m not sure your idea will be favorable to others.” It’s hard to embrace change, but it’s even harder to get other people to do it too! Surrounding yourself with cynical people will stunt your growth and your company’s growth in the long run. In an ever-evolving business environment, you’re going to need some new, creative solutions, and you’ll need an internal network of supporters to get it done. Find the change agents in your company and surround yourself with them. Brainstorm solutions with each other, find opportunities to improve, and support each other through the challenges change brings.  

Embracing and managing change is really all about sustainability. The world changes every day, and when you learn to view that as an opportunity, you can then be part of leading your business, family and community into more positive solutions through change. 

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