Change: Are You Making it Your Business?

This week I’ve begun reading Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. It’s a great book so far and it’s got me thinking:

Anthony Robbins is quoted as saying “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

I understand that he’s promoting continuous improvement. However, if this were true we would never have to change as long as we’re happy with our current results.

Unfortunately, in business today this is simply not the case. If you continue on a particular course no matter how solid and relevant at the beginning, eventually you will be less and less successful because your competitor would have found a way to do it better, cheaper, or faster. Consider the professional editor who was ranting online about how she had recently lost her job. Some people with no experience were being hired to do the same job she had studied years to do. Can you believe that? Who do they think they are? What gives them the right?   Hmmm.

With all due respect to the disenfranchised editor, her employer was likely facing a new market challenge (popularity of online media, crowd sourcing?) and needed to adapt or die. Perhaps if she made it her business to know about those business challenges, she might have helped her employer change the game. Instead, she continued to do what she always did, but she didn’t get what she had always got. She got a pink slip instead.

Do you understand the value you represent to your employer? Are you learning to adapt to the changing needs of the business? Ready or not, change is coming. What are you doing to ensure your value continues to align with the strategy of your business? What are you doing to demonstrate innovation and valuable insights that will help your employer’s organization withstand change and thrive in a new market?

Smart businesses know it’s critical to understand the value they represent to their customers. Unless they get good at adapting to their customer’s needs they will eventually become extinct. Businesses face the additional challenge of constantly evaluating their employees to determine if they are capable of helping them withstand change, and replacing or retraining them as necessary to stay agile because the vision needs to be well executed by everyone or their value will not be consistently perceived by their customers.

So in honor of Mr. Robbins, let me propose a new byline for the current business age: “Unless you make it your business to understand your employer’s (or your customer’s) business challenges and help them withstand change you won’t get anything.”

Don F Perkins

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