In the ten years that I have been writing this blog I have generally begun the New Year addressing resolutions. What do we want to commit to that will improve our lives? What changes do we want to make that we believe will make us happier … more financially secure … more knowledgeable? And then, what do we need to do to stay our desired course so that we can succeed in achieving the goals we have identified. This was then.
Now … in 2022, the questions I have posed and addressed in past years don’t seem front and center. Although they still are of value to consider, this year a most important resolution is more singular and thus simpler in a way. Now, approaching two years of COVID-19 with no true end in sight, this demands our consideration. What if we start by accepting that, like the flu, COVID will remain a part of our lives ongoing. If true … a realistic potential … what does that encourage us to do that we haven’t done to date? What resolutions are we willing to make and stay with because it will improve and make for better lives?
In that the dominate focus of this blog is related to the business world I want to approach this challenge from that perspective. What is involved in resolving to accept this emerging new norm and what does it require of us? As employers or employees, accepting that we will continue to live in a changed world opens the door to new thinking. How must we conduct our business and how do we adapt to that? How, as an employee, does this impact both the changes we need to consider and make in the work we do and/or how we do it?
I had a very insightful and interesting discussion with a friend of many years, Mark Coxon. The industry in which he has worked for several years is AV which he has sold to diverse types of businesses in many industries This is similar to my experience as a business coach. This has provided both of us the ability to observe how businesses have or have not adjusted to COVID related challenges. The following are approaches to this year’s singular resolution that may, in fact, make devising them and staying the course easier … and successful.
AS THE ORGANIZATION and ITS’ LEADERSHIP … THE EMPLOYER
- Forgetfulness as an advantage
What If …One thing that holds organization back from making needed change especially in an ongoing COVID world is trying to make changes to what has always been. What if you put that plan and approach in a locked drawer and designed a business in the same field today? What would be different in how you structured and operated that business in this real world?
The Advantage … By creating the business today … as your prospect/customer world exists today … one would obviously design it and the product(s) or services offered around today’s reality. Doing this in this pure state then allows one to compare what things need to be now to what was and make the needed changes.
- Accept and view change as your friend … and not the enemy
What if … Rather than resenting the need to alter your approach to business and customers, you saw this as an opportunity to update and upgrade the business. Might it not only deal with the new normal but also the have the potential of attracting new customers?
The Advantage … The chances are real that you will, in fact, open the door to a new and broader base of products, prospects and customers. This clearly puts a positive spin on the advantage of change rather than seeing it as the enemy.
- Adapt the business to encompass new habits of the buying customers
What if … rather than waiting for life to return to what was dependable and good for the business of the past, an organization recognized the changes that have taken place? These changes have altered the prospective customer and the nature of and way they purchase.
The Advantage … Rather than resisting in a ‘say it isn’t so’ fashion, the creative juices are directed at fitting into the ways the customer wants to do business today. Meeting them where they are and providing what they need in our new normal means continued and revitalized success.
- The opportunity to start a new organization
What if … you allowed and challenged your team to envision what it would be like if you, today, made the decision to start a new company. It’s 2022 and how would you see to design that business given the new normal? What would it look like? How would it operate? What needs of your customer base would you be satisfying?
The Advantage … Approaching the business as a new creation in 2022 avoids encumbering the mind and decisions with what was. Rather it allows the organization to design something that will thrive in this reality. What would it look like and what will it take?
- Knowing that you will be put out of business in 2 years
What if … your crystal ball clearly indicated that you would be out of business in no more than two years because what you provided just doesn’t work in this new normal? And because you were not going to let that happen, you decided to do that yourself rather than allow it to happen to you.
The Advantage … It allows an organization to perform their own autopsy … before it is necessary. Where did it get off course in not making change to accommodate the new normal? What was the resistance? What changes would have saved the business by making changes to accept and adapt to this normal? And then, you make them … today.
AS THE ORGANIZATION TEAM MEMBER … THE EMPLOYEE
- Outdated skills for which there is little need
What if … the project you spearheaded became obsolete in this new normal? What if the skills you had and that
were needed in your previous job and focus were not needed by the changed company? Or the shift in what the customers wanted and needed eliminated the role you played and played well?
The Advantage … With one’s flexibility and willingness to convert their focus to providing something that IS needed in the organization’s shift means you have adjusted your contribution to what is needed today. Along the way you have expanded your value and knowledge that serves the company and the person well.
- A compensation plan that doesn’t fit the revised business or approach
What if … the approach to compensation and personal earnings just didn’t work in the revised approach to business? Perhaps you are now selling services rather than product and thus what one earns must be altered to accommodate this shift?
The Advantage … A willingness to make the change in your position’s purpose and the related compensation can impact earnings positively. Accepting this and letting go of what was is key for the employee … just as it is for the company.
- Not being a fan of change … or one that makes it easily
What if … the person has been living with and needed to adapt to methods and ways of performing their work that are like speaking a foreign language in a foreign land. And this person just does NOT like change which has caused much personal grief and stress. And yet here it is. There is a choice. One is to work hard at understanding the changes that have evolved in moving forward and accepting them as YOUR new normal. The other is to dig in resisting what is now needed which only furthers the stress and potentially lessens one’s value.
The Advantage … recognize that changes have come about due to something over which no one person or institution had any control. Getting beyond the unreasonable desire to find fault and place blame, it opens the mind to acceptance and possibility. It also allows one to begin to see new opportunities for themselves that enable them to provide today’s needed value to the business.
Is there an organization or individual who is ready to stop the fight and the frustration that it has brought for the past two years? If one is to resolve to do anything of significance in 2022, why not commit to make changes? Changes that reflect our acceptance of what is rather than wishing against all reasonable hope? If we all do this now … in January of 2022, we will put ourselves on a path of accepting the realities within which we live. We will convert our efforts to survive and tolerate into a place where once again we have the chance to thrive. Being at the front of the challenge seems like the best place to be … and win!