I am often brought into a company to help design a change management program.
Whether it’s new leadership or business expansion, change is the number one fail point for businesses and leaders. We are on the cusp, however, of a new level of change; one that we are ill-equipped to appropriately handle.
The economic framework is changing in ridiculously fast ways thanks to revolutionary technological advances. What we are finding, however, is that this level of change may not be able to be “managed” on an individual level. It’s going to happen too quickly. And failure to address it will have significant consequences in as soon as the next decade.
Typically, change management discussions begin with a conversation on where we are and where we want to be.
We create a clear picture of our end state, so that we have a compass of which direction we want to go. But what happens when we have no idea what the end state is going to look like? We then need to shift the focus: to you.
When we are so frighteningly close to such significant macro change, there is one question to ask: How do you manage change where the end result is not tangible, but simply “the ability to adapt?” We already know that future jobs will not be professions. Work will be based with skill-based individuals with a general purpose. Therefore, how do you make responding to change and fluidity a part of your lifestyle?
It begins by making yourself your compass; by identifying ideals, values and motivations and aligning your decisions to them. In order to have a flexible end state in the future, then some work needs to happen today in the form of honest answers to these questions:
1. What am I doing today in my learning endeavors to help my future? A learning mindset assists with managing change. The first step is being aware that change is coming and being open to it. Then you can determine what you are going to learn from it. What you learn will help you react.
2. What are my ideals, values and motivations? What gets you out of bed in the morning? Staying true to your ideals, and having an honest understanding of who you are, will be the linchpin in driving you in your decisions on where to turn next.
3. What do I actually need? Another honest discussion with yourself to create a profile of what is truly needed for you to thrive in terms of finances, relationships, or anything else relative to those above mentioned values and motivations. Hint: Simplicity and prudence make it a lot easier.
Our future is the result of decisions made today. And being prepared for change, and understanding it will require unknown flexibility and adaptation, is vital for success in the coming years.
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