How Can We Consciously Use The Process Of Change To Continuously Improve Our Business?
Most of us have spent more than just the past year responding to things outside of our control. Everyone has experienced huge change at some stage of our business journey, especially recently, and a lot of it while in crisis mode. Upon reflection, some of the changes were inevitable. If we think about digital transformation and flexible working conditions, these were simply accelerated by Covid. (It was coming sooner or later.)
Now that the worst has (hopefully) passed, it is important to pause and reflect on the changes you’ve made to your business thus far. The process of change itself is a powerful tool we can use far beyond the Covid crisis, to improve our planning and resilience. It's likely that there are other opportunities (or changes) that exist to help you future proof your business.
Consciously recognizing the process required to change can vastly improve your outcomes.
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new." - Socrates
The Five A's of Change breaks it down simply:
1. Awareness. First, we need to be aware of what changes are required. What changes should you prioritize now that you have some control back? How can you reflect these in your business plan?
2. Acceptance. We have to accept that change is a continuous process. It's likely you're craving some stability; however progress requires change. Change is a lot more positive when it’s a result of proactive (not reactive) thinking.
3. Action. Once we have a plan, we must actually implement it. Now that you're out of crisis mode, you can take it one step at a time; the momentum for change will grow. Without action, planning is pointless.
4. Accountability. Having someone independent to hold us to account is typically a foolproof way to ensure we act. A bit like going to the gym before work… we’re more likely to show up if we’ve committed to a friend or paid for a personal trainer.
5. Acknowledgement. Acknowledge the change you've been through and the way you responded to Covid-19 and lockdown. We all did the best we could with the knowledge we had at the time. Celebrate the success of taking action and forcing change; it helps reinforce good behavior.
This powerful model is simple and effective. Consider the things in your business that you would like to change and what stage in this process you’re at. What is your next step? Whatever your current situation, empower yourself and make a commitment to