Thursday, July 9, 2015

The One Constant in Business

There is but one constant in the world, and business is not different: Things will change. I'm not sure whether to attribute the idea to Hericlitus in 500 B.C. or Fran├žois de La Rochefoucauld in the 1600s, but the idea persists. The world changes, while all of us in the world fight to keep it the same.

Why do we do this? Status quo is easy. It is understood. Change is difficult. It requires development. New thoughts, new skills. It requires a level of discipline of the self to understand that change is necessary to grow. What if the caterpillar refused to change? No butterflies. What if the market refused to change? No innovation. What if we all refused to change? The world would be at a standstill.

So how do you embrace change? There are entire methodologies and manifestos based around the idea that change is a constant in business. But the fundamentals are simple:

  • Understand change will happen. Nothing you can do will stop it. Even if you get everything internally standardized, the industry will change. The regulatory environment will change. The government will change.
  • Determine multiple courses of action. Given propensity to change, determining different approaches based on different variables is prudent, not wasteful.
  • Accept the change. It will happen to you, and just accept it for what it is as opposed to an evil, nefarious and conspiratorial plot to force you to be uncomfortable constantly.
  • Anticipate the next change. There will always be something. Maybe this focus is on optimizing something that you already do, or developing something entirely new. But spend time thinking about what is likely to come so that you can develop responses ahead of time and be prepared.
What's changing in your world? How do you adapt? Let me know.