Is your Business Coping With Change in the market?
Change is inevitable and it’s so in business. We live in a world that is on the move and there is constant change that is taking place, businesses need to learn how to cope with these changes. It should not come as a shock every time they are caught up in such situations.
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Change in business can either be adaptive or transformational, adaptive changes are small, incremental modifications that a business undertakes to evolve over time. Transformational changes, on the other hand, are larger in scope and scale, and typically involve a radical shift in direction for the business. These changes are often the result of outside forces putting pressure on the business, such as the emergence of a new competitor.
There are several ways that businesses can use to navigate through these changes taking place.
- Understand the change.
When things in business start to take a different direction, the impact is easily felt, as a business owner you should understand the forces that are causing the changes to take place. You should ask yourself the following questions. What pressures are driving change? Are they internal pressures, such as new leadership? Are they external pressures, such as the development of new technologies, a shift in your industry, or the emergence of a new competitor? After asking yourself questions you should be able to evaluate the situation.
- Acknowledge that change happens in stages.
Often a change in the workplace can simulate the same stages as grief that come with shock, denial, anger, and finally acceptance. In order to reach the point of acceptance the previous stages will need to be progressed through, both individually and as a group. The progression from one stage to the next may not be a smooth one, nor may it happen at the same rate for every business. Have an understanding of the stages that you and your team will need to progress through in order to reach the final positive position of acceptance. It will help you to have more empathy for those around you, and to be able to provide support when required.
- Practice positive thinking
Having a positive outlook on business changes can greatly influence your ability to accept and adapt to them. To take on a positive outlook, consider the purpose of changes within your business and how they can positively influence your job role and business environment. By looking for potential benefits to changes within the business, you make it easier to accommodate them.
- Communicate the changes.
When changes are taking place or are about to take place, it is very important to discuss and communicate the changes with the team in your business, communicating helps to keep everyone in position and handle what is expected of them to embrace the new realities Periods of change require an effort by everyone involved to be on the same page. Lack of communication can cause chaos in the business and create even more fear around the idea of change others might not accept the changes positively and will not be productive in the business.
- Be flexible and realistic.
In essence, change is about being flexible. By being inflexible with how you approach a changing situation, you are minimizing your chances of being able to cope with the end result of the change. Instead, your thinking patterns will be out of step with what the new situation requires and you will be left behind.
Take a good look at the requirements of the new situation. You may need to learn new skills, integrate different processes, or redirect resources. Be honest with what is required and see the change as an opportunity to streamline and learn. Come up with a plan to deal with the change for yourself and for your team and begin executing it as soon as possible.
- Make the change sustainable.
Once the change has taken place it is easy to sit back, relax and take a big sigh of relief and move on to the next project, It’s so important though to keep checking back and keep an eye on the change for some time after implementation to make sure it doesn’t unwind and that the outcomes continue to work and stay in place.
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Changes that happen in business cannot be escaped, most times it happens for the betterment of the business but how we react to the changes determines success or failure. All you need to do as a business owner is to be positive and look for opportunities that come with the change taking place. Try and also be flexible to make navigation seem so easy in the change process.
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