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How to Adapt and Capitalize on Seasons of Change

"Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win."
— Max McKeown

Keeping current and shifting with market trends is always challenging, "to change or not to change" is never the question, "When, and how to change" is. We seem to be fixed in an ever-changing society.

  • How can organizations stay ahead of the curve?

  • How do you keep your competition from pulling ahead of you?

  • How do you adjust long-term planning to account for such rapid changes?

Analysts agree that the behaviors and habits of consumers usually influence trends. A few simple thoughts can help us keep in step with the ever-changing world around us.

Observe and Listen

Historically, generationally focused organizations aren't "herd-bound," meaning they never follow the crowd. Such organizations are free thinkers, while their competitors are giving ear to "group think," They're carving out their path leading the way into a brighter future by

  1. Observing and gleaning ideas from competitors

  2. Listening and learning from customers/clients

  3. Understanding what is working for others, and why?

Simon Sinek observes, "Good leadership doesn't change; the best leaders show up for their people, listen to their needs, and demonstrate courage - even if it's admitting they're uncertain about what to do. The biggest mistake that leaders make is that they think they need to have all the answers."

Capitalizing on Seasons of Change

Change can be a challenge for many, causing tension with the thought of stretching and reaching for something higher.

Many people favor the familiar patterns of normalcy; its consistency provides security. Becoming too comfortable with the status quo can cause leaders to miss indicators of inevitable change; reacting too late leaves them playing catch-up, never a good position in which to find themselves.

Make peace with the fact you will never achieve a 100% buy-in

Describing the 25-50-25 Principle of Change, John C. Maxwell says, "People will tend to fall into three groups. Typically, 25 percent of the people will support you, 50 percent of the people will remain uncommitted or uncertain, and 25 percent of the people will resist. Your job as a leader is to get the people in that 50 percent group to join the 25 percent that are all-in.

  • Understand the 25 percent who resist are not going to change. The greatest leader in the world couldn't get them to change their minds. Accept it.

  • Understand you can't make that 25 percent happy—and trying to appease them only encourages them to continue resisting!

  • Don't give that bottom 25 percent a platform or credibility. Doing so doesn't give you credibility as much as it gives them the opportunity to undermine you.

  • Create opportunities for the middle 50 percent to spend time with the top 25 percent. Attitudes are contagious, so you might as well have that middle 50 exposed to one worth catching!

  • Ask the 25 percent who support your efforts to influence the 50 percenters. Having others bang the drum always helps.

  • Give credibility and platform to the 25 percent who are supportive. They will help you help the organization move forward." (1)

Marshall Arts expert Bruce Lee said, "All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns." The truth is that growth requires change; the same is true of capitalizing on opportunities.

"People will try to tell you that all the great opportunities have been snapped up. In reality, the world changes every second, blowing new opportunities in all directions, including yours."
— Ken Hakuta

End Notes

(1) The 25-50-25 Principle of Change – John C. Maxwell

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