Notes from Jeff York

Small business marketing thoughts from a marketing small business owner

Posts Tagged ‘change

New opportunities

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cheese2hqThis week, a completely new opportunity opened itself to me. It scares me. It comes at a time when the economy has everyone on edge.

It’s an opportunity that I’m going to grasp with both hands.

If you have not read Spencer Johnson‘s book Who Moved My Cheese, but plan to, then I apologize. This week’s blog post is going to be a spoiler for you. If you don’t plan on ever reading the book, then I apologize again. This is going to be one long ad for the book.

The book itself is short and easy to understand. It’s one of the few books (along with Jane Bryant Quinn’s excellent Making the Most of Your Money) that I kept after reading and refer back to time and time again.

There are different times when we are given opportunities to move beyond our comfort zone. The safety of our current position and situation makes looking at change a little daunting and downright scary. However, moving beyond our comfort zone is often an excellent way to blast through professional barriers that we sometimes find ourselves behind. Taking advantage of new opportunities is also an excellent path to new experiences that will allow you to grow as both a professional and as a person. Sometimes we get too comfortable and starting thinking of cheese as Cheese.

While I don’t advocate hopping from one situation to another and instead hope you would practive careful deliberation before making decisions, I submit (while borrowing heavily from Johnson’s book) that you continue to make yourself open to the “cheese” being moved, adapt to the change quickly, and enjoy the change!

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Written by Jeff York

March 28, 2009 at 9:09 pm

It’s never easy being an Agent of Change

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You would be hard pressed to find a good manager that doesn’t believe in the importance of remaining nimble and implementing change to remain current with the ever-evolving business landscape.

But, if that’s true, then why is it so hard getting others to follow you as you act as an Agent of Change?

It’s been my experience that often people oppose change for a variety of reasons and not all of them are a conscious decision.  But all of them act as impediments toward positive change much to the organization’s detriment.

Perhaps the most sinister explanation revolves around having a vested interest in the status quo.  Human beings, by nature, like to be comfortable.  After we’ve been in a position for any period of time, we tend to get comfortable.  We know what we can get away with.  We know how to execute what is expected of us and how to deliver just enough to look good enough to not get fired.  Start creating change and you may create an environment where good enough isn’t good enough anymore.  You might start having employee’s weaknesses exposed.  A situation exists where people might have to accomplish more, accomplish differently, and maybe even take on responsibilities where they aren’t as proficient, interested, or accomplished.  You are threatening to take people into the unknown and that can be scary.

Oh man!  First you try to do what’s right for the company and then you have to do battle with your co-workers.  Is it worth it?

Let’s see.  Implement positive change and the company grows.  You prosper.  Those that battled you prosper.  Absolutely it’s worth it.  But you have to ask yourself these question first.

1.  Will I have the proper support of those above me?

2.  Will I be given enough authority to enact change?

3.  Is the change I want to do really a positive thing for the company or am I just doing this to look good and put it on my resume?  You have to be very honest here with yourself.

4.  Am I really married to the concepts I’m proposing or am I open to input from a variety of sources that might improve my original plan?

What have you done that’s created positive change within your organization?  During the development of the initative, did you encounter resistance?  If so, how did you counter that and turn adversaries into allies?