Were you raised that every Thursday night for dinner was meatloaf and every Friday night was fish, and so on…? I was! My mother was a homemaker, but not a great cook, so she repeated what she was comfortable with doing. Meals during the week were an extremely consistent routine. I looked forward to the weekend to break up the routine with cooking out, going fishing, and trips to the bigger town that had a McDonald’s!
While consistent routines are positive, they can also be dangerous. Statistics on vehicle accidents indicate that most accidents happen within a few miles of our home. Why is that? Because we are in our routine, we are comfortable, and probably not paying as much attention as we should.
How is this important to your business? When you get comfortable with your consistent routines, you may be ignoring the competition and your customer. Think about it: If the world around us is changing but we are not, we will become irrelevant. Becoming irrelevant means the loss of customers, and more importantly, great employees. Employees do not want to work for a company that is outdated and behind the times.
People demonstrate constantly that they want to create and adopt change. Just look at the rapid expansion of iPhone, Facebook, and Twitter users, just to name a few. On the simple side, you try a new restaurant, a new haircut, new nail color, and buy new clothes. This is all change that you manage in your life and control. You make those decisions all the time.
However, at work, change may not always within your control, which might make you—and those around you—uncomfortable. The first emotion that can result is fear, which is the worst emotion, but very common. Managing fear is the key to your success. Your ability to cope with fear requires patience, asking fact-finding questions and engaging with leadership openly. Sharing concerns with teammates is unproductive. In fact, it is counter-productive and may chip away at the core of your company’s culture, creating even more fear.
Think about the change you manage every day in our lives and the changes that occur at your place of business. See what you can do to feel more in control of business change and capture that feeling of excitement and anticipation, just the same as in your personal life. Remember, you are in control; it’s just not always visible to you!