Feb 4, 201309:58 AMThe Gray Area
with Donna Gray
Adapting to change
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There’s an old Chinese Proverb that says, “If we don’t change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.” Change is inevitable in the world of business, and companies have to be flexible enough to accept it and adapt to it in order to survive and thrive.
John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” In his book The Success Principles, Jack Canfield writes, “When change happens, you can either cooperate with it, and learn how to benefit from it, or you can resist it and eventually get run over by it. It’s your choice.”
In a blog post on About.com, F. John Reh writes, “Nothing is as upsetting to your people as change. Nothing has greater potential to cause failures, loss of production, or failing quality. Yet nothing is as important to survival of your organization as change.”
Business is always under the influence of change. Some experts say that businesses should always be changing and growing or they will die. The past few years have seen many companies downsizing, reorganizing, and creating new ways of doing business. Even well-known, well-established companies are undergoing significant changes in order to stay ahead of the competition. I recently read in a blog that the rate of organizational change has not slowed down in the past couple of years. Now, even though “experts” are telling us that the economy is improving, business changes seem to be on the increase. In the “winner’s circle” are the proactive companies that are continually seeking and developing ways to improve.
I’ve been looking into ways that other companies manage through change. A friend whose company has changed its name and logo three times in the past three years has shared the frustrations of a company “identity crisis.” Others who have worked through corporate downsizing and buyouts, or found themselves working under new management, have shared how they learned to accept and adapt to the changes. In every instance, the people involved have said that they had to be resilient and flexible.
Some folks thrive on change. I know some who see the challenge as an opportunity to expand their knowledge, grow in their careers, or explore new horizons. I also know several people who are not fond of change. They’re the ones who would refer to the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”