Are You Resistant To Change? You Should Try New Things!

In life, there is one constant: change. Around us the world is constantly changing. Everything is in a constant state of flux: fashion, architecture, technology, and most of all – business. While some people have been successful by sticking with the same old thing, it’s a pretty short list.

If you look at yourself and what you know and do, and compare it to all the knowledge and opportunity available in the world, it’s probably a pretty small chunk. There are so many new avenues in business that are open to you; you just have to be open to them as well. While most people resist change, you may find that a lot of these avenues will not only make you more successful, you may just like them more than what you do now.

Willingness to change makes you a better investment to customers and clients.

If they only see you as a one-trick pony, they may come to you for that one thing, but that’s about it. But if people see you as adaptable, they’ll have more faith in your ability to keep up with the changing world and be more likely to take a chance on you, or come to you with new business opportunities that might be something you haven’t tried before.

In today’s business market, technology is one of the best resources you can have.

And the technology available is changing at a remarkable rate. It used to be that if you were out your business for ten or twenty years, you’d get behind and probably couldn’t go back without learning a lot of new stuff. Now, if you’re gone for just six months, you could be totally out of date. While you don’t need to get the latest or most expensive gadget, you do need to make regular changes and upgrades to the equipment you’re using.

Some of us are just more resistant to change than others; it’s just en-grained in our DNA.

But just because you don’t like change doesn’t mean you need to be left behind. Small changes can make big differences too.

Instead of turning your life upside down, just start by looking in different directions. Attend a seminar about new ideas or technologies, subscribe to a new newsletter that you didn’t before. By themselves, these are pretty small changes, but when you do them, you might find options of bigger changes that won’t be too hard either.

Don’t change too much.

Warren Buffet is one of the world’s richest men. He got there by being fairly resistant to technological change. He invests mostly in stable businesses like insurance and food, rather than more unstable things like dot-coms. The reason? Just because something is new, doesn’t mean it’s good.

It’s always a good idea to research anything before getting involved with it, and to never put all your eggs in one basket – no matter how big an opportunity it is. If you change smart, then you’ll likely find yourself in a better situation.

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The "Quantum Leap" Change Process and Tips

WHAT IS IT?

A quantum leap is equivalent to a major change from a given state to a very different one. It represents a transformation process, a metamorphosis, a total renewal, a radical change, this versus the gradual or incremental change or improvement. A quantum leap change is a breakthrough event. A quantum leap implies overarching a number of conventional proven routes to reach a specific destination directly. Hence it is about a paradigm shift, seeking novel shorter courses to reach a distant goal. A quantum leap is usually coupled with creative thinking and novelty, and challenging the unknown. A quantum leap is a journey to unknown territories and unknown future.

A quantum leap change is also equivalent to a swift change, hence it is more of a brisk event, this versus the stretched process of incremental change. It is basically about race with time. A quantum leap can be seen as a quick transformation to provide much better coping with a newly arising landscape. It is the optimal match with future situations. It has to be swift, since it is a transition phase where everything is changing!

A quantum leap change can be on the personal or professional level, but indeed we see many organizations and businesses going through the process, and it is becoming even popular in the change process of economies, nations and regions. The approach of quantum leap change is becoming more popular and indeed more imperative in view of the increasing pace of change in the global market environments of the new millennium, and increasing competition, but certainly following the revelations of the global financial crisis, and the deficiencies discovered in the old systems. This is the age of quantum leaps, and the trend is towards perpetual transformations and constant renewals!

JUSTIFICATION

A quantum leap approach might appear much more complex, costly and risky than a gradual safe improvement, but it turns out that the quantum leap is much more feasible from an economic point of view than the gradual approach. Gradual approaches are guarantors of staying behind in the big race, staying behind the fleets of advanced countries. Gradual approach is possibly initially cheaper and easier to implement, but in the long run it implies lack of competitive strength and hence loss. Many emerging countries are adopting the stance of quantum leap in their development. The science of change and accelerated change is progressing rapidly, and the management of such complex and swift processes are becoming quite straightforward, and hence cheaper. New strategic approaches are emerging to deal with greater dynamism of the environment. A quantum leap can be considered a transitional phase that is relatively difficult, but that will secure a smooth conditions after the journey. In contrast, incremental improvement is usually a comfortable ride followed by an ongoing tough existence.

SUCCESS CRITERIA / TIPS

Different criteria need to be fulfilled to secure a successful quantum leap, without too many bumps, irrespective of the type of party undergoing the metamorphosis, a person, company or a nation:

– INTENSIVE RESEARCH: A quantum leap is usually a journey into unknown new territories, a real adventure. To reduce the risk of failure, i.e. to improve the chances of success, and to reduce cost of journey, it is imperative to have as much data as possible about the destination and about the courses that can be taken. This implies much heavier research involvement than other change approaches. 100% data is not possible, but it is imperative to sharpen the research skills and to get as much data on the ground reflecting reality, and not mere assumptions. It is crucial to make use of all previous experiences, but indeed of the new strategic plans of similar parties.

– INTENSIVE CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION: This is a very demanding journey into the unknown, requiring superior skills in all respects. Creative thinking is essential in connection with quantum leap change, hence heavy mental efforts, interacting with the research findings, exploring all possible combinations and options in the destinations but also strategies and structures, business models etc. It is innovation at its peak.

– INTENSIVE STRATEGIC THINKING: Strategic thinking and strategic planning are essential ingredients in the quantum leap process. It is a transition to a whole new state of affairs; hence this is a holistic change necessitating a holistic view and analysis. A developed form of strategic planning is needed also, which can demonstrate high degree of flexibility for maneuver, with possibility of changing vision too. A set of values, i.e. fixed points, need to be identified, to resort to during the difficult storm and for bearing.

– SHARP FORECASTING AND ANTICIPATION SKILLS: This is connected to strategic thinking and planning. A quantum leap is a journey into unknown territories in the future too, new developments, and the sharper the vision of the future the better the chances of success. What are the likely scenarios? How do we deal with them?

– A VERY CLEAR GOAL: In addition to some set values, a quantum leap requires the formulation of a very clear goal, which is also very simply specified, that will be the lighthouse, the guide during the rough journey. This clear goal acts also as streamliner of all efforts, as unifier of the whole organization. Everyone involved should be able to identify with this goal. It is important not to divulge into too many goals and details, since it is basically an adventure, where priorities can change every moment. A paramount goal is important to define and keep in mind.

– MAKE SURE YOU ARE FIT AND READY: It is not possible to make the big leap if you are not strong enough and ready. A quantum leap is a tough transition, and you need to be fit and ready to get through the storm without too much damage. Hence Any party attempting a quantum leap has to pull itself together, i.e. to be as strong and ready as possible, in terms of structure, resources, plans, etc. Everything costs money, and sufficient funds have to be made available. You might require synergizing to make it possible; you might need to make full use of your networks. You need all the help you can get. Superior operational planning is essential, in addition to project management skills, which have to be quite flexible to deal with unexpected circumstances. One of the main things to strengthen on the personal or organizational level is the power of determination, since a large portion will be needed to make the quantum leap succeed. You need to overcome your fears, and to be as brave as you can. You have to be loaded with a very high dose of courage. When the going gets tough only the tough get going.

Basically, it is about getting as fit as possible before attempting the journey, and to strengthen the structure, and to test the limits before going ahead. Everything is changing simultaneously during such a process, and one has to have a super effective planning and management system, to avoid ending up in chaos. As with flights to the moon, one has to have a checklist, and test every component and the whole system many times, before attempting. Can you take it? This is an adventure too, and you have to be in the spirit of adventure and conquest. Furthermore, any party attempting a quantum leap, also on the personal level, should be willing to change in a drastic way. You have to be ready to change yourself big time. Use all the technology available to you. You need high bursts of everything during the transition.

– AS SWIFT AS POSSIBLE: Everything is changing in a quantum leap process, and it becomes difficult to avoid chaos and to hold it all together for a long period of time in a transitional phase. Hence one has to plan for quick transition phases, similar metamorphosis. Maximum resources might be required to make it happen. You cannot drag on in a quantum leap process. It might all disintegrate.

– BE READY TO SACRIFICE: Despite preparations a journey in the unknown is always a risky business. Hence one has to be ready for taking higher degrees of risks and taking casualties and sacrificing. The stance might be to make it or break it even. This will to sacrifice is essential in quantum leap change, otherwise there is temptation to call it off at the first encounter with challenge. It is hoped that preparations and getting fit will reduce this risk. Hence one should be ready for high level of losses in such transformations, and not to give up. You only get tougher.

– THE ELEMENT OF DISCRETION AND SURPRISE: There is so much at stake in a quantum leap change and it is difficult enough to let unwanted hands get involved, or disrupt or interfere. Hence the need to keep some degree of discretion during the preparation phase, and even implementation.

– TO LET GO OF THE PAST: This is a quantum leap to a new state, to a new world, and cannot be achieved without deep changes, and therefore the will to let go of the past and to start a new existence. Old structures will only hinder the new modes. This is a new existence, and holding on to the past will make it difficult to change and cope with the new situation.

– SUITABLE CHANGE TEAMS AND LEADERSHIP: If leadership is useful then it is a must in quantum leap change. All the characteristics of leadership peak in this process. The right creative and determined people have to be in place to undertake the journey.

– ADJUST TO THE NEW SITUATION SUBSEQUENT TO THE TRANSITION: It is very possible that the people who were in charge of making the quantum leap work will not be suitable for the ensuing relatively settled situation. Everybody involved has to show great degree of flexibility and to change inside out to cope with the new environment and situation. Everybody should accept the new paradigm and make it work, and enjoy it too.

Leading in a Time of Great Change

This is a difficult time for leaders, particularly, new or emerging leaders. It’s difficult when you can’t interact with your team face to face. It’s difficult when you know their personal lives, as well as their professional lives, have been turned upside down. It’s difficult when your personal and professional lives have also been turned upside down but, as a leader, there are high expectations you continue to lead and lead successfully. Others, your team, your bosses, your colleagues look to you for direction, support, and performance.

What can you do to keep your team engaged, keep them motivated, keep them wanting to stay and be led by you? After all, by the time our workplaces emerge from this crisis, some of our best performers may have moved on, deciding to change their way of life. As their leader, you want to maintain a high level of involvement, you want to have your team emerge stronger and whole.

A key leadership role is as a facilitator of change. And boy, is this current situation an example of change, significant change. Normally, when we deal with change in the workplace, it is as a result of some break in our normal routine or a challenge to our beliefs and attitudes. But this change is all about doing everything differently, moving away from our normal routines, both at work and at home. The big difference compared to most workplace changes is that none of us can resist the change. It is here and we need to figure out the best ways to live with, and grow from, the change.

A few principles you can apply to help you mitigate the challenge of keeping your team motivated and engaged, while helping you to continue to grow as a leader.

Keep them close

Communication is the key. Use video as much as possible. This helps teams to feel they are interacting face to face. If you can, conduct daily check ins which helps team members, and you, to have that necessary social interaction that used to be at the office.

Let’s take an example of communicating remotely. You may think you can continue to connect with your team in the same way you did previously, only now using technology. Technology, albeit fantastic for connecting remotely, may not always meet the needs of each of your team members. Some may feel the need to connect more often, on an individual basis. This may require telephone conversations, email or text exchanges about their individual needs and challenges. It’s critical to keep in mind that holding a weekly video or telephone conference call with your team will not meet the needs of them all. Reach out to each of them individually, schedule regular check-ins using the technology that works best for each of them. This may be time consuming but necessary to keep them motivated and engaged.

Set goals for these daily check ins and weekly meetings and follow up with team members on progress being made. Make sure you have an agenda and stick to it. To provide opportunities for personal development, delegate, to members of the team, agenda creation and meeting management as well as subsequent progress updates. This will lessen the load on you while improving the skills of others.

Don’t forget the value and challenge of active listening, particularly when using online video tools, since, with most of these tools, only one person can speak, and be heard, at a time. Do you need to put a process in place to ensure everyone gets their turn to contribute? How do you ensure no one dominates the conversation? During these calls, listen for tone of voice, words used, and what is being emoted. Without the advantage of body language, listening skills are highlighted.

Take care of yourself

One of the best ways to build your leadership strength is to utilize Stephen Covey’s circles of concern, influence and control. Ask yourself, what keeps you awake at night (other than Covid-19 if you can), which of these things can you influence, can you possibly change? For those things you can influence, can affect positively, focus on what you can control. Thinking about your situation in this way helps you to become more self-aware – aware of your feelings. Being self-aware helps you to better understand and appreciate your emotions and others’ as well. Increasing self-awareness enhances your self-confidence making you better able to tune into subtle feelings.

You can’t do it all. As mentioned previously in this article, delegate. Give team members the opportunity to try new skills or tasks, new ways they can contribute. You might want to consider dedicating one of your daily check-ins or weekly meetings to training, one of your team members leading a short training session. Given that many employees have not experienced working remotely in the past, training in time management may be just the right skill to help them manage their workload at home.

Lead from the Heart

Kouzes and Posner in their book, The Leadership Challenge, speak to the need for leaders to encourage the heart. Leaders do this through recognizing contributions and celebrating accomplishments. Encourage your team to build a list of ideas to recognize the effort each other demonstrates. Then put them into practice as often as possible.

Be an inclusive leader, one who ensures team members speak up and are heard, who empowers them to make decisions, who encourages them to provide input and feedback to you about how you are leading during this tough time, Create opportunities for them to coach and mentor one another and share credit for successes.

Bloggers with the Hot Spots Movement group in United Kingdom, a group focused on the future of work, recommend leaders ‘build a narrative.’ “A narrative provides a way to make sense of events and communicate experience, knowledge and emotions. Creating a strong narrative does not rely upon the leaders having all the answers (now more than ever – this is clearly impossible). However, it does rely on creating an ongoing thread of communication that recognizes the deep uncertainty whilst also visioning the future, to help people connect with a sense of direction and purpose.” Creating this narrative can be cathartic for your team, especially if they are encouraged to share their personal stories. As Aisha Zafar, at Mohawk College Enterprise, says, “Stories evoke emotions and build human connections.”