How do you see change – as an opportunity or a threat?
Our industries, our society and even our world are in a state of flux as we struggle to come to terms with turbulent economies, dwindling resources and a changing climate. In The Sixth Wave, a book on business and innovation, authors Moody and Nogrady predict that we are on the cusp of the next great wave of change for the future. They also demonstrate that periods of change in history have always been the time when the greatest opportunities exist for the introduction of new technologies, new products and services, and for inspired ideas about whole new ways of doing things.
If you see change as a threat, you’re taking a “glass-half empty” perspective. You probably say, “I can’t keep up with this constant technological innovation. There’s something new to learn every week. It’s like I never left school!” You’ll be annoyed whenever there’s a new trend in management. You’ll wince whenever you hear of competitors introducing new business processes. You’ll see change as the slings and arrows of business misfortune.
On the other hand, if you see change as an opportunity, you’re taking a “glass-half full” perspective. You are likely to think, “Every time there’s a change, new niches open up for me.” You know that some of your competitors will be slow to adapt and you’ll be the first to step in and relieve them of a few customers. You’ll say to yourself, “I’m a small business. I have a small, flexible and effective team. Adaptability is our mantra. We’re the can-do people!”
While your larger competitors need to look ahead a year or more, you’ll change focus much more quickly. If you’re a manufacturer, you have smaller production runs, so you can customize to suit the needs of particular customers. Customers can reach you much more easily than they can a CEO of a large corporation – you’re responsive.