When was the last time you looked at your business with fresh eyes? Maybe it is ready for some significant changes? How would you know? How would you make them happen? As we often tell our clients "If you want to change, have a crisis or create one." If not, very little gets done. But the pressures to change are accelerating. People really hate to change. What to do?
I always enjoy my workshops with CEOs. They teach me a lot about the trends happening in the world of business growth across the U.S. and Canada. This week as we move into 2017, I am working with a group of company leaders representing a wide range of industries, all of whom had a record year (or pretty close) last year in revenues and profits. In one of our sessions, they were all applauding each other and celebrating their accomplishments.
For a moment I thought perhaps I had the wrong group since I speak on change and these executives and I were going to spend the next three hours searching for new market space, re-inventing their strategies and focusing their attention on unmet needs, non-users and how to add value in innovative ways. Next, I was going to ask them to take a look at the big trends that are taking place in the U.S. and globally right now, and determine if they and their organizations are ready to capitalize on them. So what was up?
Whether we like it or not, we are living in an era of rapid and relentless change—societal, demographic, economic and personal. As a corporate anthropologist at my firm, Simon Associates Management Consultants, I routinely show companies how to use “a little anthropology” to see their business problems with fresh eyes and find new ways to embrace change: to stimulate growth, open new market space and advance innovative solutions.
This same anthropological approach also works well when navigating changes in one’s personal and professional life. As I explain in my latest article for Forbes, wherever it’s coming from, change is quite literally pain, but by using an anthropologist’s toolkit, you can alter the equation, master the change and ultimately triumph.
The brain simply does not like dealing with changeHow true! It much prefers its well-worn habits rather than the new, the novel. Nevertheless, changes are coming—faster and faster—and you’re going to have to help your brain deal with them. The best way to do this? With a story.
When you create a story to explain changes, your brain can more readily accept them.
As I describe in my Forbes article, before your brain can absorb and accept change, there are four hurdles to overcome: