Change is the theme song of the new economy.
Just look at examples like the internet of things, 3D printing and driverless cars and you get a tiny glimpse of the monumental change the future holds.
In fact, change will be everywhere – and it will only become more prevalent and more intense.
Think you can ignore it? No way.
You’ll actually have to deal with change more than ever before because it will involve everything in your business – from very small shifts in day-to-day work to monumental new opportunities to seize and challenges to overcome.
The problem is that it takes time to catch up to change, and it takes time to manage it.
To create that time, you’ll need to become a leader and not a manager (a.k.a. caretaker) and protect your time and manage how you use it with vigilance.
In particular, you’ll need to use your time to:
- Think about and define your priorities – what you want from your business, employees, vendors, clients, partners, other stakeholders and yourself.
- Examine your people, business systems, technology, and processes (how work gets done) to identify what needs to change.
- Create a Compelling Picture of the Future that inspires those around you to embrace the change necessary to get there.
- Learn how change impacts individuals – especially your employees and other key stakeholder groups.
- Attract the people and resources you need to achieve your Compelling Picture of the Future.
It comes down to this: if you have the mental and emotional capacity to accept change as a good thing, you’ll more easily be able to manage your time and change itself – and if you adopt a large worldview, you’ll find it much easier to create the Compelling Picture of the Future you need to succeed.
Why do you need a Compelling Picture of the Future?
Exceptional leaders have a large worldview of change and create compelling big-picture visions of the future that act as magnets, attracting the people and resources they need to make that future real.
Average leaders, on the other hand, have a much smaller worldview of change. They say things like:
“Cryptocurrencies? What are they and why do I need to spend time educating myself with something that has nothing to do with my business. I don’t have time.”
“Autonomous driving cars and trucks won’t affect my business, but maybe my sales reps can actually do more work while being driven around. That would be a better use of their time.”
“Additive manufacturing [3D printing] doesn’t affect me. Plus, there’s plenty of time to just observe what’s happening.”
“Robots in industry? I’m a service business so I just don’t see it applying – and if it ends up being relevant, there’s time before I have to take it seriously.”
“I know that recruiting good people is hard, but we have a great plan to do that. I don’t need to worry about training either. My people are happy and well-trained in the skills they need to do their job.”
“Cognitive computing is not something I need to think about. A computer will never know more than a human does in my industry because there are too many variables. We are different.”
“Block chain? Never heard of it.”
In other words, when you have a small worldview of change, you can’t see beyond your immediate situation. So, only with a large worldview of change can you truly create a Compelling Picture of the Future and you must have that vision if you want people to follow you there.
Here’s what it looks like when a business owner or leader has a Compelling Picture of the Future built from a large worldview:
Chris was a very good leader and carved out time to think about what might affect his organization down the road. He thought:
“Change will affect everything in my business in the near-future, and I want to be as prepared as I can. I’ll put together a special team and together we’ll explore how change might affect our organization and how we can take advantage of future opportunities. Then we’ll periodically report what we are finding to the employees. Doing this now will help employees better manage the change to come and will also make decision-making and execution easier for all concerned.”
Thinking in advance of change gives everyone the opportunity to make change work for the organization and its members. Plus, communicating the team’s findings to employees stimulates conversation, and also enables the organization to control the content of those “rumor mill” discussions that will occur no matter what.
The changes Chris’ company is monitoring are the same changes business owners and leaders with a small worldview are avoiding or don’t know anything about. By taking a large worldview and creating a Compelling Picture of the Future, Chris and his company can start to manage change in people, business systems, supply-chains, products and overall markets right now, before they impact the organization.
Do you have the right worldview to lead change successfully?
Without the large worldview that leads to a Compelling Picture of the Future, a company will always be scrambling to keep up with change and, most of the time, will be left far behind.
It’s only by adopting a large worldview that you can see what’s truly happening in the larger environment and formulate a response – a Compelling Picture of the Future that actually has your company in it.