Topic of the Week Change Or Risk Irrelevance--Becoming More Change-Friendly
· DO look around.
· DO focus on the benefits.
· DO gain new skills.
· DON'T allow yourself to get cynical.
Is your job and workplace constantly changing? Welcome to the club. Rather than fight it, we all need to just accept that today's workplace is turbulent and this isn't going to change any time soon. Which reminds me of a 39-year-old man who was pulled over in Framington, CT for driving 5 mph in a 40 mph zone. Police said he had the drug PCP in the car and a 9-year-old passenger. The man was charged with driving under the influence, possession of narcotics, risk of injury to a minor, driving a dangerously slow speed and driving without a license. Luckily, the child was not hurt.
When it comes to change at work, many of us are like that driver driving much too slowly. Sure, change is often disruptive, difficult and just plain annoying. But we all need to buff up our change muscles. I've included three Do's and one Don't below to help you do this. For more, check out Samuel L. Culbert's book "Get Rid of Performance Reviews" (Hatchette, 2010).
DO look around. I'm writing this on an airplane, part of an industry that's gone through massive changes. Then there is the music industry. Auto industry. Banking, oops, that's one industry that continues to party like it's 1999. But for most industries change is the only constant. So rather than just continuing to complain about what's changing in your workplace, remember to look around to see that change is happening everywhere. There is another benefit of looking around, you might save you and your company some pain by learning from changes that take place in another company or industry.
DO focus on the benefits. Change is seldom all bad. I'm not trying to minimize the pain of most changes, but I do believe that there is often gain that exists too. Like increased flexibility, new opportunities to develop skills and new markets to explore. There is an old song "Accentuate the Positive" that sums up the best philosophy to have in today's constantly changing workplace. Even the ultimate negative change, getting laid off, has seen many people end up creating a new business, moving on to a job that they're more passionate about or launching a career in a totally new industry. But only when the opportunity is embraced.
DO gain new skills. The best way to handle change is to have a bigger toolbox. Take every training opportunity that your company offers.
DON'T allow yourself to get cynical. We've all known people who wax poetically about the past. How everything was much saner and healthier. Really? Think about a time in the past and ask yourself, would you really want to go back there? Was the world really better when banks were only open a few hours each day, when the workplace was mostly white and male and when we weren't carrying around a computer the size of a cassette in our pocket?
Follow these tips and you'll get out of the slow lane concerning change in your company.
About The Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. If you have a question for Bob, contact him via [email protected].