Life has a way of disrupting the best-laid plans, and sooner or later you are flung into the whirlwind of change. More so in the current context, where disruption and uncertainty are the norms.
Our age is marked by accelerated human evolution. New patterns are very rapidly replacing old ones. Today, no one remains immune to change. According to a recent Forbes article on ‘Is Strategy dead’ by Rick Smith, the average life expectancy of a Fortune 500 company has dropped from more than 80 years to fewer than 15 in the last century. Consumer behaviour has undergone unprecedented change. Babies today leave the hospital with a blanket, an iPhone, a Facebook page, and a Twitter handle.
While the industrial revolution was all about the business-to-people narrative, the dawn of the social media era has now shifted the focus to people-to-people – with communities, collaboration, and co-creation being the new buzzwords.
According to a report on the evolution of technology and the human race by Karl Fisch, Scott Mcleod and Jeff Brenman, the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not even exist in 2004.
Today you have to continuously learn and relearn in order to remain relevant. The long-term strategy has given way to “just-in-time” decision-making.
On the other hand, this change has also created a whole new platform for the human capability to flourish. For confident and resourceful people, change spells opportunity. They’re willing to venture out of their comfort zones to embrace change and use it to their advantage.
Change is always exciting when you choose it yourself. As a choice, it’s not an unwelcome threat, but a welcome adventure. In this way, every new minute becomes an opportunity to work; to get closer to our purpose, or to learn from the experience.
Chosen change bolsters your resilience. It enables you to adjust to new circumstances and bounce back from adverse developments.
Change, if viewed as a positive step toward growth and opportunity, can invite balance and infuse vitality, aliveness, and zest in your life. But change, if mishandled, can result in an imbalance.
So how do we leverage all this movement, and use this change to our advantage rather than allowing it to sweep away all that is valuable to us?
Here are some things you can do to respond constructively to change:
• Become adaptable. Develop and put in practice an ever-ready and continually evolving repository of life and work skills to adapt and thrive in change
• Embrace change. View it as an opportunity for growth.
• Be willing to take risks.
• Anticipate change and prepare for it. For example, keep a lookout for upcoming market trends and take courses or attend classes to prepare for the forthcoming developments.
• Use major crises to create breakthroughs.
• Engage in lifelong learning to stay abreast of change.
• Keep your principles intact despite the change. They are your anchor.
• Use change to break bad patterns or unproductive habits.
• Grow from your experiences of changing circumstances. Write about your experiences to ingrain and track your learning.
• Realize the rewards that come with change and celebrate them.
• Connect with your spirituality. Meditate daily to remain centered and grounded amidst the chaos of change.
This is the time to plunge into the vortex of change that we anticipate, create, leverage and thrive on.