People have a love-hate relationship with change. We love the idea then fear the very uncertainty that change brings. These feelings abound now that the presidential election in the US is over. The lights burn bright into the night as small and large business leaders frantically read the tea leaves, consult with oracles, and try to divine what will change and what that will mean for their companies.
[quotesright]The media are currently awash with articles that say in effect, “We have no idea, but here are some possibilities.” [/quotesright] Depending on what you read and who wrote it, change will only benefit wall builders, Wall Street and Big Corporations, incur massive budget deficits, bring on trade wars and protectionism that will ruin our economy. It’ll roll back worker protection and leave workers worse off, injured and sick, not insured, and destitute. No doubt we’ll be bringing back witch trials.
Others say “Fantastic, it’s about time! We’re going to see regulation and stifling bureaucracies eliminated altogether or cut back to size and that’s going to ring in a new era of prosperity as resources are deployed to fuel growth from compliance bookkeeping, documentation and government programs that just waste money. Loans will start flowing, factories will open, small business will grow as money is repatriated back here and not parked in overseas shells to avoid paying onerous corporate taxes.”
Forrest Gump would certainly say the future "is like a box of chocolates . You never know what you're gonna get.”
[quotes]The truth is, no one fully knows what the effects of change will be in their totality, not even the President.[/quotes] Certainly, he has a vision and an expectation of outcomes but he is one guy who somehow must convince 535 Congressmen and women to go along, at least half of them anyway, with big changes. Powerful lobbies won’t go away and if their ox is being gored, they won’t slip quietly away into the night; they’ll obstruct, fight and litigate like crazy. And no nation controls everything, there will be counter actions to every action.
With no track record as a politician, seemingly contradictory messages on key issues, no position papers outlining plans, and no feel for the eventual reactions by Congress, states, special interests, and foreign governments, it’s tough for the media – let alone business owners – to gauge if the Trump presidency is going to be good or bad for commerce.
“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word “crisis.” One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger – but recognize the opportunity.” – John Kennedy
Like many promised swamp-draining reforms, sea changes, brave new eras and boundless hopes, that are the platforms of incumbent platforms, [quotes]the post-election reality turns out to never be as good as promised or as bad as imagined. [/quotes]
Many things will change!
Your business may be faced with a real problem if it exports a lot of product to countries who are facing tariffs (they will of course, retaliate with trade sanctions themselves) or again, it may not even happen. You might find your taxes suddenly went down substantially in a tax overhaul scheme. Freeing banking regulations from those imposed post Great Recession may make getting loans far easier so you can grow your business but may usher in more volatility in the economic cycle. Or none of those may happen.
Or something we don’t expect can happen, remember 9-11? You just don’t know.
[quotes]While no one can predict the future, it doesn’t mean you have an excuse for not being prepared for it![/quotes]
The point is, as a business person you do not know exactly what change is coming or when, but you know that you absolutely need the agility and flexibility to dodge whatever bullets come your way and be among the first to seize any new opportunities it brings.
You don’t want to be the last company to try to expand in your business, right?
Take the test, how well are you prepared?
Change will be coming fast and furiously by all accounts after January 20. How many of these questions are you certain you have a good answer to?
- Will you have the strategies in place that anticipate several possible directions the economy, tariffs, trade wars, insurance, or labor law changes could take you?
- Is your sales force trained and tuned to be the ones to spot opportunity with customers before your competition?
- Do you have the mindset to even spot those opportunities? Does your team?
- Will your marketing team have the skill to craft and effectively deliver a message that captivates the interest of your prospects?
- Do you have the “bench strength” to either adapt or grow your company as new challenges and opportunities appear? What if you had to grow 50 percent or cut your staff by 30 percent within 60 days?
- What would you do if a structural change to your industry happens as a result of the changes brought by the new administration?
- Have you thought through the possible outcomes of change and looked at possible futures where change would totally disrupt your business model? Remember direct mail? Those formerly bulging mailboxes went suddenly flat almost overnight with the massive reach and cost efficiencies of email solicitations, websites, AdWords and Facebook Ads.
The buggy whip guys missed what the horseless carriage meant because they didn’t have the forsight to challenge the conventional wisdom and consider the implications change can bring. Conventional wisdom generally holds that we live in an unchanging universe and that nothing will change because it hasn’t. [quotesright]The people in Pompey likely thought the same thing. [/quotesright]
Let’s not forget you. What will a change mean for those of you who plan to sell your business and retire?
Will you have created a company with high transferrable value that you can easily sell in an ever-tougher market that is already being swamped by a tsunami of Baby Boomers retiring and trying to sell their companies? Will more decide to sell or hold out for higher prices if the economy looks good? Will the value of your company be increased or suddenly deflated? How will change impact your retirement plans?
Change is inevitable. How you respond to it determines your future success!
[quotes]“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill[/quotes]
Change is inevitable even without a new administration. You can’t control it but you can control how proactive you are and how prepared you are to capitalize on the opportunities and minimize the disruptions change brings.
[quotesright]Not surprisingly, the better prepared you are for change, even the worst change possible, the more “bottom looks like up to me” will be your mantra [/quotesright] to paraphrase a line from a Lee Hazelwood song.
For more than 35 years FocalPoint coaching has been helping businesses meet challenges and find opportunities in their business and industry, in good times and bad. We’ve shown others the time-proven ways to dramatically improve performance and profitability while increasing the satisfaction of both owners and employees regardless of the change.
Tips To Help You Overcome Challenges and Make Them Opportunities
Here’s a little free coaching to help you with whatever the change in the guard brings:
If you want to change your future when faced with adversity, look at the problems you face from a different point of view; [quotes]what if you saw problems as challenges to improve or even opportunities and not just as problems, and had a rock-solid conviction you’d triumph?[/quotes]
It’s true you may not have a clue now what the solution is to any of your “challenges,” but you must affirm this commitment: Even though I may have a challenge, I know that I will create or find a solution. This approach has proven to be effective for many visionary and highly effective individuals throughout history. [quotesright]Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Richard Bannister, Louis Pasteur, JFK and an amazingly talented team of engineers at NASA put a man on the moon, and the Wright brothers never saw a problem,[/quotesright] they only saw stepping stones bringing them closer to their goal of manned flight.
The Five Day Race…
What if you could use these insights to win “a five-day race by a day and half” like Cliff Young did? He won the 1983, 875 kilometer (543.7 mile) Australian Ultra Marathon by a day and half. [quotes]This had never been done before by anyone, let alone a man 61 years old and competing against 30-year-old superbly conditioned athletes.[/quotes] Some feared for his safety. He didn’t view being old and not dressed in the latest racing garb with the finest running shoes man can buy or running the race with a shuffle step in coveralls and gum boots as problems, he saw the race as an opportunity to win and all these “handicaps” as advantages.
It’s a great story, read it here: http://www.elitefeet.com/the-legend-of-cliff-young
How can we help you meet the challenges and opportunities change brings? USA: 877.433.6225 firstname.lastname@example.org
- by Chris Dekle, Area Developer & Coach