The song Turn! Turn! Turn!”(To Everything There Is a Season) echoes as the weather warms up, Spring’s delicate buds open and a new season is upon us. The tune was written by Pete Seeger in the 1950’s and first recorded in 1959. The lyrics are based on the first eight verses of the third chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible.
The song only became an international success six years after it was composed, in late 1965, and somehow that’s a fitting message for our theme this month, “A time to every purpose”. Often what we want to happen quickly takes time and a certain amount of faith!
When considering everything under the sun is affected by the different seasons we realise how integral change is to life. Yet so often we cling to the same old way of doing things, which will not propel us forward. As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.” Roy T. Bennett
Becoming comfortable with change, making friends with it, will help when external changes impact on business. It’s how ready we are to respond to change which will determine our future.
External factors such as the economy, technology, politics, urbanization, education, cultural changes and new generations entering into the workplace affect all businesses – from corporate to small business to entrepreneur.
”A time to plant, a time to reap.”
Knowing we’re always in the “season of change” prompts the question, is it a time to plant or a time to reap? Is your business in a nurturing or radical change phase? These are some of the questions we ask our clients:
- Is a recent change something you forecast (could have predicted) or is it something that has taken you by surprise?
- How do you deal with unexpected changes?
- How do you ensure that the change in the business can be predicted – i.e. through forecasting / planning?
“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” Walt Disney
Other areas of business change to ponder as we step into Spring:
New People: How do you ensure you welcome new people in your team? How do you ensure you keep the culture you want your organization / team to have. Project Manager has some good ideas, including, really taking the time to acknowledge the presence of a new person, making them feel welcome. Helping them feel motivated will boost productivity.
New Offices / Location: Thinking of moving offices or business location? There are certain things you need to think about before choosing a new place. Any hidden costs in the lease? What is the transportation route like for your team members? Is the location important for clients, or doesn’t it matter? George Rogers suggests developing a Move Management Strategy, estimating that in some businesses almost 30-50% of their space goes unused every day.
New Client or Different Client Contact Person: How do you work with new people in an old account? Or how do you learn about and build rapport with a new client? Are there any systems and processes that need to be re-looked?
For some useful info look at Small Biz Trends who asked 12 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC): “How can businesses effectively manage client expectations early in a relationship?” Some great feedback including, “Expectations must be outlined accurately in the beginning, and then both parties need to deliver on them.” Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
Loss of Client: How does this impact your bottom-line and team? Was this expected or unexpected? How do you deal with such a change? Do you scramble and look for new clients, or do you stop; take a deep breath; gradually re-calibrate and allow time to show answers? For a lively Facebook group which often deals with these kinds of issues, join The Resource Creative Forum.
New Suppliers / Service Provider: When you connect with new suppliers or service providers do you know what their T&Cs are? How does this impact you or your ways of working to ensure this change works for you? Clever Checklist has a list which covers more than you need in terms of new suppliers.
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama
The synonyms for change are embodying, manifesting, personifying, incarnating, transforming. All things which mean letting go or giving up to embrace the new. It takes courage but once you start living with a change mindset it becomes easier. Good luck!