Adjust to Change

by robertr

September 2nd, 2008

Dear Carnegie Coach,

I’m a small business owner that has run a small profitable venture for over 25 years. The current market conditions have put a pinch on our profits and we have gone from having a healthy income to just getting by. Now I know that I need to change with the market but I’m afraid that if I change too much that I will get away from what made me successful in the first place. What can I do to make change but in a smart way.


Dear Rick,

Considering the ever-accelerating rate of change in today’s workplace, there may be no more important skill than the ability to adapt successfully to change. Sometimes, adapting to change comes easily. Other times especially with owning a profitable small business you will find yourself resisting change, focusing on what you might lose as a result of the change, rather than on what you might gain. No matter how you might feel personally about the change it is important to adapt productively and positively. Here are a few principles that will help you to productively adjust your patterns.

    1. Practice Patience – When it comes to change, many times you want to get it over with and move on as quickly as possible. The cycle of change in the workplace often takes longer than you expect. The change has to be communicated, integrated, and there needs to be time for adjustment of all adjacent organizational functions.
    2. Be Adventurous – Take on the change as a challenge. Throw yourself into planning and preparation, engage others in the process, and chart out new career horizons that may appear as result of the challenge. Tap into your courageous side.

    3. Practice constructive discontent – Instead of clinging to the status quo, ask yourself “How could I change for the better? How could the organization change for the better?” Instead of expressing discontent destructively through undermining change efforts, look for ways that the integration process of change could work even better.

    4. Try something new each day – Once you get throw out of your comfort zone, we have a tendency to try to build a new one as quickly as we can. Challenge yourself to try at least one new way of adjusting to change every day.

    5. Ask for input
    – Others in our organization may have insight into the ways that we can better adjust to change. Ask for ideas and suggestions and for feedback on how well you are adjusting to change. Period of change are times to build bridges, not walls. They are times to be open to input, not defensive.

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  1. Donna @ Mybusinessforsale /

    25 Years is quite a while to have been in the same business, and surely you must have seen loads of growth and change in technology in your particular sector of the economy over the years. How has this affected you in the greater scheme of things?

    Perhaps you should look at turning over the helm to, or at least employing the skills of a younger person with fresh ideas and insight? Else looking at getting a consultant in to get you up to speed, or getting some further training / education that can help you make empowered choices might be a good idea.

    Good luck in your quest, I am positive that you’ll turn it around.