The world around us is constantly changing. On any given business day, top companies are trying to figure out what changes they can make to improve their revenues and profits. Companies like Intel, 3M and Pfizer invest billions annually, to produce new and improved products. They know that every single product has a given useful lifespan and they want to make sure their pipeline of products is full of new and exciting improvements and innovations.
The same degree of change is going on in every level of government each and every business day. Planning boards are approving the blueprints of new building and construction projects. Roads, utilities and community services are being upgraded to fit the needs of growing populations or downgraded in areas of shrinking budgets. City Councils as well as state and federal legislators are in session all around the country every day, changing existing laws and implementing new ones with the hopes of improving the well-being of their constituents.
As an avid reader of 30 plus magazines, I am always in awe at the degree of change that is happening all around us. And I am only exposed to the changes described in 30 magazines. There are probably tens of thousands of magazines in publication each month that I have no exposure to. Thus, I believe itís virtually impossible to keep up with every single change occurring in this world. However, not being informed and not adapting quickly to specific changes that directly affect you, can result in costly errors and consequences.
Throughout my tenure as a company administrator, I felt at least responsible for keeping up with the changes in my own industry. My clients for the most part were small businesspeople who were totally wrapped up in their daily routines. They had little opportunity to leave their business for a day, to attend seminars and workshops on the latest changes in laws, technologies and systems. I believed I had a fiduciary responsibility to seek and discover what was new or changing and keep them informed and prepared for a brighter future. My investments of time and resources to stay informed, and then keep my clients informed and constantly updated, paid huge rewards in the form of increased loyalty, business and profits.
Change is not a phenomenon that seeks you out. You must be proactive and seek it out. And the process all begins by exposing yourself to the publications, mediums and networks of people and organizations that report and discuss change. Beyond this point, it often takes extra research to investigate what you feel can directly impact your business, your clients, your employees, your vendors, your family or yourself in some way. Ignorance is no excuse in a court of law, the world of business or in your personal life. Itís everyoneís individual responsibility to stay informed. And I believe that the best informed individuals on Planet Earth seem to reap the lionís share of the benefits and spoils available to all.
So why do so many people stay on the tracks when they see a train coming? I think itís because individuals inherently despise change! As an example, when employees are informed months in advance that their company is about to be merged and layoffs will be in the thousands, many employees do little to prepare for the inevitable. They are so comfortable in their daily routines that they go into denial with the hope they will be the fortunate one who avoids a pink slip. These resisters then discover that the approaching train arrives right on schedule as they are standing on the tracks, and runs them over. Those who were proactive, anticipated change, and acted quickly, got off the tracks and were passengers on another train.
I think we can gather from this lesson that resistance to change can be a dangerous proposition. Itís the responsibility of every individual to seek out the latest knowledge, laws, technologies, systems and methods regarding all relevant aspects of their life. One should surround themselves with the most informed people possible and share knowledge and wisdom openly and often. Being an informed and updated knowledge worker can make you a change agent rather than a change victim and greatly add to your value in the marketplace. This same theory applies to all aspects of life including health, wealth and the constant pursuit of a brighter future.
As in all human behavior, we are driven into action by the Pain or Pleasure Principle. If you view change as an opportunity that can produce pleasurable results - you will seek it out. If you view change as a painful experience, you will resist it. The choices and the consequences are entirely up to YOU!