Why You Should Always Be Anticipating Change

The depiction captures the transformative nature of autumn, as green leaves surrender their vitality and transform into vibrant flames, mirroring the growth and change that awaits

Here are four ideas to consider when you want to begin embracing an open-to-change mindset.

As frequently as people report they want change, it’s more likely they find comfort in the status quo. This is true in both times of stability and times of turbulence, when people are seeking a return to the familiar.

Historically, there’s been merit to this. Our brains evolved over time to seek patterns that are familiar foods, people and situations, for example and to use that familiarity as a safety net. But change is Inevitable, and carefully embracing it may be the key to success.

Finding a Balance in Change

Ultimately, the question is not whether you will change, but where you stand in the process of change. Most change is gradual, although it can appear fast when you miss it. When the car began to replace the horse-drawn carriage, there were probably many carriage makers who felt as if they had been though a whirlwind. Similarly, Polaroid and RIM (Blackberry) had time to adapt to change but either failed to see or embrace it.

On the other hand, there are individuals who follow new trends without looking first. However, we know that jumping into unfamiliar waters can land you in hot water. In fact, that sort of reckless change doesn’t usually lead to success. After all, how many businesses have invested in technologies, services or business models too quickly only to end up paying the price in the end? So its vitally important to find the balance between missed opportunities and reckless change.

Success Involves Positioning Yourself to Anticipate Change

It may seem as though change is more rapid today compared to 10 years ago, but it nonetheless remains incremental.

Facebook, long before its emergence as a social-media powerhouse, was seen in some ways as an incremental change to MySpace. (Similarly, Pinterest and Instagram were perceived as incremental changes to Facebook.) Jumping onto MySpace in 2003 may not have helped a business grow, but paying attention to the trends during the ensuing six years could have laid the groundwork for future success

Embrace an Open to Change Mindset

Change is in our nature. As much as our brain seeks familiar patterns, it also seeks constant stimulation. In fact, once our brain becomes familiar with something, it takes more of the same to keep it active. For example, the brain is happy to receive new input, but it likes to organize the world by placing this input in contextual patterns. This is why we see familiar images such as faces or animals in stains on the wall or clouds in the sky.

But embracing an doesn’t mean you have to change. There are times when standing still is the best option because being open to change allows you to be ready when the time is right.

Four Questions for Change

Should you buy a new smart phone, change your hours of operations or build an app? There are constant questions you should be asking yourself, your staff, customers or any other interested parties if you want to position yourself for success.

Here are four ideas to consider when you want to begin embracing an open-to-change mindset.

1)    What or where is my next challenge? Asking yourself what your existing competition is doing can yield useful information. On the other hand, asking yourself who your next competition is going to be and the challenges you face next may force you to look at something entirely novel. This opens your mind to spotting new opportunities for change.

2)    Am I standing still? There are moments you can allow your business to be in a state of maintenance, but that shouldn’t be your target. You should always be thinking about how you can evolve even if you’re not quite ready. If you’re standing still, take the time to ask yourself why. If your answer is fear or lack of information, then face that fear or get the information you need. Remember, change is inevitable

3)    What will I do differently? Don’t ask yourself if you should change but, instead, what you will change. Make small changes frequently so you can become more nimble to adapt or lead to change.

4)    What am I missing? Curiosity is part of our nature, but when were busy, we sometimes stop asking questions or look around for what we can’t see. Success is often serendipitous: a matter of timing, luck and opportunity. By looking around for what you’re missing, you can open yourself up to new opportunities for change.

You don’t always need to say yes to every change you spot, but accepting the idea of change can put you in the frame of mind to embrace important trends in a rapidly changing world. This will encourage an open-to-change mindset and lead to future success.

Related articles:

Can Disruptive Innovation Lead to Change?

5 New Year Recommendations to Change Your Mind, Heart, and Yourself

Small Business Is Risk and Change

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