Kevin Gaskell PhotoThe economic storm continues to hammer businesses and too many organisations respond by closing the windows and battening down the hatches.  Despite evidence that the current strategy is not working, the idea of making change strikes fear into the hearts of management.

Ask any manager “If you could wave a magic wand and change anything what would you most like to change to improve your business?” and the responses indicate that they would rather do anything – except change.  Hanging onto the familiar ‘furniture’ with tooth and nail is the norm.

The opportunity for change should be one of the most exciting and interesting offered to any manager.  It’s an opportunity to search for the sun and for the organisation to make real progress:

  • To reconnect with customers to demonstrate the value proposition offered
  • To review the business model
  • To inspire teams to embrace change with excitement
  • To explore opportunities ignored by competitors

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.  New businesses that have spotted a gap in the weather, or those progressive companies that are using the stormy conditions, and the strong winds it produces, to make rapid progress will be the winners.  They are looking hard for opportunities to change and grow, listening aggressively to the market, asking key questions:

  • Which way is the storm blowing?
  • Which way are the currents flowing?
  • What are the trends?
  • What are new ships in the sea doing?
  • What new opportunities exist on our current course or in potential new dynamic sectors?

Good people are inspired when they are given the opportunity to contribute – and I mean really contribute.  When they can see the leaders are committed to real change the team will begin to believe that they can look out of the window and see patches of sunlit opportunity beyond the storm.

As a friend who has her own new business said recently; “Yes, I am aware of the economic crisis but I have decided not to play. If I change my perspective I quickly find that I’m too busy prioritising all the new opportunities it’s bringing me!”

The storm will pass and the best captains will have enjoyed the energy it delivered and the progress it enabled.