How To To
Find Opportunities in A Rapidly Changing World
As we approached the new
millennium the winds of change are building...reshaping
business, government, educational institutions, not for
profit groups, civic and professional groups, the
military and all of our personal lives. Some people dig
in their heels and try to resist change. Others ride the
winds of change and seize the amazing opportunities it
brings. Use these ten habits to recognize and maximize
the gifts of change.
the Certainty of Uncertainty.
Change scares a lot of
people. Facing the unknown rattles our nerves and
undermines confidence. Yet, our rapidly world if filled
with ambiguity, shifting priorities, different
expectations, unawswered questions, and new
responsibilities. People with a high need for closure
and structure find it especially difficult. The ability
to cope with uncertainty and ambiguity are critical
skills for success in our New World.
2. Become A
Quick Change Artist.
Hundreds of thousands of
years ago, this planet was inhabited by powerful
dinosaurs. Then, something happened and in a very short
time the great beasts perished. While scientists don't
agree about what exactly happened, they do agree that
whatever it was the dinosaurs simply could not adapt to
the change. There are plenty of human dinosaurs out
there today saying..."Don't rock the boat"...."why
change what's working?....and "That's not the way we've
always done it." Resistance to change is a dead-end
street. Change requires that we abandon the status quo,
overcome our additions to comfort zones, and adapt
quickly to new situations and ways of doing things.
3. Stay In
The most effective way to
cope with change and find the opportunities it offers is
to NEVER STOP LEARNING. We are the sum of what we read,
hear and experience...the thousands of bits of
information we pick up from many sources. Successful
lifelong learners make it a point to learn something New
everyday, to gain ideas from everyplace they go and
everyone they meet. A great way to do this is to commit
to the 30/10 RULE. Commit 30 minutes per day to actively
seeking new information and then take an additional 10
minutes to decide how to apply this new information to
your life. COACHU resources make the 30/10 Rule easy!
Your Mind and Unhook Your Personal Prejudices.
A prejudice is a judgment
or opinion reached before the facts are known or
maintained long after the facts have changed. Prejudices
severely limit our ability to respond to change.
Prejudices stifle our creativity and innovation. Seek
out diversity. Read books and magazines about subjects
you have never been interested in before. Seek out new
friends and acquaintances of different cultures, ages,
and thinking styles and learn from them.
5. Become A
Trend Watcher and New Idea Collector.
Opportunities abound in
trends and change. Look at magazines, newspapers, the
Net, and other sources for themes that show up on a
regular basis. Pay special attention to feature sections
in publications like USA Today and Entrepreneur
Magazine. Start an Idea File.
6. Be Sure
To Open All Your Gifts and Look For More.
It is so much fun to open
gifts...especially ones we didn't know we were getting.
We all have many gifts we have never fully used.
Talents, abilities, and potential we have never
exercised and developed. High achievers in a changing
world use all their gifts and constantly seek new ones.
For every gift you open, there are many more waiting to
be discovered and used.
Cultivate and Maintain a Strong Resource Network.
Your Team 100, Circle of
Ten or a Personal Advisory Board are all part of your
resource network. Become a Master Networker. (See Ten
Ways to Become a Master Networker) Your network is a
gold mine of resources and support. Remember networking
is a reciprocal process. It is about getting and giving.
a Reputation as FIXER...not a Finger Pointer.
Every business, every
organization, every community and even our own families
need people who are willing to take care of problems,
not merely point them out. People who are objective and
willing to explore many options and solutions, rather
than automatically opposing anything that even smells
like change, become very valuable. Make it a rule never
to complain without offering solutions along with your
Up! Optimism is Contagious.
The benefits of optimism
and a sense of humor cannot be overestimated in a
climate of change and chaos. Negativity and its
by-product, stress, cloud judgment and interfere with
objectivity. On the other hand, a well-developed sense
of humor increases optimism and helps us prevent blowing
things out of proportion. We must consider how many
other people take their cues from us. Do you lead others
optimistically into change or do you somehow lead them
into resistance? Optimism is contagious...spread it
every chance you get.
Many people can make an
entire lifetime out of getting ready to do
something...laying the groundwork...making
plans...waiting until the time is "right." Change
doesn't wait and in today's competitive world, waiting
is a luxury we can no longer afford. We need to develop
a sense of urgency ...coupled with action. The best
insurance policy for tomorrow is the best use of today.
Prevent Business Disasters
It's not a matter of *IF*
... it's only a matter of *WHEN* you and your business
will be affected by a natural or manmade disaster. Chances
are greater today than ever before your normal business
operations will be interrupted by an equipment failure,
operator error, power outage or other calamity or
disaster. Planning and preparation BEFORE disaster strikes
is the best way to ensure your business will survive! Here
are ten steps you can take to protect your business:
1. Create a
virtual disaster team within your company.
A virtual disaster team is
the best way to gather information and perspective which
is essential in preparing an effective disaster prevention
and recovery plan. Proper disaster planning requires
information from all perspectives of your company as well
as outside sources. Sole proprietors, coaches, and
consultants should seek help from friends and associates
in viewing their business operations from all
2. Conduct a
complete asset inventory.
Be sure to include all
equipment, furnishings, supplies and inventory. Then
augment your written inventory with still photos and/or
videotape of all areas.
equipment away from doors and windows where they can be
damaged by debris, wind or water during a storm. Protect
major industrial or production equipment, office machines,
computers, peripherals and accessories from dust, dirt,
debris, moisture and power fluctuations. Install surge
suppressors and uninterruptible power sources. Use
equipment covers to protect from water leaks from overhead
pipes and facilities. And move equipment, documents,
supplies and inventory out of basements and other areas of
your facility subject to flooding.
your vital records.
Identify records that are
vital to your business operation. Store copies of these
records offsite. Implement a records management program
and standard office procedures for handling electronic
files and paper documents. Establish and enforce a
computer data backup system.
offsite storage and alternate location policies.
Develop a policy for
storing original documents, vital records and critical
electronic files offsite. Establish an alternate or
emergency location from which you can perform the critical
functions of your business should you be unable to access
your business facility. If you have others on your staff,
make sure they understand these policies and their
individual responsibilities during and after a disaster
test and revise your disaster plan.
Once you have developed
what appears to be a good plan for limiting the effects of
a disaster or business interruption, you must test the
plan to ensure it meets your needs and expectations. Keep
accurate and detailed notes through all phases of plan
testing. Revise your plan based on your test results and
notes; then test your revised plan.
7. Seek legal
counsel on contracts and agreements.
Entering into any type of
agreement, contract, lease, proposal or signing any
document you have not read or you do not fully understand
is an open invitation to business disaster. Don't try to
"Go it alone!"
insurance needs and documents.
Meet with your insurance
agent, consultant or advisor and determine your insurance
needs. Go over your policy statements and make sure you
understand types of coverage, coverage limits, exclusions
and deductible amounts.
yourself and your staff for business interruptions and
Large or small... natural
or manmade... whether it strikes you directly or a
business you depend on... you should be prepared BEFORE a
disaster or business interruption occurs. Your business
disaster plan will not be effective unless you know and
understand your needs and responsibilities when a disaster
or business interruption affects your business. Arrange
first aid and CPR classes through local emergency
officials. Develop and maintain offsite storage policies,
office operating procedures and computer backup schedules
and procedures. When you read about a disaster affecting
other businesses, review your disaster plan and make sure
it covers such an event.
your workplace for disaster.
Collect and remove trash,
rubbish and debris inside and outside your facility. Clean
your roof, gutters, downspouts and drainage ditches.
Perform a physical inspection of your business and look
for potential security, fire and electrical wiring
hazards. Develop an orderly evacuation procedure which
takes into account any persons with disabilities. Also
establish a primary and a secondary evacuation route from