How To To Find Opportunities in A Rapidly Changing World

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Small business and government grants resources home
Small business and government grants resources home

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.

1. Accept 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 School.

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!

4. Open 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.

7. 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.

8. Develop 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 problem.

9. Lighten 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. CARPE DIEM!













How to 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 perspectives.

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.

3. Protect your equipment.

Move mission-critical 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.

4. Protect 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.

5. Establish 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 situation.

6. Develop, 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!"

8. Review 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.

9. Prepare yourself and your staff for business interruptions and disasters.

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.

10. Prepare 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 your facility.


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