Haris Ahmed of Chicago Asks: Are You Adverse to Change or Do You Embrace It?
Haris Ahmed owns a Chicago management consulting company and has helped a number of clients through their organization’s transformation and transition phase. The consulting firm is focused on providing company leaders with the assistance and information that they need in order to create a more stable structure for their organization and, at the same time, direct it towards the fulfillment of the company’s goal. Here he talks about why businesses should embrace change instead of being adverse to it—treating it as the enemy instead of an ally.
The ever-changing landscape of business environments has become so fast-moving in the Internet age, and businesses should learn how to keep up to stay in the game. How to thrive is another matter, but the important thing is to look to these changes as opportunities for growth instead of a hindrance to it. In the words of Greek philosopher Heraclitus:
“Change is the only constant in life.”
We should all realize that change is inevitable. It can signal growth and be used to one’s advantage if taken in the proper context. In business, the internal landscape should be open to change if it were to be at par with the changes in its external landscape. Internal changes could be lateral movements within the organization, acquiring new talent to take charge of a specific area or job, or letting someone go because their goals are no longer in alignment with the company’s.
Being adverse to change stems from fear—the fear of not knowing what’s going to happen if the company moves in another direction. Most of the time, the company has become so comfortable at their current position that complacency and the lack of foresight takes over. “Why fix it if ain’t broken?” is the rule of the game for most organizations adverse to change.
Repercussions of failing to adapt
In business, as in life, the failure to adapt to external changes restricts your growth. This can also put the business in a tightly sealed box that leaves no room for expansion. Eventually, you might find yourself trailing behind the competition where once you may have dominated the market. In other words, opposing change can quickly take you from the first spot down to the bottom of the rung. Before you know it, you’re not only trailing way behind, you’re losing money so fast that you could be looking at bankruptcy in the very near future.
This isn’t to say that you must adapt to change as quickly as it comes. As with anything, careful research and analysis are necessary to determine if the new direction that you’re planning is the right one for the business. But the first step is being open to it. If you shut the door without looking to see if it has promise, you could miss the opportunity that you’ve been looking for.
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