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How to navigate the seas of disruptive change

2020 has been a year of constant change and has caused disruptions in small businesses which many are working hard to come back from. But how can we navigate the seas of disruptive change?

The first aspect to consider is the mindset of the leadership. How do they view change? Change is often perceived as a threat or an opportunity and both have a downside if too eagerly pursued with all your resources. You should look at the change and examine the impact it will have on your industry and business. Because often change is just the moving of furniture and it has no true impact on your business. Therefore before you commit too many resources to the change it is important to examine it and decide on the course of action which you wish to implement.

The second aspect which we need to bring to light is the two sides of business during change. There is the business side and the human side. When we deal with the business side of the change we need to ensure we use our strategic, analytical and critical thinking skills. When we deal with the human side of change, business leaders need to actively listen to their employees and customers, and display empathy for the impact that this change will have on these individuals. By being able to balance these two dynamics, businesses are able to navigate through disruptive change more easily.

The third aspect of disruptive change is that there are often tell-tale signs in your industry or business that a change is about to occur which can help you to be better prepared for it. This could be the restlessness of your customers, change in what your competitors are doing, or a change in your financial statements. When there is movement in these three areas than you can be assured that a disruptive change is on its way in your industry and business.

The fourth aspect has three parts of the business which affect how you respond to the change. The first part is the resources. These are the tangible and intangible resources you have which will help you navigate through the change. They are your employees, customers, money, technology, information, public relation, suppliers and even your brand, The second part is your process. How do you do different parts of your business? If these are entrenched in your business then it may be difficult for your processes to be pivoted. Therefore your processes must remain fluid to some degree so that you can change them should the need arise. They could also inhibit your ability to adapt to the change. The third part is the values of your business. What does your business put a price on? Do they allow smaller deals or are you only interested in deals which create a certain gross profit? The values which you have in your business and which are created over time will affect how you react to change.

By reviewing these four aspects you will be able to acknowledge how you react to change and how you can better equip your business to survive the seas of disruptive change.

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