Transitions are a fact of life – the only thing constant is change. This is true in business as well as in our personal lives, but so many of us struggle with letting go of the past and embracing new beginnings. Perhaps we fear losing what we have, or perhaps we fear making a wrong decision when facing the unknown.
But accepting change is important; as technology changes, so should your systems, procedures, and processes. Here is a business example: Company X has been in business for many years and is quite successful. Company X, however, is starting to see limitations within the business that are starting to or already have stunted their growth.
Company X knows they need to change to better systems and procedures, but they have gotten comfortable with the way things are and aren’t ready for that change. Unfortunately, the way things are just won’t cut it anymore – the change must happen. This is where human emotion comes in and clouds good judgment. It’s easy to get stuck in the past, stuck in the ways we know so well, stuck in the way of doing things that we know we do well. We think, “We used to do it this way,” or “Our old system looked and ran like this,” or “The other way was so much easier/better.”
Company X and its employees are stuck in the “ending phase.” They don’t want to let go of what they know to fully embrace a new beginning – even when that new beginning is in their best interests.
In the chart below, you can see the “new beginning,” a “neutral zone,” and an “ending.” The wavy lines indicate that transitioning from endings to beginning – and vice versa – is never a cut and dried process. You could find yourself in the ending phase one day, in the neutral phase the next, and then back to ending phase without yet hitting a new beginning. Transition takes time, and a business will be back and forth many times before committing fully to a new beginning.
Try to embrace change instead of fighting it tooth and nail. For one thing, the change will be easier for everyone if you approach it calmly. Most importantly, though, change is the only way to keep ahead of the competition and increase your bottom line.
Accept change and let your business grow, or don’t and watch it fail.