“The man who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius
Last week in this space the topic was change and the idea that regardless of how successful things have been in the past, we still need to be continually changing. I didn’t hear from anyone who disagreed; however, I did hear from some people who said it was so overwhelming that they wanted to quit their jobs.
I can absolutely empathize. I look around our firm and see things that have been great for years, and then I look five or ten years into the future and wonder if they’ll exist at all. I look at processes and people and technology and clients – there’s almost a never ending list of stuff.
I don’t have a magic bullet for making all those changes, or for not feeling overwhelmed. All I can say is that it’s probably impossible to make all the change you need to make at once, so start small. Sketch out in writing all the different pieces of your business and where changes might need to happen. For example, think about the products and/or services you provide. How might those need to change? What might your customers need in the future? What will have to change in your business for you to be able to meet that need?
Think through your business one piece at a time. Then just start on the pieces. If something is too large of a bite, then cut it in half and try again. When we talk about the importance of change and how your business needs to be constantly changing and you have to be changing all the time, it doesn’t mean you have to accomplish all the change that’s needed for the next decade in the next ten minutes. That’s just not possible. Take manageable bites and then get to work.
One more thing. Think about your mindset in terms of change. When you think about the changes that have to happen in your business, do you dread it? Do you think how painful it’s going to be? Do you think about how much time it might take? Or does it excite you? Does it make you optimistic that you see a bright future for your business? Our attitudes about change have a real, measurable impact on whether that change is successful. Make sure as a leader that your perspective on change is positive. Not unrealistic, or phony, or naïve. Just positive, that not only can it be done, but it will be done.
Then get to work. Good luck.