How Do You Feel About Change?

Change is considered a threat by most. It means letting go.

To hold on means I have some idea of what I am doing, even if what I am doing is wrong.  Or limited at best.  Perhaps outdated and worn out. Yet, it’s familiar, like my old jeans; comfy.

For leaders, change usually suggests ruffled people, nervous shareholders, anxious stakeholders, and stress.


Why Holding On Might Feel Good and Limit You at the Same Time

Grab the popcorn, beer, wine, cheese, and crackers. Call for pizza.  It’s time for the movies.

It was not that long ago that we had a video store on every corner.  Think Blockbuster.  I mean, the store.

change crushed blockbuster

In 2004 Blockbuster was bursting at the seams in success.  They had weathered a big storm.  Moving from VHS (yes kids, it was a real thing!), to movies on DVD, the shelves mirrored the changes happening in the industry.  For a few years, we had the choice of both, and then it was DVDs for everyone until some crazy company got the idea that they could MAIL the movie!  Mail the film, how ridiculous!

But customers bought the idea.  And Netflix, this new company that mailed that movie to you for Friday if you ordered by Wednesday, was a hit (blockbuster you might say).

Blockbuster could have jumped on it and offered customers even better options.  They had the customer base.  They had the inventory. But, did they have the vision or the courage to jump into a model about which they knew nothing?

As if that wasn’t the worst of it, Netflix said, “Good public, you can now go to your Netflix membership and …..wait for it, stream your movie any time you want!

Well, the rest is not history; it’s now.

It may have seemed safe to Blockbuster.  Maybe they assumed it wouldn’t catch on.


When Holding On Is the Best Choice

In my state, as of today, there are very few video stores left compared to the early 2000s. Still, what’s right for most may not be true for all.

Playing the devil’s advocate, sometimes the change necessary, is to be the one who doesn’t change.  Somehow that is, in almost indescribable fashion, the change. You didn’t change. (Mindbending)

Pulling that off may take magic. However, I found a fascinating story about a video store that is a thriving business.  Their customers insist the store is NOT ALLOWED TO CLOSE.

In this case, they managed to change through understanding their market and making sure that the people they served were MORE comfortable with their model than the digital model.


Change Starts Inward


No matter what business YOU are in, or what industry YOU represent.  The change will always start with YOU.

If you are the leader, that applies to YOU, but if YOU are anyone that equally relates to YOU.

Change begins with our attitude towards letting go of what we know.

Can you do that?  Can you trust that before you know the outcome, you will have to let go (theoretically at least) of status quo ideas and start hacking a new trail into your unknown?

When leaders are afraid of change, the followers are petrified.


Problem Solving Will Induce Change


Problem-solving often includes changing systems, vendors, partners, distribution, etc.  I find that when working with teams and individuals, this is often the hurdle that stops all movement. The internal structure of the person facing change disguises itself in budgets, time constraints, and the like. It’s not that we can’t solve the problem. Instead, in resolving the issue, we will have to confront change, and in facing change, we have to confront personal resistance.

Give it some thought.  How does this apply to your present situation?



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