Big change is hap­pen­ing


Business First - - CONTENTS - by Chutisa & Steven Bowman

We live in a time of ac­cel­er­at­ing change in the global land­scape. Glob­al­i­sa­tion, en­vi­ron­men­tal calami­ties, tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances, and other com­plex forces are buf­fet­ing us like never be­fore. The an­cient Greek philoso­pher Her­a­cli­tus recog­nised many cen­turies ago that the only thing that is ever con­stant is change. The truth is, in to­day’s en­vi­ron­ment, the changes are com­ing more rapidly and more dy­namic than ever be­fore. Th­ese forces and changes are gen­er­at­ing un­lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties and inim­itable threats. You can’t help but no­tice that change is ac­cel­er­at­ing. Yet most peo­ple are clue­less about what’s caus­ing the changes, how it might af­fect them, and, most im­por­tantly, what to do about them. What can we do in our lives and our busi­nesses to pros­per and thrive in the midst of th­ese chal­lenges?

All busi­nesses large and small will be im­pacted in­escapably by huge rates of change, whether through tech­nol­ogy or glob­al­i­sa­tion, en­vi­ron­men­tal calami­ties or eco­nomic fac­tors. Business ex­ec­u­tives must know how to deal with that. Un­for­tu­nately, for most peo­ple change is of­ten un­wel­come, threat­en­ing, and dis­ori­ent­ing. They refuse to re­ceive it. They turn a blind eye to­ward a chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment. They care­lessly as­sume that the fu­ture will be sim­i­lar to the past. In most cases, they can’t quite fathom that their ex­is­tence could be threat­ened. In to­day’s rapidly chang­ing world, obliv­i­ous­ness, un­aware­ness and in­dif­fer­ence are not ef­fec­tive choices. Not know­ing and not car­ing can be a death sen­tence - not only for your ca­reer, but for your per­sonal well­be­ing, for your fi­nan­cial health and for your fu­ture pos­si­bil­ity.

Have you ever asked your­self what are your points of view about change and about the fu­ture? In our ex­pe­ri­ence, few peo­ple have given much thought to their points of view that un­der­lie the way they cre­ate their

Have you ever asked your­self what are your points of view about change and

about the fu­ture?

re­al­ity and their fu­ture. Most peo­ple think that, since the fu­ture has not ar­rived yet, it can be ig­nored, at least for a while. A lot of peo­ple don’t have any idea about what they would like to cre­ate as a fu­ture. They think they’d like their life to con­tinue to be bet­ter. That is not cre­at­ing a fu­ture. The fu­ture is too im­por­tant to be left to chance, and too im­mi­nent to ig­nore.

Over the next 25 years the world will un­dergo mon­u­men­tal changes: eco­nomic and de­mo­graphic trends will shift turn­ing losers into win­ners, fron­trun­ners into un­der­dogs and cre­at­ing tur­moil for any­one not pre­pared. Rather than clos­ing your eyes to fore­warn­ing in­di­ca­tions and hop­ing that things don’t change too much, you must be will­ing to break with your own ha­bit­ual points of view and dis­cover dif­fer­ent ways of see­ing the world. It is cru­cial to embrace un­cer­tainty and am­bi­gu­ity, and fash­ion it into a pros­per­ous way of life. Will­ing­ness to step beyond the un­known in this way can lead to ma­jor rev­o­lu­tions in many en­deav­ours.

We pre­fer the idea of em­brac­ing change, un­cer­tainty and doubt, rather than run­ning away from them. This can pro­vide a strong sense of what is pos­si­ble in the fu­ture and what isn’t. Con­stant, un­re­lent­ing change is the nat­u­ral or­der of things you not only have to get used to, but have to learn to thrive on. Em­brac­ing the at­ti­tude that change is nec­es­sary and in­dis­pens­able can lead to sig­nif­i­cant break­throughs. Cre­ation comes from change, and change is the har­bin­ger of cre­ativ­ity. The most pow­er­ful tool you can use to get ready for the im­pact of change, is to ask ques­tions about your business. We have pro­vided some ques­tions at the end of this ar­ti­cle that we use our­selves con­stantly and teach or­gan­i­sa­tions to use to get them­selves ‘fu­ture-ready’.

To thrive con­sis­tently over the long haul re­quires dis­ci­pline and a re­li­able strat­egy for deal­ing with new op­por­tu­ni­ties and un­fore­seen ad­ver­si­ties. You need to be open to play­ing an en­tirely new game and you must be will­ing to break out of con­ven­tional mod­els that dic­tate how you are sup­posed to func­tion. For you to thrive and pros­per, you will have to turn your­self into a change agent.

If you wish to be a change agent and be­come a cat­a­lyst for change and trans­for­ma­tion, you have to ex­pand your zone of aware­ness. Aware­ness is the ca­pac­ity to know ev­ery­thing. It is crit- ical to achieve­ment in all ar­eas of your life. Aware­ness is the key to thrive in a world of dis­rup­tive in­no­va­tion. It is a con­tin­u­ous, ever-mov­ing, ever ex­pand­ing pos­si­bil­ity. To ally your­self with this state of be­ing and the re­mark­able ca­pac­ity for change it cre­ates, there must be an es­sen­tial shift in your at­ti­tude, your points of view and your mind­set. This shift in ori­en­ta­tion re­quires new prac­tices and the will­ing­ness to choose dif­fer­ently. If you wish to ex­pand your zone of aware­ness, you have to be will­ing to re­ceive ev­ery­thing. Re­ceiv­ing in­volves no re­sis­tance; it is about re­main­ing con­stantly open, vul­ner­a­ble, and un­re­sist­ing to any en­ergy.

Are you ready to take ad­van­tage of the new and dif­fer­ent pos­si­bil­i­ties? In my view, there seems to be a sense of ur­gency in the air, a need for change and new ways of liv­ing our daily lives. You need to recog­nise and ob­serve the trends that will shape the fu­ture. Then you can use your aware­ness and cre­ativ­ity to turn them into pos­i­tive re­sults. To de­velop a fu­ture aware­ness and keep it alive, you must im­merse your­self in fu­ture-re­lated in­for­ma­tion and ideas that can be fer­tile sources for how to cre­ate your fu­ture. It en­ables you to see dif­fer­ent pos­si­bil­i­ties, new op­por­tu­ni­ties. It all comes down to the choices you make. The choices and ac­tions you take now can have mul­ti­ple ef­fects for your fu­ture. The ques­tions be­low will give you an idea of how to get started. 1. What’s pos­si­ble for our or­gan­i­sa­tion? 2. What do I need to be aware of here? 3. What emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies could change the game? What can we do about this? 4. Could there be fu­ture changes or sur­prises that could harm or ben­e­fit us? 5. Where can I put my en­ergy, that would change some­thing?

Choice is the way to nav­i­gate change. Ev­ery choice you make cre­ates aware­ness and de­ter­mines what your fu­ture can be. What the world will be like in 20 to 30 years from now will de­pend as much or more on the choices made be­tween now and then. It is im­por­tant to con­sciously, in­ten­tion­ally, and de­lib­er­ately think about fu­ture im­pli­ca­tions for ev­ery choice you make and for ev­ery­thing you do. What makes the fu­ture hap­pen is what you do to­day, in the present mo­ment. Your choices ac­cu­mu­late and have an ef­fect on what fu­ture will look like. Ev­ery­thing is choice. Ev­ery­thing is in­fi­nite pos­si­bil­ity.

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