The pos­i­tives of a chang­ing busi­ness world

Byjulie­smith, As­so­ci­ate­di­rec­tor, Peo­ple­and­change Con­sult­ing

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - @grant­thorn­tonni

Change sur­rounds us. Ev­ery sin­gle one of us will ex­pe­ri­ence some form of change on a daily or weekly ba­sis. Some changes are im­posed, some in­sti­gated by oth­ers and some change we choose to in­sti­gate our­selves.

So, if change is all around us, all of the time, why then are so many peo­ple fear­ful of it?

Peo­ple fear change mostly be­cause of the un­known. A new job, a new boss, new col­leagues, a new place to work all re­sult in us do­ing or feel­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent to ‘‘ the norm’.

This may make us feel un­cer­tain, ner­vous or ap­pre­hen­sive — but how long do these feel­ings re­ally last?

More than likely, we spend more time wor­ry­ing about the change hap­pen­ing than the length of time it takes to adapt to the change. Be­fore we know it, the change it­self be­comes the norm.

For many of us, we are ac­tive in cre­at­ing change in our per­sonal lives, mak­ing life-chang­ing de­ci­sions such as mov­ing home, get­ting mar­ried and hav­ing chil­dren, so why do we strug­gle with less sig­nif­i­cant changes in the work­place?

In our per­sonal lives, we fo­cus on the ben­e­fits of change and see the op­por­tu­ni­ties change presents. In the work­place, how­ever, our in­stinct is to ques­tion and chal­lenge.

So why ap­ply a dif­fer­ent at­ti­tude?

More than likely, be­cause changes in the work­place are of­ten driven by ex­ter­nal fac­tors such as tech­nol­ogy, reg­u­la­tion and con­sumer needs or de­mands, things that most of us can­not con­trol.

With that in mind, how then do we pre­pare our­selves for the big­gest ex­ter­nal change in re­cent times — Brexit?

Per­son­ally, we can ac­cept that a change is in­evitable.

That, in it­self, is part of the prepa­ra­tion. In work, we need to also ac­cept that things will change. In­stead of be­ing fear­ful, how­ever, we could adopt the at­ti­tude we have to­wards change in our per­sonal lives and fo­cus on the re­sul­tant ben­e­fits and op- por­tu­ni­ties — there will be some!

If only adapt­ing to work­place change was as easy as chang­ing a mind-set. The re­al­ity of course, is that we need to im­ple­ment prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions; we need time to fully un­der­stand the im­pact of changes and time to cre­ate and im­ple­ment ap­pro­pri­ate so­lu­tions to pre­pare for, and en­able, a tran­si­tion to the new state.

In many or­gan­i­sa­tions, these con­sid­er­a­tions are un­doubt­edly un­der way.

Re­turn­ing to a fo­cus on ben­e­fits, we need to re­mind our­selves that we are al­ready ex­perts in adapt­ing to change — we do it on a daily ba­sis.

Change op­por­tu­ni­ties pro­vided in our work­place ul­ti­mately im­pact on our per­sonal lives; we grow and de­velop as we en­hance knowl­edge and de­velop new skills, pre­sent­ing op­por­tu­nity for pro­mo­tion, re­sult­ing in in­creased con­fi­dence, mo­ti­va­tion and in­come.

So, the next time we are faced with an im­posed work­place change, in­stead of fear­ing the change, per­haps the first thought that should cross our minds is ‘what op­por­tu­ni­ties does this present?’. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion or ad­vice, Julie Smith can be con­tacted at julie. [email protected] Grant Thorn­ton (NI) LLP spe­cialises in au­dit, tax and ad­vi­sory ser­vices

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