January 29, 2019 § Leave a comment

“That’s just the way it is; things’ll never be the same.”  Those words are the hook for Tupac Shakur’s famous song “Changes” that was released in 1998.  His song was referencing the African-American experience in urban populations back in the 90’s, but the concept of things never being the same has been an experience for everyone.  The key is how people respond to it.

Our world today is experiencing change more rapidly, and that has people feeling uncomfortable.  Technology has been one of the main culprits to the acceleration of ideas and experiences, and this has caused a disruption in industries not accustomed to it.  Artificial intelligence and block chain are the two biggest technology trends today, and they will force us to reevaluate the way we conduct business today.

The technology change is causing a lot of concerns itself, but we also have the baby-boomer generation leaving the workforce.  The boomer generation was famed for their work ethic and commitment to getting the job done.  As they step down from leadership, workforces will be making a big cultural shift with work-life balance. Also, companies will have difficulties replacing the knowledge and experience that will be retiring.  Both changes will reshape an organization and some companies will struggle finding leadership to get the job done.  For those who are willingly and can successfully handle the two big shifts happening in the world today, there are huge opportunities available.

With change, individuals/companies will go through four different stages.  The first stage begins when a change surfaces or is introduced.  People go through denial, even if they do not know it.  It is easier to believe everything will stay the same, instead of thinking what it could look like and how we get there.  Stage 2 is resistance and the notion that this change will start to disrupt their life.  People will try to stop the change or fight for the fear of loss.  When people stay in the first two stages, they will have a challenging time being successful and will react with different emotions including shock, denial, anger, and fear.

At stage 3, you start to explore the possibility of change and accept the latest ideas.  During this stage, you can find possible solutions for change, but this can lead the group back to resistance.  It is important to keep moving forward, and not dwell to much with resistance.  Stage 4, the final stage, you commit to the change and rebuild your model.  Not everyone will be on board, but find a champion to help push this commitment for the company.  Once change is implemented, it will eventually become the new “normal” for people, and the emotions of shock, denial, anger and fear will be forgotten.

With our fast-changing world, it’s more important than ever for individuals to spend less time in stage 1 and 2.  If you struggle with getting through the first two stages, there is a good chance you will not keep up with the status quo you have been familiar with.  Many individuals/industries will fail to reach stage 3 and 4 of change with the technology and transition of generational workforce, which allows opportunities for businesses to get stronger or become a major player in their industry.

At the end of “Changes”, Tupac says “Some things will never change”.  I do believe some of the issues he discussed in the song could be a slow, but we cannot have that mentality of “never changing”.  We need to refocus our expectations and assume change will happen.  With that mindset in this fast-changing world, we should always be ready.

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Jonathan Porter | Manager

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