“The only constant is change” said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, and this has never been truer than today. Change is both an opportunity and a challenge, and I love (and need!) reminders about how to deal with change and disruption. Yesterday, I was reminded of just that by Carol Sanford.
Sanford encouraged her audience to think about the sources of change, namely:
- Startup business phase
- Growth business phase
- Economic downturns
- Industry / market disruption
- Personal situations
The two typical responses to disruption are:
- Panic / blame others / feel like a victim
- Work to reduce harm / slow impact of change
Both of these responses are reactive.
“What makes you reactive?”
Sanford encouraged us to ponder this important question and to think about our behavior when we are in “reactive mode.” Words such as “defensive, demanding, insistent, unable to hear others, aggressive” come to mind.
Instead, Sanford advised, approach change and disruption in a purposeful way. Questions to ponder to move from a reactive mindset to a purposeful mindset include:
- What are you seeking to contribute to the world?
- What is the intended outcome?
- What does the group of people you are interacting with (employees, customers, family) need from you?
Know your triggers. Respond, don’t react. Act from a place of purpose.