… and 3 examples on how I recently used the inspiration that is all around us.
Change is feared by most people and executives. But why? Our need for security means we prefer routine and tradition. But this security is merely an illusion; it isn’t really there. I think we all have experienced this in a new manner over the last months. But not only during times of COVID-19, we are living in an ever-changing environment. Intellectually we all know that the recipes for success that worked well in the past do not necessarily guarantee success in the future.
If we are more clear about the opportunities that change offers, we might be more willing to be courageous and approach it more openly. Change is a great opportunity for all of us.
1. Untapped potential – both personal and professional
Eight out of 10 bad decisions are made because we are not ready to change or let go, according to business psychologists (Source: Matthias Herzog). And because we are so averse to change, we are failing to harness our personal and professional potential. In fact, we should be much more open to the idea that change offers new opportunities and further development. Sharpening and communicating this awareness is first and foremost the responsibility of executives and leaders. Only if we treat change as an opportunity and act with passion can we motivate our team members to have the courage and confidence to pursue the path of uncertainty and open up new opportunities – for themselves and for the company.
2. Creating greater freedom and drive
Through my work, I have the privilege of meeting lots of entrepreneurs across all generations, from young talents to very experienced senior people. Some of them had the courage to make a big change and start their own business. All of these start-up leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators have one thing in common: a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for what they do. Over the last years I also met many people working in well and long-established companies, and rarely have I ever seen anywhere near the same kind of spirit in them that I see in (new) founders. These personalities radiate enthusiasm and have faith in their opportunities, despite having to expect more setbacks every day than a manager in an established company can. What is it that causes this tremendous energy and drive? Is it the freedom? Is it the deliberate choice to follow an inspiration and personal idea that people believe in? I think it is a combination of both. And I also think this could be provided in a corporate environment too. But to do so, in most companies some historically grown routines need to be changed. And this needs courage, in a similar way to the step into entrepreneurship.
3. Inspiration is all around us
Inspiration is all around us. We just need to see it. A few examples of events where I went a new path recently, and that further inspired me and probably will change some of my habits:
Over the last weeks I had several reactions on my blog posts. Among them there were also some successful entrepreneurs I did not know so far. In two cases, it led to individual video calls to exchange ideas. In both cases we also discussed next steps on potential collaboration and helping each other to open doors for new business opportunities. What is the link of this story to the topic “change”? Many people think it has become very difficult to get to know new business contacts in times of COVID-19. Yes, there is a challenge, as for example many business events have been cancelled. However the virtual business world offers plenty of opportunities that compensate this, if you are willing to change your habits and walk along that new (additional) route.
About a month ago I had an informal video chat with a colleague who is serving on a non-executive board. She conducted a number of interviews within the company to get an idea on how managers and employees envision the world and environment to be in mid-term future – once the worst of COVID-19 is over. She told me that the interviewees very much appreciated to have been asked about their views and that she gathered really interesting insights. This led me to the idea to offer these type of interviews as part of my strategy activities and services. In the meantime I conducted 15 interviews for a company – with the same effect as what my colleague was experiencing: very inspiring and insightful, for all involved. We all intensively reflected and discussed what will be different in the “next normal”, by applying the method of “Re-Gnose”. And I believe this reflection and discussion is an important step in order to be willing to change established ways of working and habits, that itself will be important to be successful in the “next normal”.
While scrolling through virtual and offline bookshelves I came across the book “Growth hacking” from Sandro Jenny and Thomas Herzberger. A playbook that is a real source for inspiration for entrepreneurs and marketers to go news ways (as highlighted in my first example). Even if most of the general topics covered in there were not new to me, I learned a lot and really got inspired to try out new ways to develop business. This inspiration has already led to implementation of several hints and ideas. And I am on the way of changing some of my habits, so far with positive effects.
“Change is the only constant in life” - Heraclitus said. I want to close this blog by asking you directly: What is your personal advice when it comes to dealing with change?
Sibylle Kammer builds bridges between today and tomorrow, technology and business, customer experience and innovation, marketing and sales, femininity and management.
Her motto: Leading by example, being open and curious.
Innovation and a future-oriented approach have been faithful companions of Sibylle Kammer throughout her entire career. She is passionate about moving client-centric new ideas forwards. Sibylle speaks about the realities of vision, strategy and implementation. Her lectures are based on her broad and longstanding experience as a leader, a member of executive and non-executive boards in leading professional service provision firms in the financial services sector, and the consulting and innovation industries.