Why Should We Embrace Change?

Daniel Burrus
September 30, 2020

Daniel Burrus

One of the World's Leading Technology Forecasters and Business Strategists
Why Should We Embrace Change?

If I were to ask you if people like change, your knee-jerk response would likely be no. However, the reality is that humans actually crave change. Take vacations, for example, or the lack of vacations due to COVID-19. We crave travel because we want a change from our usual surroundings, and new experiences.

Yet, keep in mind that travel is change by choice, which is why we are comfortable with it. The fact that we cannot travel freely during the pandemic, or that if we travel by choice, it will come with personal PPE and social distancing, is the change we are averse to. It is uncomfortable because it affects you personally, and you did not see it coming, much like the pandemic itself. But what if I told you that many unpredictable changes to come as a result of COVID-19 are not going to be seemingly "out of nowhere" and are actually quite visible right now?

We tend to be agile and reactionary, especially in times like these. However, going forward into the post-pandemic new normal, now is the time to become more anticipatory in terms of change, so you can see it coming and leverage it as an opportunity for growth, rather than a crisis to be managed.

The Shift to Anticipation

We all face two types of changes that permit us to see the future accurately, and those are cyclical and linear changes.

Cyclical change, which includes weather cycles, biological cycles, and even business cycles, is prevalent in our everyday lives. Aside from the global pandemic, this year in the United States is an election year --a cycle we know will repeat every four years. We also know that the stock market taking a tumble due to COVID-19 is not permanent; it ebbs and flows over time and in all financial and social climates. Cycles are everywhere, and, to start being anticipatory, you have to be aware of them.

Linear change is a one-way change with many predictable consequences coming in tow. Once this type of change hits, the "old way" is now obsolete. With all the talk of a post-pandemic new normal, the virus has permanently changed the way we, as a society, will operate in the years that follow. While we will have a vaccine, consumers will undoubtedly behave differently, which is quite similar to the effects of digital disruption.

What cycles you experience in your business, as well as what linear changes have been happening both inside and outside of your industry, allow you to turn the predictable certainties into an advantage and, thus, transform you and your organization into an anticipatory one.

Those aforementioned certainties fall into two categories: Hard Trends and Soft Trends. A Hard TrendTM is a projection based on measurable, tangible, and fully predictable facts, while a Soft Trend is a trend that "might" happen, meaning that you can change or influence it.

For example, the pandemic coming to a close is a Hard Trend--it will happen; it's a future fact. But how businesses will pivot to changing consumer needs in the post-pandemic new normal is a Soft Trend--it's something we can choose to address or ignore; it's a future maybe. Distinguishing between the two will enable your organization to transform its culture into one that profits from change, uncertainty, and burgeoning trends.

Change the View of Change

In order to get employees at all levels to embrace change, you have to instill in them the confidence of certainty by increasing their involvement in identifying the Hard Trends that will happen. This includes, but is not limited to, having them make a list of all the Hard Trends taking place in your industry, making a list of the Soft Trends taking place in your industry, and answering the question of what they know will happen in the near future. This will breed next-level innovation throughout your organization.

It is equally important to be transparent with your employees about their roles. Just as certainly as the pandemic coming to a close, employee roles will change. Encourage them to decide their new roles based on those Hard Trends you helped them identify; give them the opportunity to control their destiny.

Finally, remember that how you view the future shapes how you act today and how you act today shapes your future. As I like to say, your FutureviewTM becomes the future you. Is the Futureview of your employees, business partners, and customers a positive or negative one? When you manage and elevate the Futureview, your employees will likely embrace change, as opposed to resisting it.

The good old days are not behind us; they are ahead of us, so unlock them with anticipation and become an Anticipatory Leader.

Daniel Burrus

Want Daniel Burrus for your next event?

Find out more information, including fees and availability.
Find Out More
Keep Reading
Futureview : A Strategy That Outsmarts Complacency
Daniel Burrus
Daniel Burrus
May 05, 2021
It is clear that in business, many leaders and entrepreneurs alike chase and strive for ...
Tired of the Unpredictable? Learn to be Anticipatory
Daniel Burrus
Daniel Burrus
April 28, 2021
More often than not, many businesses and organizations I work with view it as ...
Transformation is the Only Way to Really Change the Game
Daniel Burrus
Daniel Burrus
April 21, 2021
Steve Jobs of Apple once stated, "The people who are crazy enough to think they ...
Futureview : A Strategy That Outsmarts Complacency
It is clear that in business, many leaders and entrepreneurs alike chase and strive for stability. Whether it be in your bottom line or a product your organization is working to perfect, the concept of stability brings the comfort and illusion that you've finally "made it." You and your organization have achieved success, and now it's time to ki...
Read More
Tired of the Unpredictable? Learn to be Anticipatory
More often than not, many businesses and organizations I work with view it as difficult or even impossible to foresee problems before they occur in our unpredictable world. In many ways, the circumstances we faced during the coronavirus pandemic were really nothing new. Sure, we may have never experienced this level of uncertainty before but bei...
Read More
Transformation is the Only Way to Really Change the Game
Steve Jobs of Apple once stated, "The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." This mantra has resonated with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders over the past decade since Jobs passed on. What is interesting is how many individuals hear the call to action about changing the world and confus...
Read More
From Trend Watching to Idea Wrangling: How To Turn Cycles Into Action Plans
We've seen cycles come and go--everything from music trends that emulate days gone by to past decades of fashion making a comeback. It is evident that cycles are all around us. As a business leader, how do you turn cycles into your advantage, and better yet, what industries will benefit from cycles in the coming years? Trends Are Cycles ...
Read More
Construction Careers Just Got More Interesting - And Most Likely, Less Backbreaking
Whether it is a global pandemic or everyday disruptions, most of us default to reaction and agility when faced with a crisis. For many, reactionary behavior is all they know; the only option in dealing with disruption is to find the nearest metaphorical fire extinguisher and cauterize the problem immediately. However, in our current COVID-19 wor...
Read More
Think Outside The Control Panel: How To Stay Employable In A Digital World
While there is a "generational war" between the young and the old in the workplace created by the younger generation's familiarity with technology and the older generation's aversion to it, a multigenerational concern that plagues all age groups is that technology will outpace humans, leaving many unemployed. It is an understandable fear, especi...
Read More
Anticipatory Minds don't Ask about the New Normal, they Forge the Next Normal
From virtual museum tours to five-star curbside pickup of a steak and lobster dinner, some tremendously innovative ideas emerged out of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. With the help of application development, ordinarily in-person business operations quickly pivoted during March 2020 to combat the tremendous loss they were facing as the world ...
Read More
IoT Could Soon Be As Common As Your Daily Commute
Undoubtedly, you have heard of smartphones. More likely than not, you have one in your pocket as you read this. Additionally, smart homes and smart home features are likely part of your vocabulary in today's world, including the likes of Ring Doorbells, Nest to remotely handle things like your thermostat, or any number of artificial intelligence...
Read More
A.I. Requires Repositioning Your Workforce Rather Than Laying Them Off
Artificial intelligence (A.I.), one of the 20 core technologies I identified back in 1983 as the drivers of exponential economic value creation, has started out simple. From Amazon's Alexa, Siri on your iPhone, or proclaiming "hey, Google " in your home, there are several small but impactful applications of A.I. that have become fully integr...
Read More
Anticipatory Leaders Leverage Future Facts
The coronavirus pandemic has proven to be one of the most disruptive occurrences to happen in modern history. Starting in mid-March of 2020, something happened that would have been considered unheard of on January 1: Everyone was forced to change in some way -- and with so many business closing their doors, and large numbers of employees globall...
Read More