Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 55 seconds
The weather is constantly changing. One day it is sunny and the next day there is almost a thunderstorm. We adapt to it daily and sometimes every minute. We open our umbrellas when it starts raining and we close them when it stops. It sounds easy.
This is what happens when you run a business. Your surroundings as well as your customer needs will change over the time. We adapt fast to weather condition, but when it comes to business we have problems to stay flexible. I believe companies which are having a hard time to embrace change are not prepared because they don’t have people with a suitable mindset.
There is one story that I can share which argues how essential a suitable mindset can be. It shows that the simplest thing can have a big impact – not only for yourself but also for the ones around you. My grandmothers are both over 80 and I admire them. They do a lot to stay in shape: Cycling, walking, playing card games and going on weekend trips. I know that the more we are used to our routine the harder it is to embrace change. So the older we get, we keep doing the things the way we always did it. Why? Because it worked, right? Why should we change something which has worked for the last 30 years? The pretty part of this story is that they are not afraid to adapt. It just takes them a little bit longer – not necessarily longer to understand, just longer to realise how much small changes can improve their lives. They embraced the advantages of technology. Now, I am able to send them text messages or call them on their cell phone anytime. And by the way, they don’t use a special version for old people. They use a regular cell phone with keys. They still have a lot of respect for smartphones, but that’s fine. It is one step at the time. I am very proud. They discovered the value of staying connected with their grandchildren through technology. Today they think texting is a lot of fun and they would never go back to the old way. I am not saying that this was an easy change because it actually took them hours to practice and many unwanted and expensive phone calls overseas. It was totally worth it.
As Dweck (2012) states: “No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”
As a young startup, we learned that we need to have a mindset which is prepared to adapt to anything. We have nothing to lose, but there is a lot to win. It is our responsibility to show how much value change can create. This counts for people in our social environment but also for companies we work for or with.
Change does not always mean doing a whole makeover. It can also mean changing one simple thing and go from there. It is okay if someone needs a little bit more time to feel comfortable with change, but don’t be afraid to embrace it. Being able to adapt is part of my skillset and will help me to stay open for new living and working situations in the future. Change is the air we breathe and we better appreciate it.
PS: My grandmother from Switzerland is just visiting me in London – how cool is that.
Dweck, C.S. (2012). Mindset: How you can fulfill your potential. Constable and Robinson.
Dweck, C.S. (2014). TED Talks. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve (Accessed: 13 April 2017).