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Does your business (or you) need to change

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Ask yourself: What do I want from my organisation, my team, my career, my life? Sarah gives her top tips on how to approach and make positive change.

What does change mean to you?

In a world where change is widely accepted as the new norm it can seem like the last thing we need to be asking is: “Does your business or you need to change”. Yet in the middle of the change madness it may well be the exact question we need to focus on. Conscious change is different from much of the change that seems to be thrust into our working lives (and personal ones) these days. Choosing the change may feel like the most natural thing to some of us and yet to others it may seem an alien concept that there’s just not enough time for.

The funny thing about life and business seems to be that without recognising that we have a choice there is no hope, and without taking responsibility for the choices you make then nothing changes.  Without change things get stuck and fail to grow.  Whether it’s your business or you that you are considering as you read this article one thing will be true. 

If you don’t know what you want and haven’t committed to making a change then nothing will happen – no matter how much time, energy and money you throw at things.  So the first step in deciding whether you or your business needs to change is to consider: “What do I want?”.  If when you answer that question you look at your current situation and you’ve got it then brilliant, keep doing what you’re doing. If though you notice some difference, even if it’s simply a gut feel rather than facts at this stage, then you may want to consider doing something differently. 

If answering the question: “What do I want?” sends you into a spin then that’s a great start point. What you may want and need is clarity. Clarity of what’s important to you, or to understand what the block is for you to knowing what you want. So even if your first reaction is, “I have no idea, and that’s the problem” then the steps below may just set you and/or your business on the path to positive change.

For some of us it’s not that easy to describe or even know what we want let alone say it out loud though.  If that’s true for you then before taking a decision it may be that you get help from those you can trust and who can offer expertise.  Many people work with an executive coach, a financial advisor or a really savvy friend or colleague to help answer these kind of questions.  Whomever you choose to help you define what you want, make sure that you spend most of the time together with you in the driving seat.  Avoid the temptation to simply ‘fix the immediate problem’ as this takes you into incremental stuck mode.  Instead allow yourself to truly consider in 10/20/40 years time what kind of life and business do you want to have created.

Take charge, implement change

As you explore what you want either with someone else, or as part of self reflection, here are a few guiding questions that can help decisions and changes happen and remain:

Think: What do I want? What will it do for me?

  1. How will you know when you’ve got it? What will you be seeing, doing and feeling when you've got it? What will others be seeing, hearing and feeling when you’ve got it?
  2. Can you start and maintain your outcome?
  3. When, where and with whom do you want it?
  4. What do you get out of your current situation and behaviour that you might want to keep?
  5. Is it worth the cost to you? Is it worth the time it’s going to take? Is this outcome in keeping with your sense of identity?

Next, you'll need to:

  1. Define the goal: Know what you want and say it out loud.
  2. Create a plan: Identify the gaps and strengths between what you have now and what you want to be able to develop steps to get there.
  3. Take action: Do something!

Knowing what you want and being able to articulate it clearly is liberating. The more specific you can be then the more compelling and motivating things become for you to take the actions required to deliver the change. And you never know who might be listening in. It could be your next boss, that decision maker who’s ‘yes’ lands your business it’s biggest deal yet or even something you’ve not even imagined possible yet.

Sarah Lane

By Sarah Lane

Sarah Lane is a business coach and the author of 'Choices: From Confusion to Clarity'

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