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Responding to Change

Successful people in today’s business environments are able to flexibly respond to change. Your career and mental health can suffer if you don’t change along with your environment.

It isn’t easy to be creative – it often means going against tradition. However, people who refuse to be innovative have a difficult time solving problems because they’re opposed to new ideas.

Fostering innovation

They often miss the big picture because they focus on the small details. Innovators are the people who help foster change. Innovators are associated with the following factors:

Information – Innovators seek out information from lots of sources. They talk to customers, other workers, and management. They use this information to figure out the needs that are developing and how these needs can be met.

“Crazy” ideas – Innovators aren’t bound by convention. They consider ideas that might seem crazy or impossible. Think about how bizarre the Wright brothers’ flying machine must have sounded. Today, flying is a major industry.

Generating ideas – Innovators come up with a lot of ideas. Some may work; others won’t be successful. However, the practice of generating ideas is important. If an innovator doesn’t brainstorm, no new products and services can be created.

Passion – Innovators love new ideas. This is how they create unusual solutions to problems. This originality is an important business edge. The crazy ideas of today are the lucrative products of tomorrow.

Changing with change

Your ability to change with change is valuable. Adapters, people who respond well to change, are becoming more and more important to the companies they work for. They can handle multiple tasks and can easily change priorities.

Adapters can also change their responses and tactics to fit new circumstances. They don’t panic in new situations. In addition, they are flexible enough to take in new information. They don’t protect themselves from painful information such as, “You’re doing this the wrong way.”

Finally, adapters are emotionally strong. They are comfortable with ambiguity. Your ability to change and adapt to your environment will set you apart. As customer needs develop, you’ll have to find new ideas and products.

Remember, customers and employees are important sources of information about change. If you keep up to date, you’ll be able to respond effectively.