Change is a fact of life and nowhere more challenging than in the business world. Our mindset determines our ability to respond to change.
Change is accelerating, even as you read these words! We now live in unprecedented times and the time horizon of certainty is getting shorter and shorter. New initiatives, opportunities, and areas for growth are exciting moments, but also bring uncertainty and disruption.
Customers increasingly expect more for less.
Consumers expect excellence, novelty and instant response.
Owners demand lower cost and growing profits with fewer resources.
Society wants higher and higher standards of safety and sustainability.
Everyone expects faster and faster responses. Time is a scarce and non-renewable resource.
The major economies of the world are hurtling head-first into another global recession. Given the impact of COVID-19, it’s unsurprising that in April the International Monetary Fund warned that this one could be the deepest for the best part of a century.
As the Economist reports, “the severity of the pandemic and the uncertainty around the duration of lockdowns are such that economists’ models, trained on business cycles in the post-war era, are of little use.”
There is a huge amount of turmoil across multiple sectors affecting companies right the way through their workforce and it is more important than ever that businesses adapt, support their employees and keep up with the demands of an ever changing marketplace. We have already seen a huge shift in the traditional 9-5:30 office-based working patterns, proving to many companies that this is a more viable way of working and giving workers a taste of an alternative lifestyle.
In turbulent times, people react emotionally, lose focus and get side-tracked. Faced with uncertainty and the unknown, people take take defensive action based on incorrect assumptions or, often worse, freeze and take no action at all. As businesses constantly reorganise, cut back their budgets and reallocate resources – stress increases and tension escalates. Employees and leaders are called upon to do more and more with less and less. Eventually, morale declines, productivity drops and profitability suffers.
YOU CANNOT OUTPERFORM YOUR MINDSET
Given that reality, how do we, as Leaders remain calm, keep focused, and excel in an environment characterised by too much work and not enough time and resources?
The answer is for Leaders to become more resource-full. Develop a new skill set that enables you to be adaptive, motivating and empowering to your people in the midst of all of this change, uncertainty and ambiguity. And this starts by nurturing the Breakthrough Mindset. This is the ‘can do’ mindset, the growth mindset, where anything is possible and we know that with focused work and dedication we can and will achieve our goal.
“You cannot outperform your mindset!”
However, when times are tough it can be easy to become resigned about our ‘fate’, especially when things feel like they are out of our control. When we are conscious of ourselves slipping into that state we can choose to take another path. We can choose to be proactive and shift into Heroic Action.
When we move to action, our entire outlook shifts. Think about where you are having issues. What is not working at the moment? Is something missing? Are there problems bubbling away but no one is fixing them? By remaining static and stagnant nothing will improve, in fact, the stresses of external changes will get worse. Identify an area within your influence that you have the power to transform and shift into action. Act now and harness the Breakthrough Mindset to develop breakthroughs in these areas and tackle the significant uncertainty of the foreseeable future head on.