As a business owner being responsive to change plays an important role in our long-term success. Change is not always easy, but resisting change simply because “it’s always been done this way” or because we are struggling to learn new skills and ways of doing things, will hurt us and our business.
Charles Darwin is quoted as saying, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
When it comes to running a business, I think he got this right.
Digital Immigrant or Digital Native?
Most of us are faced with change on a daily basis, particularly in the area of digital technology.
If you’re a business owner over 50, and even younger, the rampant growth of the online world, in particular the evolving nature of websites and the plethora of social networks and other strategies touted as ‘critical’ to your business, have likely pushed your change button to the max.
Most of the clients I work with are digital Immigrants, not digital natives. I’m a digital immigrant too!
A digital immigrant is someone born before digital technology became widespread. Conversely, a digital native is someone who has grown up using digital technology.
The photo inset here shows a little guy, who I’d guess is somewhere around 5 years of age, talking to his Grandma on the phone about something related to the Internet. His exasperated comment, “Double-click the Internet Explorer icon” captures the extreme of digital natives and digital immigrants, humorously.
To Change or Not To Change?
If you are a business owner, change is pretty much unavoidable. Technology has changed the wants and needs of our customers as well as the competitive landscape we operate in. Today, our competitors may be local or they may be on another continent.
But change isn’t limited to technology!
To build a successful business, and to stay in business long-term, we need to be open to all kinds of change. We may have a captive market today but that can change almost overnight. Pricing or service that’s acceptable today, or was at one time, may now cost you business.
Being open to change doesn’t mean we have to know everything, but it does mean we probably have to know more, or at least different stuff, than we did a few years ago, if not a few months ago.
Change implies being willing to learn new things and to growing. Being open to change also means we may need to hire others to cover off the areas that we aren’t yet up to speed on, may never be up to speed on or simply don’t have the time or expertise to be up to speed on.
Change is something all of us have to deal with. How we deal with it can make or break our business.