Hello, it’s Friday. You’ve probably had enough “change” for one week. But whether you and I like it or not, change often seems to be the only constant in the lives of meeting professionals. So here are some strategies for handling all that change in all its varieties – personal, organizational, institutional, technical, social, cultural, global and those especially pesky unclassifiable changes. Good luck!
Recognize that most people change only when levels of fear or pain get too high. Work on one issue at a time. Changing habits requires 21 days. Learn methodically and completely.
Read your organization’s quarterly and annual reports, 10Ks, 10Qs, press releases, shareholder statements and other information about new developments.
Observe who’s in power at large institutions. If changes are coming, they’re likely to reflect the views of the person at the top, be it the president, CEO, directors or other top officials.
Keep pace with what your customers and clients use, and employ the same to communicate and serve them. Embrace new technology, don’t fear it. If need be, seek out mentors and gurus.
Watch television, surf the Web, read daily newspapers, listen to popular talk-show hosts, read articles by widely circulated columnists and stay observant. Social change is visible.
Don’t spend energy here. Cultural change is long-run social change, often years or decades in the making. If you simply live through it, you’ll have much of the information you need.
Travel far and wide to gain a firsthand look. If that’s not practical, read The Economist, speak people from other countries and listen to international radio broadcasts (often in English).
Surround yourself with alert friends, sharp co-workers and peers through professional, civic and social organizations. Networking, listening and reading will serve you well.