Dealing With Change

By Mo Bunnell

Below is a transcript of this video, modified for your reading pleasure. Have a question that you'd like answered? Drop us a line!

This video is about what you can do in times of change. These are the times when it can be easy to get frozen and not do anything at all. Change can come from lots of places. It can come from inside the organization. Maybe there's a re-org coming and everybody's frozen, and budgets are frozen until the new re-organization is announced. Maybe there's a product offering that got delayed. Maybe you just got really busy suddenly and you're not able to focus on the growth activities you want.

Those are all internal examples, but change can come from external sources too. Maybe it's difficult because there's a merger announced and your organization is sort of frozen until you can figure out if the merger's actually going to occur. Maybe there's something happening in your industry. Maybe there's certain legislation coming out of Washington and nobody knows which way Congress is going to vote on it. Change can occur from outside, too.

Whenever change happens, it's easy to get frozen. This is what you can do to break out of it.

We recently had an article published in a property of the Wall Street Journal called Market Watch. It covered the three things people can do to get unstuck when they're frozen, to act in times of change. We thought we'd give you those same three tips here, in this video.

The first thing is to focus on what you can control. Maybe there's a service offering and it's a crying shame clients aren't buying more of it. Maybe there's a particular industry that's not being harmed by the change and you can focus on it instead. Whatever it is, focus on the industries or the service offering, or possibly the clients or prospects. Figure out what you can control and pull the universe down to a tighter focus so that you can really move forward in that space. That's the first thing.

The second thing is to create measures that are 100% in your control. Maybe it's things like you're going to offer gift-to-gets or little strategic investments. Just one and two hours at a time, with particular clients in a particular industry about a particular service offering.

See how we've pulled it all the way back to offering? You can measure just the times you offer gift-to-gets. Don't even worry about acceptances yet. Just set a goal around offering them and measure how many you offer to clients and prospects. Measuring one simple thing pulls you away all that external environment junk, the stuff that's freezing you,  and turns it back into something you can control. Something that you can focus on.

Here's the third and final thing. What we want to do after we’ve figured out our focus and after we've created the measures that we can control that are 100% under our control, we can celebrate little incremental wins. Make your celebrations about offering those gift-to-gets. Make your celebrations about how you've created some meaningful client touch points. Whatever you're measuring, don't worry about whether the results came all the way in yet or not. Celebrate if you did what you knew you needed to do. If you incrementally, every day, every week, every month, celebrate that little incremental progress, then you're going to win the day in the end.

By doing these three things, focusing on a tighter area that you can control, creating measures that are 100% in your control about how you're going to move things forward, and celebrating those little incremental wins when you meet those measures in your focus area, that's when people get unstuck during times of change.

Here's a couple real simple examples.

The first is a friend of my daughters who went off to college. She was having trouble. She got frozen because she went to college a week later than a lot of other incoming freshmen did. She was worried that other people were making friends and she wasn't. If she can pull that back and think, What can I control?  "Introducing myself to other people." What's a good measure? "Maybe I can just pick ten people a day I'm going to walk up and introduce myself and say, 'Hey, my name is so and so. What's yours? What do you like about this college? Why did you come here?'"

Pull it all the way back to that. Then once a day think, "Hey, did I introduce myself to ten people or not?" Celebrate those little incremental successes. She started doing those things day in and day out. It only took a couple days until her universe changed and people started to befriend her and she started finding social groups.

Here's an example from a work environment. One client of ours had trouble filling their pipeline. They knew plenty of clients that they wanted to meet, or they knew plenty of clients they already did work with, but they needed to get them to buy more. What they focused on is offering gift-to-gets of a specific type to those clients. They focused on just the offering, measured it, and they celebrated the weekly progress day in and day out. Within four months, they had doubled the number of projects that their clients were buying versus what they were buying before. It was an amazing, amazing pull through of results, and all they did was focus on a specific activity that was 100% in their control, and celebrate that success day in and day out.

What area do you want to focus on? What area do you want to say, "I'm going to own that"? What behaviors can you measure that 100% align to that focus? How can you get yourself or your team moving forward and celebrating the little incremental successes every bit of the way? If you do those things, you'll get unstuck. All of a sudden the momentum will create itself and you're rolling downhill.

Like all these videos, we hope that these tips help you help your clients succeed.