Markham Neil Bathew
Engagement Manager,Centre for Behavioral Excellence
Staying Relevant in the New Norm
Transform and perform, or perish!
This is the new norm in this age of ‘accelerated change’! The B2B market is more competitive and disruptive than ever before; clients are demanding more and much more; companies are continuously vying with each other to re-invent themselves to remain in the race, let alone get ahead.
As clichéd as it sounds, we must choose to cultivate a new mindset. We must refresh our dialogue and point of view, become thought leaders in our own right, and deliver compelling value and immediate business impact.
Today, every company is looking for employees who wake up each morning hungry and thinking about new and novel ways to compete and win. For such people, performance and its consequent recognition is a given; and there will be infinite possibilities for growth.
Yet there is a predominant sense of insecurity, almost fear, about the future among employees; its repercussions – lower motivation, lack of clarity in approaches, drop in individual productivity etc.
Do you find yourself in this situation.
Do you wonder what needs to be done to catch this breaking wave?
If you find yourself nodding to answer any of the questions above, here are a few simple and practical tips to set you on the course to transform and perform, and stay relevant in this new norm.
Let’s look at it as two broad categories – Gaining the right knowledge and Implementing the right approach.
Gaining the right knowledge
Use the 3-K formula. This is a simple, do-able and effective way to gain the right knowledge and address the need of the hour.
(1) Know your business; follow futuristic trends
Keep yourself abreast on what is happening in the market. Find out what matters to your company and to your company’s clients.
For starters, make LinkedIn, Twitter, a business newspaper or television channel your primary source of information. Make it a habit to devote time to these, daily. Specifically, note what business leaders, including your own, are saying – both internally and externally.
(2) Know your place in the growth strategy within the organization
Know precisely how your unit and role fit into the big picture. Make it your job to find out, how both matter to the business and the contribution expected. Whenever possible, engage in conversations with senior people in your organization to know about the future and direction of your company, unit and role.
You can start by talking with your first and second level supervisors to begin getting a 3600 view.
(3) Know yourself
If everything around you is changing rapidly, you too must change. Know your attitude towards doing things differently.
Ask yourself if you expect change, welcome it, and respond to it creatively. Evaluate your personal goals to see if they are relevant and compatible with the changing narrative.
Implementing the right approach
Let the right knowledge spur you on to the right approach. Without mincing words, not allowing this to happen will lead you towards perishing.
(1) Be positive
Change is the only constant. Welcome it with all the uncertainty that it brings. Avoid trying to minimize its impact on your life. If you do, you are fighting the inevitable.
Being positive, to me, means looking for opportunities beyond your comfort zone. It also means looking to ‘do it right the first time’ in each and ensuring that the ‘say-do ratio’ in all that you do, internally and externally, is 100%.
When there are volunteers required to evolve a new approach, or pilot a new initiative, throw your hat into the ring. Be creative in your response for there is no such thing as a wild idea any longer.
(2) Stay clued in
Nothing changes overnight! Professional success lies in making efforts to stay updated on the latest. Align yourself with ‘emerging’ and ‘accelerating’ market trends, with your company and with your place in it.
Look for new enabling skills to acquire from a business, domain, technology and behavioral standpoint. Look out for training programs available, ones that can help you acquire these skills, and sign up for these. Ensure that all your efforts and the new skills you acquire help you perform first, and perform better in the future.
(3) Be adaptable
You cannot beat the natural laws of evolution in all areas of life; responding in the same old ways and expecting different results is hardly logical. An approach that worked wonders for you in the past might not be as effective today. Do not be overly sentimental about holding on to it.
Come up with new and smarter ways of going about your daily tasks more efficiently and more quickly. If you are asked to do things differently, do not hesitate to try it out.
(4) Have a game plan
Focus on all actions adequately. In all this, develop a game plan for yourself. Let that plan translate into concrete actions.
Evaluate and re-evaluate these actions as well as your plan. Be ruthless in changing the course, if necessary. Remember if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward and the world will leave you behind.
Let us make practicing these tips a habit, with willingness, determination, patience and faith. And let us catch the breaking waves of success in the new norm…. and transform and perform. This is the mindset that will help you stay relevant, going forward.