The near exponential rate of technological advancement posesmore opportunities than ever before—and more potential problems within anorganization. That’s why successful leaders atall levels respond to changes in the business environment by seizingopportunities and developing new ways of doing business.
“Embracing evolving technologies will definefuture growth markets,” says Stuart R. Levine, who leads an international strategic leadershipdevelopment firm in New York.
Levine’s number one tip to leaders whoare facing industry disruption is: Do not panic. “Getting oxygen in thebrain gives you a chance to think and learn,” says Levine. “A commitment tolearning as fast as the world is changing is a critical complement for successin the future.”
Tom Haughton,whose career hascrossed various industries, also embraces change and continual learning. Asvice-president of My Place Realty (MPR) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, TomHaughton works to provide quality, multi-family homes that people are proud tocall home.
If you embrace change effectively, says Haughton, your staff
will, too. “Some people like the challenge and excitement of constant change,
but others find it stressful. Learning new technology, for example: It may be
difficult or expensive to implement, but it is key to keeping your business
Mike Bracken, who is a partner in Public Digital, says the problem he sees in a lot of organizations is they have the tools they need for transformation, but the top leaders don’t use them.
“If you’re not prepared to do what you’re asking everyone else to do, then why should you expect them to?” Bracken asks. “If you want to understand what’s broken in your company, try entering your own expenses.”
He toldIdeo that if he had one piece of advice for making change happen, it would be this: “Go and sit next to a user when they’re using your service or product. I make sure to do six hours of that every month.”
With the pace of change today, mobilizing the opinion and talent of others is more important than ever, says Tamara Vrooman, president & CEO of Vancity in Vancouver. “Perfection doesn’t exist – no one can do everything without help.”
In an era where technology is enabling rapid change, leaders need to consider how to approach issues differently, says Leah Lawrence, president & CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada. “That will happen with a more diverse workforce: young people bring a whole new approach and open-mindedness to tackling sustainability issues.”
Whether professional or personal, everyone has their own comfort level with change that is based on their early life environment. We want to have new experiences and reach higher goals, but the familiar is always more appealing on a deep level than the prospect of change. “In each transition,” says Haughton, “there is an opportunity for growth. I am always looking for new ways to enhance my skills and abilities. Thanks to these training opportunities I have been able to build a strong foundation for work and life.”