Of course I made that up. Of course I made that up just to get your attention. There is much talk about constant change and the need to be adaptable. There is little positive action in that regard. Here are two for you to chew on.
I’m a growth maniac of sorts, I talk about growth all the time. One of my favourite quotes from Alan Weiss is “Constantly surprised by how stupid I was two weeks ago.” Since I’m expecting many more fortnights to come, I guess I’ll be living in a constant state of wonder and amazement. At how stupid I was, anyway. At how inept I was where adaptability was concerned. Maturity is manifested by our willingness to take on new and better habits in order to overcome old and bad ones. It is also about strengthening old and good habits so that they become second nature to us. That is how we become highly adaptable to changes in our environment. If we are used to eating Singapore chicken every day, we need to adapt if we suddenly find ourselves living in Isaan, Thailand. Singapore chickens aren’t very good in that one Singapore chicken can only feed perhaps four people. Isaan chickens are far better: one Isaan chicken feeds perhaps thirty people!
If you find that your business is being eroded by something new on the market, don’t moan and groan, stage protests and stand in picket lines insisting that people continue to let you have your job or use your goods and services; find out how you can provide better goods and services to people! Growth is also accompanied by change, in case you haven’t noticed! Proper growth is also a deliberate decision. You can grow proportionately and in strength, stamina and endurance, or you can rapidly grow “lipidly” into a massive medical services client. Not that medical services aren’t good, they are. You just don’t want to be a sponsoring patron!
This is not about getting and staying in shape, this is about shaping the environment to suit our needs, and doing so in a responsible and sustainable manner. As humans, we build houses, cities and all kinds of infrastructure for our comfort. Probably excessively so. We do need to learn how to do it in such a manner as to generate life, not kill it as we shape our environment.
How are you shaping your business environment? Is business war for you, or is it farming? Are there times when you hunt? Are you a seller of wares you produce? Are you a trader? Do you exchange value for value? Are you doing business with the right people, or do you include anyone who breathes? How are you developing the right value-adding relationships? Are you hanging on to dysfunctional relationships or ending them? This is similar to pruning. It is painful, but it is necessary and results in more growth. Think. How are you deliberately shaping your business environment to suit your own business?
Adaptability. So important. Are you getting more adept at adapting?