The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings. –Kakuzo Okakaura
There are times in our lives when we are forced to adapt to new situations or have the positive energy force drained from our minds and bodies. This is both applicable in our personal lives and business, but we do not always make the adjustments on the business side. Why is that?
In June of 2016, I was involved in a car accident. It affects my lifestyle daily both inside and outside of work. Over the last 16 months, I have learned to manage the pain that is a 7/10 on a good day. I do not have a chair in my office because sitting down increases the pain, so the majority of my days are spent standing or laying down. This includes when I eat. Unless you get curious as to why I never sit down, then you would never realize anything is wrong. The biggest issue is that when attending public events, this makes you look rather suspicious and puts others become uneasy. New normal routines have been created out of the necessity to evolve and adapt, or mentally break down and potentially become depressed.
Organizations and Industries continue to fail to adapt. There is an uneven adoption of technology across industries and a percentage of the late adoption is due to cultural issues and being comfortable with how they currently operate. When you hear the saying, “Keep doing what you have done, you will get what you have always got,” it is meant to get you to think about changing your ways. Unfortunately for some organizations, that means “we should continue to operate the same way that has already proven to bring in revenue.” The construction industry, for example, still has several organizations that use old-school methods to estimate and bid on jobs. They want to make money, but will not invest in the tools that could increase revenue while also bringing in a new generation of workers to help fill the void left by those facing retirement.
Have we become so scared of the unknown and failure that we would rather risk falling behind thus losing the ability to compete? We often get too comfortable with the way things are, so we avoid new challenges that may introduce adverse situations.
Over the course of the year, I had gotten lazy and unmotivated to do things because of the limitations I had from the accident. Had seen several doctors, a couple of surgeons, and medication does not help so I learned to manage day to day while limiting the introduction of unnecessary factors. Around August of 2017, I was released from the doctors because they were unable to help my issues and I was also told that I could resume light workouts as long as no weight is loaded on my back. Since I had been working out since high school before it became so popular, I was not enthused about being limited because I love the squat rack. It was not until late October that I finally decided to make my way back. Coming back with limitations and being out for over a year, I had to be innovative with my workouts. Once I started, it was easy to get in the zone and the adrenaline running through made me temporarily forget all about the issues. The key to making it out without causing further issues was awareness and limiting myself to a 45-minute workout.
For organizations within the construction industry and others late to adopt new technology, the need to be innovative and resilient is also relevant. Finding out which new products will help them remain competitive with the rest of their industry is key. The agiler an organization is, the easier it is for them to bounce back from setbacks and hit new strides. They have to have a new mindset know that just hoping things will work out is not the best strategy. Fearing the unknown is not sustainable because there is always a competitor looking to expand their market share. Define these new goals by the processes you employ to get your organization to the top while fostering accountability to ensure that everyone understands how the decisions they make affect the overall business. Pushing these limits and convincing others that change is necessary will bring out a fiery passion in those in charge of the initiative. Just like with adrenaline, you have to control that passion in those heated debates long enough to effectively get your point across, otherwise, all logic can be lost.
Resilience, adaptability, innovation, and agility are concepts that work for our lifestyle choices as well as our business culture. We must never become complacent enough that it affects our ability to react to something new. Failing fast is becoming the new theme. We must quickly process our capabilities, what works, understand failures, and press forward.