Don’t ask, “Why do we have to go through all this change?”

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When in college and working at Wells Fargo, the oldest of seven Miller kids, Kristin, called me at lunchtime. My “How’s your day going?” question instigated this exchange:

Kristin: “What a drag, Dad, I’m dealing with change!”

Me: “Honey, we’re all dealing with change. It’s everywhere.”

Kristin: “No, Dad, a guy came in with $300 in change today and I got stuck rolling it. I am literally dealing with change!”

Me: “Oops. My bad.” ?

Is Change The Problem?

Well, it’s true: We’re all dealing with change, aren’t we?

Of course, CHANGE is not the real problem, nor even the speed of change — it’s how we RESPOND to change. Our thoughts, emotions, and actions. We are all currently challenged by:

Changing workforce: As “managers and leaders” get older, it’s more difficult to understand the unique values and thinking of the younger people they employ.

Changing customer: More informed, higher expectations, greater options, more assertive. And always ready to “walk.”

Changing relationships/roles: Restructuring, reorganizing, and “right-sizing” — all breeding confusion, if not fear.

Changing technology: I am amazed, as I bet you are, that what was current just months ago is now potentially out-of-date. It’s simply dizzying.

And … the Pandemic: Enough said.

As we write in Outstanding!

Given the organic, constant, and inevitable nature of change, how could we ever think that what works today will work tomorrow? The reality is, if a strategy or tactic is working now, the odds are high that it won’t work in the future. There is just too much change taking place in our world for it to be any other way.

We Are The Problem!

The change that envelopes us, of course, is certainly not within our control. What is within our control, though, is our response. When we respond to change with Blame, Complaining, and Procrastination, we fail to adapt as swiftly to change as the market requires. But what would it be worth to you and your organization if we did?

We can do it, as individuals and organizations, by asking a better question. One that allows us to renew our sense of ownership, personal accountability, and individual power. When this happens, each of us is able to anticipate, accept, and adapt to change.

So, instead of asking a lousy question like, “Why do we have to go through all this change?” let’s ask a productive question (The Question Behind the Question, QBQ) — such as, “How can I adapt to the changing world around me?”

It is a question that gets answers. Answers that move us and our organizations forward today.

How are you personally doing with all the change happening around you at work and at home?

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In need of training to rally the troops during this intense season of change? Consider a QBQ! virtual session — easy to implement, effective, high-energy, and life-changing! Inquire here to find out more!

4 Responses

  1. John,
    Nice to hear from you. 2020 has certainly a much different year and will invoke a large number of changes in organizations and people. The use of space, or should I say the non-use of space with its trickle down affects…less gas, less gas tax, less public transportation use, the speed and use of technology, a change in our federal government, change, change, change. We have been looking at 2021 and anticipating a lot of the post-GOVID-19 changes….your books have been a great help.
    Be well,
    Chuck Gambone

  2. Keep going. Plug as many holes as you can. Can’t worry about tomorrow. Take care of what you can today. The only constant in retail (my profession) is change. Can’t remember who said that, but it’s still true today.

  3. John,

    You probably won’t remember me, but we go back a long time, and I’ve been meaning to write you and say how much I enjoy reading your online QBQ texts.

    We first met when you were with the Fortune Group selling Practical Sales Management. I was with Graco in Minneapolis, and I couldn’t find what I was looking for in a sound sales management program, until I talked to you. PSM helped our sales force immensely; what Steve Brown put together in that training became the way our sales managers, supervisors, and directors taught, acted, and managed.

    Even more powerful than PSM, I think, is your QBQ. I used your cassette tape-based program (!) over and over. It’s the one you taped in Minneapolis in part at the Northland Park office building. (I was working for Great Clips then, with our offices in the building. We subsequently invited you to speak at one of our franchise conventions.) I think the QBQ is the best concept and most game-changing training that I ever came across. And although it’s probably been around for almost 25 years now, I’m guessing, it still seems fresh—and your texts always point out the opportunities for its application. At work or outside of work the QBQ applies to so many situations so we’ll.

    I’m retired from Human Resources now, going on four years, my last position being an HR director at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota. But your first book, the blue hardcover one, Personal Accountability, still has a prominent spot on the bookshelves in my den.

    Best wishes for the holidays.

    Bill Denker

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