Next week, Nikki and I are going on a short holiday to Denmark and Albany, in the south of Western Australia. We’re looking forward to visiting one of the most beautiful corners of the world, but the main purpose of our visit is to see Nikki’s 22-year-old daughter (my stepdaughter) Abbey, who moved there a few months ago for work.
I miss Abbey, and the occasional phone call doesn’t make up for the regular catch-ups we used to have in Perth. As a smart, mature, Generation Z, she always gets me thinking differently about the future.
We used to go out to breakfast or lunch together, and always enjoyed interesting conversations. Of course, when the food arrives, she takes a photo with her phone, as many young people do (I believe it’s the law) and shares it with her friends on social media. And to her credit, she then puts her phone aside for the rest of the meal.
Knowing I have a futurist sitting across the table, I’m always curious about her behaviour, so I ask what she’s doing. I knew she and her friends used Snapchat to share what was happening during their day, and I recall a time I asked her about it. But she said, ‘No, Instagram has a new Stories feature, so we don’t use Snapchat anymore, and we’ve all switched to Instagram’.
I thought, ‘When was the last time I made that kind of change?’
When was the last time YOU made that kind of change?
Abbey, her friends, and many others in her Generation Z demographic, don’t fear change. They use whatever works best and don’t complain about the constant changes to platforms, apps, and technology in general. In fact, they crave change rather than resisting it.
How different this is from the way many people think in business!
What about you?
Do you love change or loathe it?
Do you embrace it as an opportunity or resist it as a threat?
Do you sigh and call on your reserves of resilience, or get excited and shout, “Bring it on!”?
Adapting to change isn’t enough.
Of course, we all need to be more flexible, agile, and adaptable.
But that isn’t enough anymore.
We also need people who embrace change, not just adapt to it.
You might be lucky enough to have team members who embrace change. Don’t assume it’s only the younger people – it’s about mindset, not age.
When the world was less chaotic, perhaps you didn’t value their input. In fact, you might have found their crazy ideas, boredom with the status quo, and impulse to wander off on tangents frustrating and disruptive to your projects and goals.
But in a volatile, uncertain environment, they are worth their weight in gold because they will enthusiastically step up and lead the rest of the team (including you!) through change.