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November 27, 2012

Change vs. Transformation

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I hosted a NAWBO-CI coffee in Ankeny this morning for women business owners to discuss "making change." Not the monetary/dollars and cents kind, though the changes we make in how we do business can have big payoffs. Our focus was our behavior, our actions and how we create, implement and sustain change, for ourselves (hey, it starts with us!) and within our businesses.

Consider the intellectual part of our brain — the rational, analytical, visionary side that tells us that today we must work our marketing strategies and make sales calls in order to achieve our annual goals. It gets sabotaged by the emotional part of our brain — the "feeling" part that avoids fear, desires pleasantries and chooses to use today to clean out files, respond to not-so-pressing e-mails, catch up on business reading or accounting, or start researching a project that's not due until next month.

There are always distractions, demands and ways to keep from focusing on our goals and strategic plan activities — even when we know we'd be better off if we just moved forward with a necessary "must do now" tasks and set aside the low-priority "should do sometime" tasks. 

Frankly, change is hard, even for those who feel uncomfortable with where they are. It requires clarity on why the change is necessary, what that change looks like, and how one plans to achieve what's envisioned. It requires commitment and motivation, whether we're talking about self direction or leading a team within your company to embrace a change in our products or services, processes and policies, marketing methods, etc.

This morning business and leadership coach Dr. Christi Hegstad, MAP Professional Development, said she replaces the word "change" with the word "transform," because "change" implies that something is worn out, broken and needs fixing. "Transform" conjures up a vision of creating something new, wonderful and alive. Sounds like something we're all after. What do you want to transform about yourself — or your business — in the year ahead? It's time to start creating!

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