In n part one, we learned that we’re facing full-fledged revolutions on multiple fronts, that nothing is sacred…and that all rules are being rewritten.
No country or currency…no industry or profession…and certainly no company or individual is safe.
Hyper-competitiveness, relentless and ongoing challenges, disruptive technologies, blockchain, artificial intelligence, robotics and mass consolidation is occurring at warp speed…and it’s only going to accelerate.
The big takeaway from that message was that STAYING A STUDENT for life was the essential hedge against extinction.
In this second installment…we’re going to reach back in time and take a page from Charles Darwin’s playbook and modernize it.
Darwin is often quoted — and often misquoted. The most frequent transgression being…only the strongest survive.
The problem with that quote is that the man never said it…but what did say provides the solution we need to compete and win in the age of AI.
“It is not the most intellectual or the strongest species that survives, but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to or adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.” — Charles Darwin
The phrase “David vs. Goliath” denotes an underdog situation, a contest where a smaller, weaker opponent faces a much bigger, stronger adversary and wins.
However the real significance of that story lies in the HOW…as in, how was David able to beat the mighty giant named Goliath?
David was incapable of meeting Goliath’s strength and power, but he was capable of adapting to the situation by deploying an unconventional strategy.
A simple sling and a stone thrown to the sweet spot of the forehead, a new technology was what brought down Goliath.
His inability to adapt to this change in weaponry and strategy proves that adaptability beats strength when strength does not adapt.
Adapting to change is difficult, but not adapting is fatal as history is littered with the corpses of very strong people and companies who were brought to their knees, and put in their grave due to their inability or unwillingness to adapt or adjust to the changing environment in which they found themselves in.
In almost every case, the sources of failure are prosaic and avoidable — a failure to implement technologies that have already been developed, an arrogant disregard for changing customer demands, a complacent attitude towards new competitors.
Throw in fear, the gravitational pull of resistance, and a love affair with the comfort zone… and you’ve got yourself the perfect storm.
Unable to defend themselves against competitors armed with new products, technologies, or strategies, they watch their sales and profits erode, their best people leave, their stock valuations tumble, and their quality of life deteriorate.
They’re caught like the proverbial deer in the headlights, and they provide proof that Darwin’s theory was on the money.
Some ultimately manage to recover — usually after eating some a good helping of humble pie, and taking some pretty hefty lumps to the head — but many don’t.
Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.
Change descends upon each one of us equally; the difference is that some of us realize it faster than others and adapt accordingly.
However, it is our awareness to the slightest changes in our environment and the world around us that helps us to best manage the change process.
The letters in the word “change” can be used to remember various strategies for facilitating awareness, belief, and commitment while competing in the age of AI.
“C” for Consequences
People change for two main reasons: their minds have been opened…or their hearts have been broken. Action is then taken because of the positive consequences they expect to get as a result of those new actions.
To get yourself involved in a transformation process requires “buy-in,” and you can readily get buy-in if you can clearly prove to yourself the severe disadvantages of not changing and the huge advantages of changing.
Question: As it relates to your own life and business, what are the disadvantages of not changing and just maintaining the status quo in the age of AI?
Question: What desirable consequences can you enjoy by proactively responding to transformational change?
The next five words in the CHANGE acronym suggest proactive strategies for addressing, adapting and navigating the change process.
“H” for Habit
We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are. If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old…and that begins by changing old, outdated, and unproductive habits.
To do that effectively begins with the belief that old dogs can, do, and must learn new tricks!
Question: What new habits need to be developed to remain competitive?
Remember that change of any type is painful, difficult and inconvenient at first…it’s messy in the middle…and once you win the good fight, it’s elegant at the end.
Be willing to extend yourself an olive branch as the gravitational pull of old habits and natural resistance have their way of seducing your relapse. If the call to create new habits doesn’t challenge you both mentally and physically — it cannot change you…and change is what you are after.
“A” for Attitude
Einstein has said that the measure of intelligence is the ability to change, and I’d like to add that the measure of ignorance is measured by one’s ability to resist change.
You must maintain a positive attitude as it relates to current circumstances and the necessity for change…and you must also ward off any signs of resistance to that change.
If you interpret the need for change as fearful, your natural inclination is to go negative which is never a good thing.
Question: How can you best manage a personal change initiative to ensure a more positive and responsive attitude?
“N” for Needs
When it comes to change the mandate is simple: Adapt and overcome.
Early acceptance along with the commitment needed for change will come easier if you stop and focus on your needs and priorities.
Although the change might be uncomfortable and inconvenient at first, the eventual outcome will be positive on a “need satisfaction scale.”
Question: What personal needs must be met in order for you to ensure a successful change initiative?
“G” for Goal Setting
When facing a need for change — you must set goals to either do things differently or to do different things. This is a subtle but important distinction, and as early on in any change scenario you must dance with that idea.
Getting the right answer, and setting the right goals — early on — will be the key to a successful change process in ALL areas of your life.
Goal setting turns a vision for proactive change into action. Remember, if the goal does not challenge you, it cannot change you.
Question: Do I need to do different things, or do I need to do things differently?
“E” for Empowerment
Proactive change requires proactive behavior, and you will naturally feel empowered to work for proactive change when you have the knowledge and resources to achieve specific goals, feel a sense of personal control over the change process, and expect success from your efforts.
Certain steps can be taken to increase these perceptions. To find out what these are, ask yourself:
Question: “What would increase your belief that this change initiative is not only within your personal control, but that you will make the difference in reaching these goals?”
If you perceive that you have the necessary information, resources, and personal control to accomplish the proactive goal, you will expect the best and feel empowered to make the change happen.
To compete and win against the extraordinary power and reach of artificial intelligence…be sure to use this C. H. A. N. G. E. system to gain the enormous competitive advantage realized by anticipating change and because of the life-or-death consequences of rapidly adapting to change!
Gary Ryan Blair is creator of the 100 Day Challenge…a radical approach to goal achievement that shows people how to achieve 10X size goals by applying the methods and best practices of growth hacking. Get all the details here.
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