Embrace Disruption. Lead Change

Your key to survival in a world of disruption.

The one constant in my entire career has been change. I didn‘t realize it at the time, but the changes that I have reached for, on each occasion, formed the journey that has taken me from Economics and Banking into standing on huge stages around the globe.

It’s how I survived!

I was back in NYC last week meeting the Board of an IT client and conversation turned to (as it always seems to nowadays) … disruption.

We were planning for my appearance at three of their upcoming events – and the briefing soon majored on how we are to help the audiences not just anticipate disruption, but to embrace it. Not just to edge towards change but to lead it.

I realized that this is all I have EVER done.

Back in London’s financial district, as a young Stockbroker, I initially thought it was all about the money, the investment performance – the relentless search for “Alpha” – but it wasn‘t.

It was about recognizing the disruption that was about to impact industries and companies and then quickly move clients’ money away from those too slow to see the need for change and to invest it heavily into those who had already seized the moment.

Smart money – the money that moved markets – wasn’t chasing products and solutions, it was following the leaders – the savvy players who wanted to be the disruptors and not suffer the disruption.

Embracing disruption, leading change isn’t just about spotting the challenges and opportunities and coming up with a strategy – it is far more about communicating the need to change…selling the desire to change… to people who probably welcome change as much as they welcome extended dentistry.

The real power lies with those who can INFLUENCE change.

The change journey starts with you. You have to make that leap. Nothing is more comfortable than doing what you’ve always done. Hey – it isn’t broken right? So why spend time trying to fix it?

Short answer? It’s about to be broken.

What’s that old phrase about the best time to build a well being BEFORE you’re thirsty??

So the time to face tomorrow’s challenges is today (or yesterday!)

Bringing people with you is the absolute key to success when it comes to this level of change – so here are three communication initiatives that you can deploy THIS week to help you get there!

even if you have a small team (and especially if you have a large one) using Video to share your ideas is absolutely the right way to handle today’s content challenges. Short, snappy videos that capture your thoughts and inspiration in three minutes or less are easy wins for the modern leader. Use your cellphone, or cool devices like the DJI Osmo Pocket and start recording stuff. Get a young savvy hipster to edit for you (if you are not up to that challenge) – then share it widely. Watching you will feel a little like having you personally visit. That is an impact for which you should always strive.

These quick VLOG-style videos are not the time and place for major announcements like “you’re all fired” but far better for – “Here’s the start of the plan folks” and “This is why change is coming”. Lean into the lens, imagine you are talking to your best friend. Be honest, be open and act just like you – no need to put on a special ‘on-stage’ voice!!

Another great way to use these quick videos is for recognition of great members of your team.

Get on Insta, Facebook, LinkedIn and state your case – ALWAYS from the perspective of those you know are ‘watching’. If LinkedIn is where your clients see you, explain the changes coming in terms of THEIR world, THEIR business.

If Facebook is where your team see your stuff, create (or have created for you!) a stunning infographic and share why change is the best news they could see this week.

If it’s Instagram, just post a picture of your evening cocktail explaining that great change sometimes needs a little help!

Understandably, people have difficulty committing to a change-journey until they fully understand the destination. In meetings and other outreach, paint the picture of where we are all going – and why. SHOW them the destination (Higher profits, larger team, happier customers, more problems solved) before even mentioning the required journey.

Think of it this way….If you’re going to get me on a jet all the way to the Maldives, you better show me the beaches and the room on ocean-stilts before you load me onto that plane!!

So what is the disruption heading your way – O great leader??

Is it AI? Blockchain? Generational change, automation….?

No need to panic. You can totally handle this …. if… you anticipate what people need to hear to help convince them to join you on this change-journey.

You’ve got this!

Need. Desire. Effort.

Communicate the need for change
Sell the desire for change and
Lead the effort to change.

After all, this isn’t about incremental profit or revenue growth – it’s how you survive.

Mark Jeffries is a leading Keynote Speaker and Author on the subject of smart communication and effective Influence. He has also become the go-to Host, Emcee and Moderator for some of the largest and most high-profile events in the world.

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