A few experiences in the last couple of days, requiring me to check back on past events, respectively some ten and five years ago, were forceful reminders of how much the shape and focus of my business have changed and how quickly.
- Ten years ago my business focus was on being a communications consultant. A significant proportion of that involved researching issues and writing policy documents. I don’t do that any more.
- Seven years ago I had no idea I would establish a coaching practice. Now I am a business coach and a member of the Board of Governors of the International Association of Coaching.
- Five years ago I had no idea that any of my business dealings would be with China. Now I’m an Associate of the China-based company, Culture Fish Media, and am preparing to co-present later this month – via Skype video – at an all-day seminar on Social Media Optimization and PR 2.0 being held in Guangzhou, China
All that raises the question of what change lies ahead. With related questions about how to plan and adapt as change – inevitably? – occurs.
It’s not that I have a problem with change. In fact I love it!
The question is how much, in the strategic planning of my business, I have taken account of the rapidity of change and how much account I am taking now.
I know I am able to think laterally and respond and adapt to changing circumstances. But that’s tactics, not strategy.
A related consideration is that while it is essential in this day and age to be flexible and adaptable about change and the future, it is also necessary to be not so flexible as to be unclear about what we are doing and offering right now, or unclear in how we communicate our message to the market.
Tomorrow I will be writing about how a friend’s recent comment on his perception of my business shocked me and made me realize that before I think too much about change I have some serious clarifying to do about how I communicate to the market just what it is I “do” these days!
Then I have to focus on the change and adaptation issues.
These are issues anyone in business has to consider and act upon. I suspect however that when we work for ourselves, from home, we don’t always have the frameworks and processes in place that trigger this kind of review.
Any suggestions about how to factor the speed of change into business strategy and business planning will be welcome.
Cartoon courtesy of Hugh MacLeod