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On adapting your game plan

Yesterday evening close to midnight, the Springboks were able to claw back some respectability after a rather dismal performance against Ireland the previous week. The record defeat last week was also compounded by South Africa losing out on being hosts for the 2023 world cup. (Against popular expectation)

I realise many of you may not be rugby fans ,yet what I wanted to share this week is the value of being able to change your game plan when what you expected and planned for, isn’t working or happening.

The SA rugby team appeared to be on an upward climb after draws against Australia, and a narrow home defeat against New Zealand. Expectations were fair that the Boks would bring this new found approach to the game last week.

This didn’t happen. I am not an analyst, but those in the know indicate that part of the reason for the record defeat was an inability to adapt their game plan. Simply put, they didn’t adapt fast enough on the day when their game plan wasn’t working.

So what can you do in your workplace or business arena when the game plan isn’t working? How can you adapt quickly?

It’s an old cliche that change is the only constant, but it’s true. What this really means is that you have two choices: to adapt now and stay competitive, or adapt later after becoming irrelevant and try to become competitive again. Blockbuster, Pan Am airlines, Kodak and myriad other companies chose the latter and this was disastrous for them. The beauty about adaptability is that it’s something you can control. Like many things in life, there’s always something you can control, and that “something” is choice. If you’re tired of getting the same results, try something new. Embrace newness.

Here are three ways you can adapt….faster. (Thanks to “Adapting to Change in a Rapidly Changing Business Environment”)

  1. Embrace Technology. Embrace technological change and learn how to use it for your own benefit. Don’t run from new technologies; try them! Some people are afraid to try new technology for fear of looking foolish or old fashioned in front of others—particularly younger people who are more technologically adept. If you are uncomfortable with new technology, try it out in the privacy of your own home, or in the presence of trustworthy friends and teachers.
  2. Increase Your Speed. Greater opportunities come to organizations that can respond quickly. Customers value speed in providing services and delivering orders and are sometimes willing to pay extra for a quick response. Employees who are fast and flexible generally reduce costs by minimizing their expended time on a project. As a supervisor, you need to continuously review how you can reduce the time spent on work, either in increments or in quantum leaps. Always look for breakthroughs, especially in information technology, that will allow you to get more done faster and with fewer people.
  3. Learn to Live with Ambiguity and Uncertainty. Most people do not like ambiguity or uncertainty, which are major sources of anxiety, but they are also facts of life in this fast-changing world. Often you will have to make decisions without having all the facts you need or knowing with any certainty what will happen. But, if you are willing to accept ambiguity and uncertainty and not let them prevent you from trying new things, you ultimately enhance your value to the organization. Learning to improvise and adapt to different and unexpected situations will give you important skills that will help you progress in your career.

Building strong businesses, led by resilient entrepreneurs.


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