The best business advice I ever got was about 10 years ago.
She hauled me off into a side room and said “At least embrace the culture first, even for just a few minutes, before you go ahead and change it”.
Seems timely these days.
A lot of us have new responsibilities. Some even have a new job. A whole bunch of us have new customers we are calling on. And even if you don’t have any of these, it’s a new year and most of us have something or someone we are charged up to go about and change.
But here’s what you gotta know.
You have to take those “few minutes” first to embrace, to learn, to build some trust, to analyze what levers you can really leverage. Those few minutes can be literally a few minutes, but more likely it’s longer than that. It can be an hour, three days, a week, two weeks or even a couple of months. And that’s the problem some times; – we have so little patience once we’ve decided that change is needed.
But remember that that culture or department or team or customer you are trying to go change already exists. It’s a real thing. It’s not like you are starting from nothing. It likely has some people, processes or strategies that do work or are wicked smart or have already brought the effort forward from someplace that was much worse.
Ignoring that is stupid. It’s not about going slow. It’s about going smart.
So take the “few minutes” to embrace it, them or the group. Get close. Listen. Don’t’ talk. Take a few steps to the right or left and embrace again. Get close. Listen. Don’t talk. Rinse and Repeat.
And when you think those “few minutes” are up and you’ve listened enough, force yourself to add a few more.
Change is big and change is good but change works far better when you start with an embrace.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.