26 Jul Top Ten “Gifts” Of Disruption
Change, chaos, disruption it is all around us. Interestingly the way we handle disruptions can determine the future. Here are the top ten “gifts” of disruption.
- Breakthrough inertia – Disruption of any kind whether it be personal or professional creates a new pattern and it destabilizes inertia – think about a recent disruption in hindsight can you see that it had to happen? Can you see that you were in a holding pattern and that you were repeating processes or behaviours? Can you see now that the disruption HAD to happen? When you can correlate a disruption to needed change you are experiencing the gift of the disruption. Personal example – I had been using the same accountant for years for my business – I had gotten used to his approach and I was familiar with his methods. Then suddenly he was not available to do our year end and all of the elements of our accounting. I panicked, what were we going to do? Who else could take over? This was an unwelcome disruption and yet…… it caused me to re-look at our financial set up – it caused us to re-look at what we needed to do to set up our business in a way that would strengthen the foundation. It forced change which leads to number 2….
- Continued disruptions – The gift of a singular disruption is to breakthrough the gift of continued disruptions is that its forcing a large scale fundamental change. The message of continued disruptions is that SOMETHING HAS GOT TO CHANGE. If we go back to same old same old we are not getting the gift of the disruption (s) ! So when I found a new accountant I was relieved – she was referred to me by a friend who knew I was desperate to find someone who could help me. However, desperation does not attract the best solutions and after one meeting with her I realized that it was not going to work. She was condescending, parental and used scare tactics – nope not the energy I wanted to have my business associated with. The gift of continued disruptions is – what is really needed here? which leads to number 3….
- What is calling to be changed? – the gift of a roadblock on our way to sustainable change is that we now have to look at the ultimate outcome. If we look at disruptions as just people or situations that need to be ‘fixed’ then we are missing the gift of the disruption (s). Once I answered the question of ‘what is calling to be changed’ I was able to find a next level solution. When you answer the question of what is calling to be changed you need to answer from an ‘expansive mind set’ not from a purely logical mind set. For me what was calling to be changed was that I needed an accountant who would ‘partner’ with me/us and who would be strategically minded to help us grow to the next level. A client of mine mentioned her accounting firm and suggested I check it out. Thats when I met Kelly and when we met it was instant connection. She was quick, smart and matter of fact AND perfect! The disruption of losing our long time accountant and then meeting accountant #2 who was not a fit and now meeting Kelly made the first two disruptions worthwhile – what a gift! Let’s look at the next gift.
- Stability perspective – Ongoing disruptions are opportunities to shift our perspectives on stability. So we hire Kelly and she is wonderful! She took all of our financial data and was able to help us make some high level strategic decisions, she helped us to make new decisions regarding next level financial prosperity and she recommended a phenomenal new book keeper. We were very happy that after some stress and tension around accounting we now had a new level of stability. And then she tells us that after six months of being our accountant she is leaving and going off to start her own consulting firm. Yikes right when we thought we had stability we get disrupted again – this time though I didn’t freak out I laughed – of course this was happening we were still sorting out what was calling to be changed. Kelly introduced us to her replacement – I didn’t have the same connection but she seemed to be on the ball – that lasted three months I was frustrated with her approach and the way she communicated – she was the opposite of Kelly. I went back to Kelly after she had left the firm and asked for her advice she introduced me/us to a colleague who she thought would be a perfect fit for us. Which led us to our new guy Lach (opinionated, strong and bossy) who we have been working with for over a year and HE is the perfect guy. I say that knowing that ‘nothing’ is for sure and my ‘stability perspective’ has shifted to accept ongoing disruptions as the new normal.
- Ripple effect – a major gift of disruptions is the ripple effect. You know the whole cause and reaction sequence. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Once we process disruptions with the perspective of ‘gift’ we shift the dynamic of being a victim of a disruption into being a victor of the disruption. Since working with Kelly and then Lach we have been able to make very strategic and lucrative financial decisions for both the business and for ourselves. Looking back we can see that the disruptions of all of those accounting changes HAD to happen in order to create this new and better reality. The lesson (s) have been fascinating in that what we resist persists – what we fear we manifest and so on. Seeing disruptions as gifts creates an ability to transform situations into ‘lessons’ and ‘learnings’ rather than things that are being ‘done to us’.
- Power to choose – disruptions heighten our power to make new choices. The power to choose how we are going to process the disruption, the power to choose how we are going to create possible solutions and the power to choose the actions we are going to take to leverage the disruption. In the above scenario I have shared I had the power to choose to be a victim or I had the power to create a new scenario that would serve us for the future. Had I not gotten the impact of this I may have chosen to go with a ‘familiar’ person (softer spoken and traditional) rather than the right person at the right time. Lach is much more outspoken and direct than what I was familiar with with my long time accountant.
- Hindsight – its often only when we look back that we can see the ‘evolution’ of what was to where we are now. This is a tremendous gift because it allows us to see where we were and where we are now. In hindsight I can see that the path to where we are now was perfect! In fact I just said to a friend yesterday, that if we had not gone through all of the disruptions with accounting we would not be in the wonderful position we are in today in regards to investments, tax planning and more. So the disruptions gave the gift of necessary changes as well as positive changes that wouldn’t have happened without the disruptions.
- Future Focus – another gift of ongoing disruptions is that it prepares us to view the future with a different lens. Often when helping clients do their strategic plans they will want to focus on the “Opportunities’ segment of the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis and less time on the ‘threats or potential disruptions’ aspect of the SWOT. That makes sense given that focusing on ‘negatives’ will not lead to an optimal strategy AND ignoring potential threats is in my opinion avoiding the reality of potential disruptions. When we have built our disruption muscle we no longer fear them we actually plan for them and brainstorm creative ideas to leverage the disruption. A future focus with an integrated view of goals and objectives along with potential disruptions builds resiliency.
- Resiliency – mastery of anything requires repetition. Repeat disruptions cause us to have to expect that disruptions are the new normal and reality. In today’s fast changing world he or she who can ‘bounce back’ from disruption and create opportunities from disruptions will be the master of his or her future. When you look at the people who inspire us usually those people have bounced back from numerous challenges or disruptions. To create the future we want for ourselves and for the world we must be able to get up and get right back on the horse over and over again. Resiliency is one of the ultimate gifts of disruption – its the keystone of Darwin’s ‘change or die’ mantra. My business resiliency has always been high – you have to have vision, focus and stamina to be an entrepreneur AND the accounting scenario really caused me to elevate other aspects of the business as well.
- Innovation and the Butterfly Effect – the final gift of disruptions is innovation and the butterfly effect. Ongoing disruption leads to creativity which leads to innovation. Innovation creates ripples both locally and globally (think Apple). Remember the movie “Butterfly Effect” that starred Ashton Kutcher? The one where the premise of the movie was that when a butterfly flaps it wings it sets in motion changes that reverberate around the world. There are two perspectives on butterfly effect as it relates to disruptions. The first is the butterfly effect in your own life. As I mentioned above the disruptions in accounting for me and the ensuing events spilled over into other elements of the business and elevated my personal capacity to handle stress and challenging situations. The second butterfly effect was the impact it had on the people I told the story to. Friends and family heard my experience and my approach and watched me go from fear and inertia to innovation, power and progress. Ultimately the gift of being able to handle disruptions is that we model for others how they too can do the same.