How to Manage the Crazy Changes Coming Your Way

A Bit about Don Phin’s Background



Don has changed colleges, his marriage, numerous careers, numerous homes, and his finances. He helps companies change and loves the idea of change itself. He lives in Coronado, CA… at least for now.

I use these two pictures to make a point. The second was done by my 14 yr. old on his IPad. He said it makes me look cooler. How do you feel about each person? Who is more professional? Who is more creative? Who is more open to change? Who is more interesting? I have to make sure I don’t get trapped in an image of who I am supposed to be!

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What’s Changing?

Answer: Everything and quickly!

  • Access…to everything
  • Algorithms
  • Climate Changes
  • Communication
  • Cyber Exposures
  • Demographics
  • Economic
  • Energy
  • Farming
  • Financial Markets
  • Genetics
  • Internet of Things
  • Logistics
  • Longevity
  • Nanotechnology
  • Politics
  • Processing speed
  • Regulation
  • Robotics
  • Social Structures
  • Transparency
  • Transportation
  • Virtual Reality
  • Work Structure

It is important “get” that change is happening at an ever accelerated rate. It is moving to the “singularity” or the interconnectedness of everything. Robotics/computing are getting ever more sophisticated. Computers can mow laws, brew your coffee and do the anesthesiology for a colonoscopy. They are capable of facial and voice recognition and cognitive learning – the future of computerization.

All of these computers, robots and artificial intelligence will cause a great deal of disruption.

So what about your jobs are at risk?

  • High cost- cheaper to use a robot?
  • Routine tasks?
  • Direct physical interaction required?
  • Big data taking away routine decisions?
  • High cognition required? (suggestions, innovations, creativity, strategic inputs)

Adapting to Change
One way to relieve our fear about the future is to think ahead and be prepared. I believe you either eat technology or you will be eaten by technology.

What is changing in my industry?

What is changing in other industries?

What would I love to change in my industry?

Do a SWOT analysis

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunity
  • Threats

Involve all your stakeholders in answering these questions. From VC’s to the newly hired. Customers, vendors and any other stakeholder willing to contribute.

Be the Change
One day the original founders of Zappos realized that 30% of all retail transactions in the US will eventually be online; that will people will buy from the company with the best service and the best selection; and so they decided that will be that online store. They chose to be the change and made themselves rich in the process.

The Value of Ideas

  • You are ahead of the wave or being buried by it. Even better- be the wave.
  • None of us is as smart as all of us. Tap inspiration from any place you can get it.
  • Paul Allen- “The seeds of the future are always growing in the present.”
  • Incremental changes usually make the greatest difference.
  • One big idea- “To have one good idea, have a lot of them.” Edison
  • Peter Drucker- The issue is how to create value out of ideas.

Change and Human Needs
Industrial psychologist Abraham Maslow said that humans have five basic needs related to their work. Remember to motivate people based on their needs.

  • Self-Actualization
  • Ego Gratification
  • Belonging
  • Security
  • Survival

Don’t Let Them Play Victim with You
When we move people from their victimology there are three steps we can take as leaders:

  • Coax- We can only address change one step at a time. So this is where we ask “What is the first safe step… let’s try this and see how it feels.” Education is always a great first safe step.
  • Encourage – make these people feel good about themselves as they go through the change. Do that by finding the good in them. Where they have been placed in a position of change and learned how to adapt to it. Bring that energy over from where they have it to where they need it.
  • Inspire them – by telling them stories about a more powerful future and working backwards from there. Spend some time in that future place. Make it as real as possible.

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