Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Embrace Change, Beware of Change (Part 1)

97% of all paying employment will change in the next 50 years.

I just made that statistic up.

But it doesn't matter what the numbers are, we live in an era of change where the technology will make some peoples lives better, others lives will become worse.

What determines if your life becomes better or worse?

The way you handle change.

The changes will occur outside of your control.

So you cannot stop the changes, only learn how to adapt.

Let's take the coffee shop I'm sitting in right now.

The Firefly has been around since 1999. Some of the original employees still work here. Others have come and gone but are part of the Firefly family.

A few years ago they added a second location in the downtown library but it didn't feel right so they shut it down.

They still grind their own coffee and use the non-automated equipment to "pull shots" of espresso. Starbucks is a different story. Starbucks automates as much as possible to create consistency in all of their worldwide locations.

So the Firefly has developed consistency by training their employees to do things the "Firefly way".

The Firefly has also embraced change by adding an arts & crafts section so people can browse and purchase some unique gifts while they are waiting for their beverage.

The Firefly also has free wi-fi, one of the first public venues to do so. They encourage loitering as long as you buy something. Ever been in a restaurant for 2 hours without getting some hostile looks from the staff?

One of the owners is a talented carpenter and he has built and designed furniture and also their latest addition, a three compartment recycling center for plastics, paper, and regular trash.

There are regulars who come in every day or every week. They have a winning formula.

Contrast this with a former coworker of mine who worked in the plastics industry for years and was resistant to change. He liked his job at one time, but as the plant evolved, he resisted, and as a result, he was replaced since the job he use to do did not exist and he never trained for a new one.

I'll take this one step further today.

Your clients and customers (The Marketplace) have embraced the internet in multiple forms as part of the new normal.

No, not everyone has a smart phone, and everyone is not on Facebook. But the world continues to move the web and related communication tools into the mainstream.

Which means if you don't have a website, you are out of business to many of your customers.

If your website has not been updated in the past 3 years, you are out of business to many of your customers.

If you are not participating in social media, you are out of business to many of your customers.
Next week, a few warnings about change.

Your comments are always welcome.


  1. Is that Brenn in the background?

  2. Yes, that picture is from at least a year ago.