Embracing Change in a Smart Way Ensures the Survival of Your Business

This fall I am turning the big three-zero. Some fear change, but I say bring it on. As I leave my 20’s behind (and grow out of my 20’s BE-hind), I am reminded to embrace the change. Change is good. Change is the fundamental item that drives life forward. Paraphrasing Darwin: Survival is not determined by who is the biggest, fastest, or strongest, but by who can best adapt to change. Businesses work in the same way. Your business climate is constantly changing; competitors enter the market, new technologies are created, and foreign geographies open up. Your business’s survival comes down to how

well you can adapt.

So in the honor of change, or lack there of, I would like to share a story I picked up at my previous job. In full disclosure, I am not sure who deserves the proper credit for this story, but it’s not me.

A mom and daughter are cooking a meatloaf when the daughter asks, “Mom, why do you cut off each end of the meatloaf before cooking?” Puzzled, she replies, “Well I do it because that’s the way your grandma made it. We should ask her.” So the mom and the daughter call Grandma and ask, “Grandma, why do you cut the ends off when cooking meatloaf?” Grandma answered “Well that’s the why my mom did it.” So together they all call Great Grandma in the nursing home; “Great Grandma, why do we cut the ends off of our meatloaf before we cook it?” And Great Grandma laughs and answers, “Well I am not sure why you do it, but I did it because I didn’t have a pan big enough to cook it.”

The lesson here is that just because something has worked in the past – a process, document, or org structure, for example – it doesn’t mean it’s right. “The Family Meatloaf Recipe” exists in every organization, find and fix yours.

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