There’s a great quote by the American business thinker Tony Robbins about change: “Change is inevitable, progress is optional.” Here at Holborn Assets, we think that’s a powerful statement, and one that is a great starting point when it comes to thinking about how we all react to and cope with the changing world around us. Here are our thoughts.

Change happens: accept it

That first part of Robbins’ quote is a statement that we can probably all agree with – both in terms of our own personal lives and in our professional experience too. Change is everywhere, whether it’s moving house, starting a new job, working for a different boss or launching a business venture. Nothing stays the same – market conditions change, customer preferences are fickle, economies and markets go up and down.

And yet, so often, we try to resist this. In our organisations, change is too often seen as a threat, and something external that is forcing its way in and disrupting the way things have ‘always been done’. Of course, not all change is good – but we’d agree all change is an opportunity for making progress, as Robbins says.

Change is an opportunity, not a threat

Why? Well, firstly, because it can have a liberating effect on the way we work. Embracing change – whatever it is – means we can look at focusing only on what we’re doing now, rather than looking back at how things were or worrying about how things will be. If we accept the reality of change, we accept that things were once one way, and that they may be another way in the future – but understand that for now, in reality, the only thing we can really control is what we’re working on now.

That in itself is an opportunity for great focus – a quality that we could all benefit from bringing to our work. If we’re happy to adapt to new situations as they come up, and not hang on to old ways of doing things, we can work more flexibly and in a way that is more agile and responsive to the needs of the moment.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we should just make things up as we go along, or not have a strategy for our future success – rather, we’d suggest, just that this understanding and acceptance of the inevitability of change should be hard-wired into those plans.

Change happens – and understanding the opportunities this presents can take our businesses to the next level.