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February 05, 2009

Change is inevitable growth is optional ...

charles darwinCharles Darwin: 1809 - 1882

I was tinkering on the computer last night, when, thanks to the joys of Facebook, an old friend from the music industry, who I hadn’t spoken to for ages, popped up on the instant messaging asking how I was doing.

It was great to catch up with her after so long, but it quickly became apparent that her life had changed dramatically. She told me that she had recently taken voluntary redundancy from her long-term job in the record industry. Her partner was also about to be made redundant from the computer games industry.

Far from being depressed, my friend saw this as a wonderful opportunity to welcome this change with open arms, and to challenge herself and reinvent herself. “I’m finally writing that novel that I’ve had trapped inside me all these years” she told me. I can see the smile on her face as she wrote that.

It takes a lot of courage to let go of the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer relevant. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, and, in embracing change, there is tremendous power.

When you have real passion for something, and your drive to learn is ignited, there is no limit to what you can achieve either on a personal level or in business.

Your creativity sparks.

Attending various networking events and via Ecademy, we are constantly meeting corporate refugees who are struggling to come to terms with this grave new world.

It seems people, society, technology, economies, business and even the weather are all changing rapidly making these exciting times! If you can embrace these changes and implement them, anything is possible.

As Eric Hoffer once said, “In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists”.

When it comes to dealing with change, unleashing your creativity is one of your greatest weapons, but it has to have a receptive audience.

If everyone around you is sure the economy is failing, that the end is near, that time is up and the country is headed for the tubes, it's almost impossible to find a way forwards.

Creativity changes the game, whatever game is being played. "We're going to run out of cash by the end of the year," is accurate unless you count creativity into the equation. Then the accurate statement is, "Under the current rules and assumptions, we're going to run out of cash..." Big difference.

In describing today's accelerating changes, the media fire blips of unrelated information at us. Experts bury us under mountains of narrowly specialized and often contradictory statistics. Popular forecasters present lists of unrelated trends, without any model to show us their interconnections or the forces likely to reverse them. As a result, change itself comes to be seen as anarchic, even lunatic, something to be frightened of. Like the “rabbit in the headlights” mechanism, people freeze in fear and do nothing.

In these challenging times, change is inevitable, growth is optional.

Hence the importance of networking to get the truth. Connect with the people at the forefront of change in your industry or arena. Learn from them.

You might think “now is not a good time to get involved in property” until you count creativity into the equation and change your strategies accordingly.

Creativity demands exposure to market needs, and insulation from market fears. Give it some time to work, some support, some breathing room. That's when creativity has a chance to change the game.

As it is the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, it seems appropriate to end with one of his famous and enduring quotations:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”.

Are you going to be a dinosaur in this grave new world, or are you going to adapt and evolve to survive?

Register here for this weekends networking event ...


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