Join Allie & Erin on the improve it! couch to chat about change, what it means to them, how "change" is synonymous with small businesses, and a few tips for those going through professional change!
Feel free to listen in via podcast, or get the highlights from the conversation below!
Curious how to apply the improve it! methodology to your own dreams? Check out our "Initiating Change" DIY Coaching Curriculum here as a part of our improve You! Series.
On what they think of when they hear the word “change”:
Erin: I think of buzzwords, innovation, growth, opportunity. But really – can I be cheesy? – I think of improve it! Because every day is different. Some days are a little similar but every day there’s a different thing happening, and I think since 2016 when you started here we have changed about 100 different things. But I think change is vital for organizations to change and grow.
On why they have such a positive outlook on change:
Erin: I moved a lot growing up to different cities – I went to elementary school in one place and high school in another place and went to college across the country. I just always had to move and adapt, and my husband is the same way. So I think for us, we are flexible because we had to be.
On encountering change with their clients:
Erin: I think a lot of people have change fatigue because there’s too much change happening too quickly or a lot of people have new leadership and they’re becoming change adverse. Or there’s that change management piece where – they know that it’s going to be work and they shut down. But they rise to the change.
On why it’s important for improve it! to be synonymous with “change”:
Erin: We’re a start-up, so we’re lean and we’re mean (well, not mean - we're very positive) machine. If you get used to doing one thing a certain way and it’s not providing the right results you have to adapt. So I think change and adaption are the same word – adaption sounds nicer.
Allie: Because "change" sounds like its happening to you, and "adaption" sounds like you’re doing something about it.
Erin: Yes. I would say we "adapt" a lot versus "change." … I think that data tells that story. So when we’re looking at the data and not seeing the numbers we want to see we have to adapt. … Any start up has to be synonymous with "change." You can either adapt and grow your business or you can stay the same and fail.
On advice for those going through significant professional change:
Erin: I would say, breathe. The first thing to do is to hone in on you as a person and a professional. It’s important to get really still as change is happening. Either meditate or take a walk or just do something that isn’t in the experience of change, where you’re feeling the change at work and you’re surrounded by all this change. Take a day off and sit and go somewhere that is your happy healing place and listen to what you’re feeling. For me, that place is water. If I’m around an ocean or a lake, I feel calm and at peace. I take the time and ask myself “is this change going to better me as a person, is it going to benefit the organization as a whole.” And if so, move forward with it.
If in my gut I really feel like its not the right decision for me, then scrap it. And figure out another opportunity that’s the right fit. Because sometimes change isn’t right for you. …It’s important to understand for you as an individual what’s important to you, what your values are and if you can handle that change. If it’s going to make you and the organization better, go for it. If not, course correct and find what’s best for you.
On what change makes them excited:
Erin: We’re in a program right now (10KSB). Remember the first day I was scared? I was nervous. And now I have this cohort of 28 other business owners. And I’m really excited, because it accumulates as a growth plan for our business. I think our internal team is all onboard for where we’re going and I’m excited because there’s going to be change but it’s all good change. I mean, there’s risk involved no matter what we do. But I think the opportunity outweighs the negatives there. It is exciting to think about where we will be five years for now as an organization and in terms of geographic location and employees and in terms of growth in general. Growth to me is good change, and I think that’s what really excites me. …To me ideas and innovation are so exciting. John and I have been known to be at a dinner after a couple cocktails just scheming – change is something exciting.