25 Oct Five Ways to Create Change for the Better
“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.”
The Writing by Design team has been making some changes around the office lately: staff has relocated or pursued other opportunities, and new employees have come on board. As a result, we’ve shifted workloads and even reconfigured our office space to make room for our growing team.
Heading into a period of change can feel daunting, but our recent adjustments have reminded me how revitalizing taking a new tack can be from time to time. Team members rise to the occasion and stretch their skills through new opportunities. Shifting workloads may give rise to new, efficient processes. And, working in a new environment may even invigorate a team’s creativity.
Busy teams in particular risk falling into an overloaded work cycle that can be difficult to break free from. Certain strategic changes can help businesses ward off these ruts and instead seize the opportunity to discover new creativity and agility.
Five ways to create healthy changes and steer clear of ruts.
1. Take time to learn something new.
Learning is vitally important to our well-being. Reading can help reduce feelings of stress, cognitive activity can help delay symptoms of Alzheimer’s and learning new skills can delay declines in memory in older age. In addition, investments in education are almost never wasted, and new ideas and ways of thinking can help pull us out of patterns and habits that no longer serve us.
Taking time to learn is often easier said than done, however. This is usually how it goes: you book a luncheon or professional development event with high hopes, but when the day arrives, you find yourself stressed out trying to clear your schedule and feeling a bit ambivalent about the event. Once you actually GO, however, you leave feeling refreshed and invigorated, and you remember why you signed up in the first place.
Making learning a priority for you and your team can lead to positive growth and change for your business, so schedule that webinar, challenge the team to read a book and discuss as a group, or find a mentor or business coach who can help you see things from a new perspective.
2. Dust off your marketing/strategic plan… or make one.
Once upon a time in 2018 you had grand plans for all you wanted to do and accomplish in 2019. You put it all down in writing, set goals and metrics for your tactics, and then… life happened. Just creating the plan in the first place was a huge step forward, but keeping up with it day-to-day and week-to-week can be tough. Go ahead and block some time on your calendar to pull up the plan and see how you’ve done this year. You may have accomplished more than you think, plus you still have two months to check off some items and prep a plan for 2020.
Never made the plan in the first place? All is not lost! Now is the perfect time to put together the plan for next year. You have time to evaluate where you are and where you want the business to be so you can hit the ground running in the new year.
3. Look back to set a new path ahead.
Instead of only looking forward through strategizing and planning, maybe it’s time to do some digging. Taking time to analyze reports, review the numbers, or track metrics can feel counterproductive, but the information that can be gleaned from reviewing financials, processes and past projects can stop you from continuing to make costly mistakes.
4. Invest in tools to streamline work.
Every day at work, you engage in those repetitive motions that could be done better, faster, cheaper. These tasks by themselves don’t take much time, but they always seem to get pushed off until you have no choice but to complete them, and then they often pull you away from more important work.
Now’s your chance to invest a little time (and money) into clearing these tasks from your plate. From project management software to team file sharing platforms, businesses of all types have a rich market of online tools to choose from to help trim the fat from their operations.
Finding time to market your business amid day-to-day demands can be particularly challenging. It may be time for some help on that blog post or to set up that paid search campaign. Reach out to the experts (shameless Writing by Design plug) to help you strategically and affordably promote your business, so you can get back to the work needed to keep operations running smoothly.
5. Harness a change of scenery.
Changing the way you think can be tough if you’re staring at the same four walls every day, so why not mix it up? For smaller-scale operations, maybe it’s time for a move to new office space that better suits your current ways of working, as well as where your team is headed. If you have empty offices, it could be time to downsize or embrace mobility. If you’re bursting at the seams, consider exploring an Alternative Workplace Strategy.
Change of workplace not in the cards? Redecorate! Move your office furniture around, switch up your wall décor, organize your desk drawer into ROYGBIV—whatever it takes for you to walk in the next day with a fresh frame of mind and the drive to look at your work from a new perspective.
Embracing change requires goals, determination, and a sense of humor—and there’s no time like the present to cultivate a change-ready mindset. While we often think of spring as the time for cleaning house over fall, watching the leaves turn and feeling the air cool can help us evaluate the status quo. We can look at what’s working and what’s not and challenge our fear of change so our businesses can grow in fresh new ways in the year to come.
Need help making the most of a changing business environment? Writing by Design offers strategy services to help companies get the lay of the land and plot a course ahead for marketing and communications. We can even plug in to your busy team to help accelerate your speed in getting there! Learn more about our strategy capabilities.
With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business and more than 11 years of diverse marketing experience, Tara understands that clear communication is the key to customer satisfaction. Whether it’s consumer product goods, higher education, insurance, or healthcare, developing a solid strategy that leads to concise, targeted messaging creates a framework for successful projects and sustainable growth. Tara is experienced in writing copy, designing ads and recording radio spots, and is responsible for leading the Writing by Design team and its clients through each communications project.