Recently I had a conversation with Sergio, the President of a company in Peru. When asked about what he had to accomplish in 2009 he answered, “We have to do business as usual in a very different way.”

Sergio is a gifted leader who understands something many leaders miss: If you’re going to succeed in 2009, the word “usual” must be synonymous with “different”. The leaders who can effectively develop this wisdom in their teams will win.

Standing in the way of this critical mindset shift is a big, hairy elephant. Most people prefer routines. When elements and variables are constant, it creates the illusion of security. But more than ever, “status quo” means “no go.” Therefore, how does “change” become “business as usual”?

One of the primary reasons your company can have a competitive advantage is because most other organizations will sabotage their best efforts: They’ll push their leaders “to communicate more.” They’ll use the “blah-blah-blah” telling method of preaching why people must shift their paradigms and change how they approach their job.

The only change this creates is an increase in resentment the masses have for their supervisors.

The mindset shift happens when the people doing the work get to experience the need for achieving the shift. You can accomplish this new understanding by:

  1. …regularly building confidence in others by celebrating achievements – and asking them why what they’re doing is working.
  2. …pushing change out to where it needs to happen: the front line. This is done by asking for people’s ideas on the spot, the moment change is needed.
  3. …by tapping into and leveraging motivations. People have strong reasons for wanting to succeed. Give them a chance to satisfy those reasons, and…

…you guarantee that “business as usual” will always be different.



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