Let’s face it. The corporate environment is changing at a dizzying speed. Breakthrough technologies are radically shifting the way we live and do business.
Companies are forced to initiate change in order to respond to new customer needs and stay competitive.
You now have to squeeze all you can out of the few resources you still have available. On top of that, you are expected to provide better customer service, better quality, and at faster speeds.
Well, your customers or clients are more demanding than ever. They now have far more choices than in the past. They have less patience and tolerance.
The competition is getting fiercer. Because the digital revolution has lowered the barrier to entry in practically every field, the smaller players can afford to snatch customers from the big players on a dime.
It’s obvious that today’s workplaces have real problems that are begging for real solutions.
So, what does that all mean to you?
It means that if you want to succeed and be indispensable in today’s corporate environment, you have to become a real problem solver. Otherwise, you’re an unnecessary dead weight.
Be Indispensable Or They’ll Dispense With You
To be indispensable and relevant in today’s corporate arena, you must be a multi-dimensional thinker.
You see, most people look at problems and challenges with a static and linear mindset. They don’t know how to unleash their imagination. I call them one-dimensional thinkers.
I’ll use a story from my life to illustrate this point.
In 1983, I arrived in the US with $5, two shirts and one pair of pants. I didn’t speak any English. As you might guess, I had to deal with some disruptive and disturbing changes.
Simply learning how to communicate was like climbing Mount Everest for me. It was tough. But I dared to face the challenge with an open mind and bulldog tenacity. As a result…
After a few short years, I was living the “American Dream.” I was on the speaking circuit motivating employees in Fortune 500 companies all over North America.
Considering my humble beginning in a tiny and impoverished village in Haiti, this was a spectacular feat. And here’s the real kicker…
I had zero connections and resources. You could say I knew how to do more with less. In fact, I still do.
And if you’re willing to open your mind and let me enter, I will share my secrets with you—secrets that willmake you indispensable during your company’s mergers and acquisitions. Secrets that’ll help you thrive in times of transition and change.
So, what are these secrets?
1- Approach Problems With A New Paradigm
The dictionary defines a paradigm as a group of ideas about how something should be done, made, or thought about.
Based on that definition, it makes sense that we each have our paradigm when it comes to problem-solving.
Most people, however, have a very narrow or myopic paradigm. They try to solve problems within a small box. They never challenge themselves to think outside of it.
I’d like to challenge you to step now outside of that small box and consider the following:
The flip side of a problem is the solution. It’s like flipping a coin. One side is always attached to the other. The problem is attached to the solution.
The difference is in your paradigm or your idea regarding how a problem should be solved. To put it simply, if you open your mind up and shift your paradigm, new solutions will follow.
So, how do change your paradigm? To change your paradigm, you need to ask yourself powerful questions that elicit powerful answers.
Whenever you are facing a tough challenge or change, ask yourself these three questions:
Question number one: “What are my opportunities for this change?”
Question number two: “What are my risks?”
Question number three: “What else can I do to overcome this challenge?”
As you ask yourself the first two questions notice that your opportunities often outweigh your risks. Notice, also, that the last question keeps revealing more and more answers.
Don’t stop at the first, second, third, or even the fourth answer. Thousands of possibilities exist. Just keep asking yourself, “What else can I do to overcome this challenge?”
By the way, I highly encourage you to create three lists and write down as many answers as possible to the above questions.
2- Have A 360-Degree Perspective
Creative people look at a problem or challenge as if it is a ball. They spin it and inspect it from every side until they find opportunities or solutions.
This is how you look at a problem with a 360º mindset and find the possibilities during organizational change.
Let me make a quick point here…
There were many young people who arrived in the US around the same time I did. Most of them struggled within the first year of the change process and gave up.
They settled for just about anything that was convenient. They chose the path of least resistance.
Because they failed to see the possibilities and opportunities this great country offers. They were asking themselves the wrong questions.
On the other hand, I struggled just the same. But, instead of giving up I kept asking myself one question: “How can I succeed in this country?” Simply put, I had a different perspective.
I read countless books on success until I found the answers to that one question.
At the time, we were living in Miami. And the other guys were thinking: Miami. That’s all they could see.
But I didn’t just see Miami or the state of Florida. That’s limited thinking. I saw the United States of America—a vast land of opportunity.
The short explanation is that I looked at my challenges with a 360º mindset. I spun my problems around like a ball and carefully analyzed every side to uncover more solutions and opportunities.
But the bottom line is you can only see what you are prepared to see!
Let me be a bit more specific.
Your Brain Is Lazy By Default
If your brain has to choose between work and rest, it will choose the rest. Look at it this way:
If you could get everything you want without doing any work, you would settle for that. Right?
The thing is if you allow your brain to take the path of least resistance, it will take it. You have to force it to think of more ways to solve your problems.
Let’s say your company is going through a merger or acquisition. By continuing to ask yourself the three questions I listed above, you can discover thousands of possibilities and opportunities.
That’s the key difference between those that achieve massive success and those that continue to struggle in a dead-end position or situation. That’s why some make it to the c-suite level and others don’t.
3- Unlearn And Relearn
Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
Basically, you can’t remain the same old you and expect to succeed in a world that is so radically different. New challenges require new knowledge.
If you are stuck on a problem, seek new and pertinent knowledge to stimulate your brain for answers. Discard your old self and reinvent who you are to deal with your current challenges
There’s a reason dinosaurs are no longer roaming the planet. They couldn’t adapt to change.
But here’s the good news: you are not a dinosaur. You can continue reequipping and reinventing yourself to survive and thrive in the new corporate environment.
I’m sure you already know this: you cannot expect to stay relevant today with yesterday’s mentality.
You have to be willing to unlearn and relearn new relevant information to get new and fresh insights. Glean ideas from books, trainings, and mentoring relationships.
Maybe one-dimensional thinking worked in the past. But I promise you, it’s not going to work in this new and complex world.
If you continue to look at your problems and challenges from the same angle, you are guaranteed to create the same results.
If you want to be indispensable, be a problem solver. Never look at your situation in a static and one-dimensional manner.
There are, indeed, thousands of ways to overcome anything if you’ll open your mind to new possibilities. But as I said before, you can only see what you are prepared to see.