Resolve to Embrace Change – by Brian O’Neill

Brian O'Neill
FIS | Chief Client Officer, IFS
Posted on February 1, 2018

light bulb on chalk board

As humans, we are biologically programmed to resist change. But studies show that our aversion to change can be dangerous. After all, everything in life is dynamic. If we’re not prepared for change, we cannot easily adapt to – let alone embrace – unknowns that lie ahead.

In a world where creativity and new responses to challenges can be so important, it is vital that we make 2018 the year of embracing change.

Overcoming the change challenge

Few people are wired to view change as an adventure.

When people with limited skills face great challenges, their anxiety levels are high. Conversely, when extremely skilled people face a little challenge, their boredom sets in. Becoming more skillful helps overcome the challenge of change but, shifting one’s mindset to view change as embarking on a new adventure eases anxiety surrounding change.

“Without change, there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.” William Pollard

Fortunately, social connections help us navigate change. Friends and co-workers can help us maintain our resolve and hold us accountable for our outcomes, thus improving our focus on change as well as our ability to overcome it.

Resolve to be different

From my perspective, resolving to be different means committing to experimentation, being willing to suffer the discomfort of change, to speak up, to take ownership, to challenge the status quo, to achieve better outcomes and to embrace creativity.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Albert Einstein

And so much of that is imperative for business success. A study conducted by Forrester Research for Adobe concluded:

  • Companies that foster creativity achieve better revenue growth. 58 percent of creative companies posted double-digit year-over-year (YOY) revenues – something only 20 percent of less creative companies achieved.
  • Creative companies have higher market shares.
  • Creative companies foster a work environment that leads to high performance.
  • Creative companies beat less creative ones by a three-to-one ratio when it comes to grabbing national attention, such as winning awards.

Most importantly, we must recognize that willingness to change and embrace creativity is a shared responsibility between employees and their organizations. Employers must reward creativity in the workplace in order to achieve its payoff. That means:

  • Including business goals around creative outcomes
  • Collaborating with customers
  • Employing executives who are willing to give new ideas priority and funding

To crush the status quo, we must resolve to be different and disrupt ourselves.

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Brian O'Neill
FIS | Chief Client Officer, IFS

Brian’s extensive experience in sales, marketing, operations and client relations make him uniquely adept to face the challenges that face today’s financial industry. In addition to his other roles, Brian has played key executive leadership roles in healthcare and in the consumer packaged goods space, helping him to gain a broad business perspective.