"When you're finished changing, you're finished."
Ben Franklin may not have been an entrepreneur by trade, but his words echo today more than ever before. This is the fastest-changing communications and technology landscape we've ever been in. Twenty years ago, you probably didn't have an email address, and now it's hard to imagine life (or your business) without email. Ten years ago, Facebook didn't exist, and now one-and-a-quarter billion people and millions of businesses use it to communicate.
Even if you're not directly involved in the communications or technology industries, there's no doubt that technology has played a huge role in changes in your industry. These changes mean you, as an entrepreneur, have to change!
You can choose to change with the times, take advantage of new opportunities in your industry and grow your business. Or you can fight the changes, refuse to adapt, and watch your business likely perish.
But change is very hard, for us, as individuals, and perhaps even more difficult for organizations. The status quo can be so much more comfortable. I've written before about the power of inspiring quotations to move us and others to action. Here, then, are 11 more quotes to help inspire you to embrace change for yourself and your business, to adapt, to grow and to win.
1. It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. --Charles Darwin
2. Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win. --Max McKeown
3. The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings. --Kakuzo Okakaura
4. Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation. --Mahatma Gandhi
5. You can't build an adaptable organization without adaptable people--and individuals change only when they have to, or when they want to. --Gary Hamel
6. People will try to tell you that all the great opportunities have been snapped up. In reality, the world changes every second, blowing new opportunities in all directions, including yours. --Ken Hakuta
7. Learn to adjust yourself to the conditions you have to endure, but make a point of trying to alter or correct conditions so that they are most favorable to you. --William Frederick Book
8. All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns. --Bruce Lee
9. A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it. --Chinese Proverb
10. The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change. --Bill Clinton
11. Each of us has the opportunity to change and grow until our very last breath. Happy creating. --M.F. Ryan
Business author Alan Deutschman popularized the business catchphrase, "Change or die." So I'll close with my own, more positive spin on this:
Change or die? I'll choose life! How about you?