Sunday, 27 September 2009

Change has changed

THIS phrase was coined by the Hip-Hop World Awards, in 2008. They changed and challenged our perception of red carpet by introducing the yellow carpet. Many celebrities unwound at their beach party, which some of them confessed was awesome. When you change your concepts, you produce awesome results.
The more we grow, the more we change. The more we learn, the more we change. Change is a feature of every organization and managers may need the ability to implement change, to engender growth.
Change helps to achieve better results. If you are not achieving the result you sought in some areas of your life, it is high time you changed.
By changing your approach, you can explore other ways to achieve better results. Five years ago, for instance, there were no DVD.
If you wanted to watch 50 films, you would buy 50 video compact disc (VCD). But with DVDs you can have 50 films in one ‘plate.’
The same effort will yield the same result. If you want to get different results, you have to change your approach to problem solving.

Change starts from your thoughts. There is an ageless truth that when you change your thoughts; your life will change. Organisations can no longer dwell on conventional ideas. Yesterday’s thoughts may not be relevant today. In the words of Albert Einstein “The thinking that has brought me this far has already caused some problems that this level of thinking can’t solve.”

What does not work needs to be changed. Look at areas of your life where you are not getting tangible results. Take note of the actions you took in the past. Since it is not effective, plan a different action. Chances are, you will get a different result.

Your situation will not change if you don’t change. Barely a year ago, I decided to change the way I run my interpersonal skills trainings for corporate organizations. Then, I only teach participants the core skills they need to learn, with practical syndicated sessions, where participants can test the skills they are learning.

The major draw back then, was that I didn’t have a manual for my training. Participants only need to jot down some ideas. Now, my interpersonal skill manual helps participants to remember the skills they have learnt. Truth is, people may forget as much as 75 per cent of what they have learnt after four days. Materials serve as reminder.

Persistence leads to frustration. Here is a puzzle: “How long will it take for a deaf person to hear what you are saying?” It may take a lifetime. Talking louder will not make a deaf person hear what you are saying.

Persistence and change helps to get better results. If you decide to change your medium of communication, you may get your message across to the deaf person. You can use sign language. Here is a formula for getting optimum result that I discovered recently.
Persistence + Change = Success

Change your direction if you are stuck. If you are traveling on the wrong road, no matter how fast you are, you won’t get to the right destination. You have to discover the right path to your destiny. It may be late, when, after getting to he destination you realize you are in the wrong place. Change.

Change your approach until you achieve success. Explore other ways of doing things. Perhaps, there may be better ways to get dressed to the office. There is a better way to do almost everything you are doing right now. A wise man once said “Maintenance culture is a stagnant culture. It is improvement that counts.”
In conclusion, when you have to communicate change, let others see what they stand to benefit. Change helps you to achieve better result, hence, the need to always change your approach.

Rebranding our manners
On the eve of our almost half a century anniversary as a nation, we must stop to consider how far we’ve come as a people. While this is going on at the national and governmental levels, we should not lose sight of the individual, personal angle to it.
At the national level, we have the Rebrand Nigeria Project which is on-going with our charismatic Minister of Information and Communications, Prof Dora Akunyili, at the fore front. Much has been written and said about that initiative and these are beyond our scope here. The aspect of it that concerns us here is the connection between personal manners (or lack of it) and national reputation (or lack of it, too). In other words, how individual misbehavior translates to national reputation. It has been rightly said that it is the actions of the few bad eggs among us that give us our bad name. This is so because bad news travels faster than good news.
Also, Western societies and media have their default modes set on the negatives from Africa and Africans. If not, why wont the exploits of the Kanu Nwankwos, Obafemi Martins, Ayegbenis, Yobos, Babayaros and others who have done well in the English Premier League be sufficient to give Nigeria a good image in the U.K? Why should our Yahoo-Yahoo con art outshine our other less deleterious artistic exports including paintings and artifacts? Why should the activities of a few credit card scammers in the U.S eclipse the excellence of Nigerian medical doctors, lecturers and students in the same country? It is all about believing what one wants to believe.
It is also about making corporate progress such as will shut up your critics. Years ago, to be called an Indian businessman was pejorative. Those Indians that taught in our school system were the butt of jokes. In one case it was said that when it was time to apply for a car loan, the Indian chose to apply for a bicycle loan instead because a car for him was unthinkable in his country. What we didn’t see even in that joke was the delayed gratification exhibited by Indians while we lived it up on borrowed robes.
Today, India is at the vanguard of emerging markets, is a nuclear power, an ICT destination and a flourishing democracy. Who dares talk down on the Indian today? When foreign aid was pouring in for Tsunami victims of 200.. India proudly asked donors not to bother with her. That’s where Nigeria should be. The moment Nigeria as a nation can become an economic and technological power, all our bad names will fizzle out.
The Nigerian has the greatness chip embedded in him. Our leaders have to try to find the right code to crack that and set loose that potential. Our greatness can move from potential to reality with the right leadership. But before that happens, can we become the change we desire in our individual manners? The government has nothing to do with your road manners or cell phone manners, for example. And our electricity situation does not have to improve before you learn not to drop trash on the streets – abi? This is wishing all Nigerians a manner-ful national day. Nigeria: Good People, Great Nation!

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