Next Is Now

5 Steps for Embracing Change—Building a Business That Thrives into the Future

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About The Book

One of the world’s leading authorities on customer-centric business transformation, Lior Arussy—founder and CEO of the global consulting firm Strativity Group—offers “a revolutionary, yet pragmatic guide to not only managing change, but driving and thriving in a world of cataclysmic explosions of information and technology” (Joseph Michelli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leading the Starbucks Way).

The old business model of adapting to change for continued success is dead. Change is the new normal. There are no more periods of stability and predictability. There is only change. This continuous upheaval can undercut morale, decrease productivity and decimate profits, or it can be a game-changing opportunity.

In Next Is Now, “Lior Arussy provides a comprehensive and instructive roadmap for leading change and preparing yourself and your organization for the future. He generously shares insider insights, examples, and lessons learned from his many years advising top business leaders.” (Denise Lee Yohn, author of What Great Brands Do). He helps corporate leaders and their employees view change as an opportunity to become invested, drive that change, and achieve more success and job satisfaction than if change were simply implemented from the top down.

Based on his experience working one-on-one with major corporate clients like Mercedes-Benz, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Thomson Reuters, HSBC and other Fortune 500 clients, Arussy shares his five-step Future Ready Impact program, guiding change-impacted employees and business owners from a victim mentality to one of participation and ownership. As Stephen Cannon, the former president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, raves, “For anyone interested in building a thriving business, Lior Arussy’s insights provide actionable steps to integrate into your plans for achieving success.”

Excerpt
Next Is Now one CHANGE RESILIENCE Connecting to Your Core Cause
Up until very recently, doctors enjoyed an undeniable prestige. After completing many years of medical school, they came to possess special skills. They were considered the healers of the human race. Their decisions were final, and patients accepted their instructions without a challenge.

Today, it is common practice for patients to show up with data collected from unknown sources on the Internet and challenge their physicians’ recommendations. Doctors find themselves justifying their advice to patients who may not have taken even a single college course, let alone have professional medical expertise. In the name of “It’s my body” and “I found it on the Internet,” patients are redefining the medical profession in ways we are still trying to fully understand.

Thanks to patient empowerment and immediate access to medical insight on the Internet, veteran physicians feel threatened. Every new resident in their hospitals can now tap into knowledge that took them years to accumulate through hard work and trial and error. The entire medical profession is going through a seismic change we have yet to see the full impact of.

And it’s not the only one.

Entire industries are disappearing and undergoing fundamental changes at a pace we have never encountered before. The music business was altered forever with the creation of iTunes and streaming services. The automobile industry is starting to feel the pinch from ride-sharing companies like Zipcar. Banking is now done online with a slew of new financial empowerment tools that turn every millennial into an educated banker. Travel agents? A distant, fading memory.

Our natural reaction to all of this change is resistance. And the more change thrown at us, the greater our resistance. If we are not future ready, we reject it. But the price of our aversion to change is a loss of marketplace relevance. It hinders our ability to continue to make an impact on a world that’s evolving faster than ever before.

When I work with companies and individuals looking to develop change resilience, I ask them to recognize the emotional aspect of change. If employees are emotionally ready for change, the chance that a new strategy will succeed is exponentially higher. After all, the human body can only handle so much change—and the same is true of an organization made up of large groups of human beings. So whether you’re leading a change at your organization or being asked to take part in one, take heart:

In this approach, we start by remembering everything that doesn’t change.

We do this by identifying our “core cause”—in other words, our individual or organizational responsibilities, our mission, our values. Your core cause is a bridge that stretches from your past or your company’s earliest days into the future. While change may seem a step out into the unknown, if your connection to your core cause is strong enough, you’ll be supported the whole way.
Redefining Authority
I love art, and have always found paintings and sculptures fascinating. And I admire the artists who create them. But when it came to Joan Miró, I got stuck. No matter what, I failed to see the greatness expressed in dots and lines drawn on a white canvas. I once spent four hours listening to an audio guide while walking about the Miró museum, in Barcelona. It didn’t help. I still failed to understand it. And I felt stupid about it, for he is one of the greats—the whole world finds him a genius, paying millions of dollars for his original masterpieces. I am confident you have your own examples of artists or even a period of art you simply fail to understand, and maybe you too feel foolish for it. After all, the authorities say he is great, so there must be something wrong with you.

In a world of external authorities telling us what is good and what is bad, defining what is beautiful and what should be ignored, what is a significant work of art and what is rubbish, we often feel passive and insignificant. However, the seismic changes we are experiencing not just with our physicians but with our clergymen, financial advisors, professors, artists, managers, salespeople, interior designers, parents, and any other force of expertise, are amounting to nothing short of redefining authorities.

In some cases, traditional centralized authorities have disappointed many people with self-serving agendas that erode trust to a point that we simply ignore them or consider their opinion with a healthy dose of suspicion.

We’ve rebelled against traditional centralized authority and have taken the reign of authority away from them. We can do it just as well as they do it. We have the research tools and a network of friends who can advise us. And when we need to, we will consult with the old guard of centralized authority, but we will make our own decisions.

A confluence of several forces brought upon the redefinition of authority. When combining the transparency and abundance of knowledge with the growth of peer-to-peer sharing and the loss of trust in traditional experts, we experience the rise of a new class of experts: us. We are the new authorities.

Authority has been decentralized.

It is distributed to all and any who want to assume it.

It is internal to us.

In the new world of us as the authority, there is a new path to knowledge. We now experience it ourselves and form our own opinions. We use products and services as tools, not as a final destination. They enlighten us and provide us with data points to consider. Our personal experience is the ultimate judge.

But. And there is a big BUT attached to this new class of authority.

Authority comes with responsibility.

As the source of authority, we ought to assume the accountability of our decisions and own the learning process. We can no longer be passive recipients of others’ ideas and decisions.

We, the decision makers, must make the best decisions.

We can no longer afford to sulk about and resist change.

We can no longer play the victim of change.

As the new authorities, we are the change and we must drive it.

The responsibility is now solely on our shoulders.

The new authority ought to proactively drive change.

And when it comes to Miró’s work, I will simply accept that it is absolutely okay for me not to get it. And most of all, as a new authority, I will feel great about that.
The Secret Ingredient of Change Resilience
Why do we do the things we do?

There are two possible reasons: either we want to or we have to. Some of our actions are driven by external rewards such as salaries, bonuses, and other incentives. Many people work because they have to—not because they want to—and their salary provides ample motivation to do whatever their boss wants them to do. But as soon as they win the lottery, they’re out the door.

When we’re intrinsically motivated, on the other hand, we do things we believe are right. We take action based on our internal compasses or value systems: we volunteer, create art, adopt a rescue animal, for instance.

External motivation makes us do things we don’t want to do.

Intrinsic motivation makes us do things we do want to do—and are proud to.

When we look in the mirror, we love the version of us who operates based on an intrinsic motivation. We often loathe the part of ourselves that is extrinsically motivated. Much has been written about the different kinds of motivation (Daniel Pink’s book Drive brought the topic well-deserved attention a few years ago), but here’s what’s most relevant when it comes to embracing the Next: when we introduce the concept of change resilience to people, most mistakenly believe it all boils down to speed. That’s part of it, but people also need to believe that change will make a difference.

For that reason, an intrinsically motivated person will have a far better chance of developing strong change resilience. That person’s pride in making an impact will be a crucial component of his or her ability to adapt to change faster.

The problem is, most organizations are not set up this way. Making room for intrinsic motivation creates a major challenge for organizations because it requires cocreation and what I call “choice-based decisions,” when the traditional organization focuses on mandates and adherence. Most companies have top-down cultures where employees are treated not as independent decision makers but as “process operators.” They might help to execute a strategy—but they don’t own it.

Unfortunately, this kind of top-down structure can be a huge hindrance to companies looking to stay relevant. Leaders need people to be flexible, take ownership. But it’s very difficult to take ownership of something that somebody else did for you.

That’s why we’ve designed a process that makes each and every individual part of the decision process. Even so, whenever we go into a new company, people tell us: “Oh, the decision to change was made from the top.” Our choice-based environment can seem disingenuous.

I’ve observed the demeanor of countless people who think change is being forced upon them. Feeling powerless, they become very passive. They internalize the message: “You don’t want my brain, you just want my hands.” When I begin work with a new company, they rarely believe that they have a choice. They feel that they’re being forced into something—that decisions are being served to them.

In fact, we do give them a choice: a) I provide them with the data points to (I hope) reach the same conclusions as their leaders, and b) I give them the choice to say, “You know what? I’m not staying on board.” We remind people that no is a choice. It is absolutely a choice.

By giving each person the opportunity to make choices based on data, we create an environment where every person is treated with respect. And we’ve seen an excellent success rate as a result. When we’re not truly committed to a change, we will search for shortcuts, complain to anyone who will listen, and make it very clear we don’t believe that we’re capable of transforming ourselves or our companies. We’ll drag our heels, put things off until tomorrow, wait until it seems safer to make a leap. This kind of behavior is the enemy of impact.
Defining Your Core Cause
Your core cause is the reason you exist. The higher purpose that drives you. It is usually defined by the people you serve or who are enjoying the benefit of your efforts: How do your customers use your product or services? What does it empower or inspire them to do? How does it make their lives better or easier? How do you treat your customers and colleagues? How do you solve their problems?

A core cause should not be confused with the tools or processes you use to help others achieve their goals. Your tools can always change and improve. Your core cause will remain constant.

 For teachers, a core cause might be to educate and inspire, not the tests and quizzes they give.

 For police officers, it is the creation of a sense of safety and security, not the number of arrests they’ve made.

 For bankers, it is the creation of financial confidence among their clients, not the spreadsheets or formulas they use.

 For health-care providers, it is the sense of hope in the eyes of a patient, not the injection or stethoscope used in the treatment.

Unfortunately, many people associate their work with the tools they use and not the reason they are using those tools. They get buried in the weeds of their day-to-day jobs and fail to see the impact they’re having on customers.

Even if your work does not allow you to see or speak to them regularly, you do have customers. What’s more, anyone who lives with the consequences of your actions is someone you have the opportunity to serve and help. That includes your colleagues—your boss, those who report to you, the finance manager who needs to decipher your expense sheet—as well as all the people you come into contact with on a daily basis.

The quality of your work, your attitude, and your behavior have a direct impact on their lives and happiness. You can either take a passive approach, blaming tools and processes for poor outcomes. Or you can take a proactive approach: use the tools you’ve been given in service of your core cause. Ask yourself:

 Will I let new processes, tools, and systems control me?

 Or will I take an active role in using them to help others?

When you feel deeply connected to your core cause, specific tools and processes lose their power over you. As a banker who accepts deposits and dispenses cash, you would feel threated by new banking apps. But as a banker committed to helping people fulfill their dreams, you will see how the evolution of your tools helps you do your job well. After all, the tools you’ve been using seemingly forever were new once. Once you would have used an abacus, then a calculator, then a computer. Just because it’s time to add mobile apps into the mix doesn’t mean the banker’s role has changed.

The tools will always evolve.

The core cause will not.
The Change-Prevention Program
You know those people who, no matter what you initiate, will always find a way to kill new ideas? We call them the “change-prevention program” people. (They are the cousins of the “sales-prevention program” people who create obstacles to success for salespeople.) They are out there and they cost us our future. In a world of big, constant changes, we can no longer tolerate their behavior and the consequences of their negative, delaying actions. We simply cannot allow them to control the future of the organization and ourselves.

Each time David sent an e-mail or used Microsoft Word, he was playing a small but vital part in an all-out corporate rebellion—and he wasn’t alone. Together, he and his colleagues in the customer service department of a $13 billion global industrial manufacturing company were waging war against the executives who were trying to foist a new ordering system upon them without their input.

Now, there was good reason for the proposed change. The industrial products sold by the company were patented—so if something broke, customers would need a replacement right away or a huge piece of machinery would sit dormant for days. In some instances, a customer might lose two million dollars because David’s company failed to deliver a fifty-dollar widget in time.

After receiving multiple customer complaints, the company’s leaders realized they needed a new integrated software system. But here’s where they made a crucial mistake—management selected and installed the software without first consulting their employees. A company was hired to guide implementation of the new tool, and training was delivered with a very clear attitude: “Shape up or ship out.”

But David and his colleagues were not planning to go down quietly. They rebelled. They threatened to miss their targets on purpose if they were forced to use the new system. Ultimately, executive leadership was forced to decide between their sales goals and the new software. The decision they made was a no-brainer: they relented. The new software became optional—which meant that almost no employee used it, and millions of dollars and the promise of a better, more modern way of serving customers were lost.

When my team and I started working with the company, they were embarking on an even bigger change—this time, they were implementing an enterprise management system (SAP) to automate operations, track customers’ orders, and invoice customers automatically upon shipment of their products. By then, the employees were ready for the fight. They knew what was coming and were prepared to resist until the bitter end. And they were optimistic about their win. After all, the score thus far was in their favor—Change: 0; Employees: 1. And they were energized to repeat their success.

We clearly needed to try something different.

We first asked each employee to think about the impact of the new system. We developed a process that helped them realize on their own that this tool would be important for the future of the company. But we didn’t stop there.

We dug deeper and realized that employees were resisting the new technology because they were attached to, and very proud of, the Word and Excel templates they had developed over the years to assist them in their work. They saw themselves and their success through the lens of those tools. It was as if they were losing a limb—a clear threat to their ability to succeed in the future.

Once he learned more about the new software, however, David had an epiphany. He realized that he is not measured by the tools he uses but rather by the impact he makes on his customers. The true measure of success was his ability to move customers emotionally and to develop good relationships with them. And there were many ways for David to achieve that goal.

David also discovered that his old ways were exactly that: old. Customers, to David’s shock, perceived his work as dated and irrelevant—and some were seriously considering switching to a competitor who provided a more modern service. In fact, customers were concerned that the old tools represented a deeper issue: the company and its products were out of touch.

We called this discovery “the conversation you never had with your customers, but should have.”
CHANGE RESILIENCE CHALLENGE #2
What conversation should you be having with your customers but aren’t yet? How can you start the uncomfortable process of adapting before customers demand change?

One of David’s biggest discoveries was that his main purpose—delighting customers—would not change. The tools he used to get there were simply evolving. By focusing on what remained consistent between the past and the future, David was more willing not only to embrace change but also to accelerate its adoption. All of a sudden, the new SAP program was not a weight, but a wing. It wasn’t a threat, but rather a promise: a new way to grow and nurture his relationships with customers.

Bringing change resilience into David’s company was not just about shifting mind-sets around a new system. We also needed to modernize the entire process of conducting business—and it wasn’t just David’s team who had to step up. Another thorny issue was the fax machine—and this time it was the executive team resisting the change. Heeding the advice from one of the Big Four auditing firms, company policy required that every single order be submitted via fax.

It was common knowledge that late delivery of a replacement part would cost clients millions. Yet despite the urgency, David was instructed to tell all inquiring customers that they should hang up the phone and submit their orders by fax. Placing an order via credit card was practically science fiction.

David challenged me personally: “If you can get the CFO to stop this requirement, we’re all-in.”

The truth was, stock trading was already conducted entirely via phone—there was no reason to use such an archaic system. The faxing rule was an absurd requirement masked in the guise of adherence to financial regulation. The customer service team proposed that they be empowered to take orders over the phone and, as a result, better satisfy their customers.

It was the tipping point. David and his team celebrated the death of the fax process—it was a symbol that change was not a one-way street where all the burden was placed on employees, but rather a mutual commitment to update processes in order to better delight customers. As a result, employees opened up to change. They finally felt that their goals and management’s were aligned.

The results we saw just twelve months later exceeded our expectations. Employee morale and commitment were high. Customer satisfaction went up by 20 percent, and the company soon won a multibillion-dollar, multiyear contract—their largest contract ever—with one of their customers. The customer cited the recent change program and a customer-centric approach as the primary reasons for the win. The transformation was awarded several prestigious awards and set the company up well when it came to handling new changes and opportunities.

But, as with every transformation, it’s not just numbers that reveal success. You can also hear it in the stories that employees tell about their empowerment. Not long after we’d begun working with the company, a call came in to David’s customer service center from Guadalajara, Mexico. The client decided to send a representative to the company’s headquarters to buy the needed part and bring it back—in fact, he was already on a plane.

There were so many aspects to this request that were problematic. First, David’s office didn’t have the part on hand—it was stored in a faraway warehouse. To make matters worse, the customer was not set up in their system, because in Mexico the company’s parts were sold exclusively by a distributor.

None of those issues deterred David. He solved each problem before the plane landed in the US. But then he went the extra mile. When he learned the messenger had never been to the US before, David set up special transportation and arranged for someone to take him to a local baseball game so he could get his first taste of the States and so that he wouldn’t be alone in a foreign country.

At the heart of the success of the company’s change program were David and his colleagues. We treated each and every one of them like a CEO, walking them through a journey of recognizing how change would help them better fulfill their purposes. They each discovered their core cause and drove their actions in accordance with that internal compass. They were not defined by tools or software but rather by their commitment to make an impact on people’s lives. It was that intrinsic motivation that inspired and empowered them to create amazing moments for their customers and be proud of what they were doing.

By helping each employee recognize the purpose and impact of the new system and by listening to their ideas about ways the organization could improve, the company was able to outperform its objectives and increase its overall change resilience.

HOW CHANGE-RESILIENT ARE YOU?
Want a sense of your change resilience? A simple litmus test is to ask the following two questions:

 How quickly do I alter my behavior when I know I need to change?

 Do I accept change reluctantly, or does it motivate me to take my work to the next level?

Keep in mind that we have a tendency to believe we are far more adaptable than we really are. Not sure about the answers? Want to know the truth? Ask a loved one to rank your willingness to try new food or music on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = never, 10 = trying new things every day). Your colleagues or loved ones might be able to provide a more accurate mirror. (Just don’t get insulted if they burst into laughter when you try to convince them that you really do love change . . . .)

If you’re assessing the change resilience of your organization, ask:

 The last time we introduced a new process or system, how long did it take to get every single person on board?

 What type of resistance (both passive and aggressive) did we experience in the process?

 How much time was spent to get buy-in and support?

 What was actually implemented versus what was planned?

 What did we have to give up from the original plan to please different stakeholders?

 Did our change program deliver the desired impact?

A start-up with twenty-five employees will likely have a high level of change resilience. Such a small and young organization has very little in the form of legacies and old practices. There are fewer employees to communicate with, and they are most likely all in one place. Therefore, any new initiative would be implemented rather quickly.

A hundred-year-old global company with fifty thousand employees, on the other hand, would have a very low change resilience level. Well-entrenched processes, old products, and regional differences mean debates and delays that prevent a company from moving forward quickly.

But while some may argue that smaller organizations have an inherent advantage when it comes to change resilience, this is only partially true. Because of their small size and lack of resources, their change efforts will have limited impact. Larger organizations have a significant advantage there—they can lean on the legacy they’ve already built to rally their people for the next big win.

Combine the legacy and size of larger organizations with the nimbleness of smaller companies, and you’ve got the formula for optimal change resilience. It is not easy and it is not optional. But in a fast-changing world, change resilience is the competitive advantage.

Why Change?
“The Chicago market in particular, and the Midwest in general, just doesn’t need these products.”

That was what the Midwest chief sales manager declared, back in the days when I worked at Hewlett-Packard, when I asked him why our new security product had zero sales. As it turned out, he hadn’t even tried to sell it.

“Besides, we made our numbers without the new security solution,” he told me. “We don’t need it.”

“Well, it is not exactly our decision,” I replied. “You are not in a position to determine the future of our division by avoiding selling our next-generation products and the key to our future market position.”

My old colleague’s unwillingness to adapt didn’t just affect his numbers; by sticking to his old, soon-to-be-obsolete products, he put our entire growth and market strategy at risk.

He’s hardly the only person I’ve encountered who’s so focused on the day-to-day tasks that he can’t see change approaching on the horizon. In fact, many people are reluctant to change because no one’s properly explained why they need to change. If you find yourself in that position, consider the two major reasons change has become nonnegotiable in today’s crowded markets:

1. Change helps us defend a business position. When markets grow more competitive or customers are losing interest, transformation can help you maintain your relevance and differentiate yourself. Refuse to change, and you risk accelerated commoditization.

2. Change enables us to seize a new growth opportunity. Expanding to new markets or introducing new products requires changing the way you do business. Avoid change, and you avoid growth.

If you feel that change is being thrust upon you arbitrarily, you probably just need more information. No one suggests change for the sake of change. We change to execute a vision, explore new opportunities, fulfill a dream. To stop change is to stop existence.
CHANGE RESILIENCE CHALLENGE #3
If your company is implementing a change, try this: ask your boss how she feels about it. You might find she was initially as surprised or frustrated as you are.

If you’re leading a change and you haven’t clearly and specifically told your employees why transformation is necessary, keep reading. Perhaps there was a time when people changed simply because their boss asked them to—but I guarantee you they probably weren’t happy about it. These days, you run the risk of losing great people if you don’t give them the opportunity to play a role in the change.
Change Resilience in a Crisis
It was a dark day for thousands of employees at the CPP Group when, in 2011, the Financial Services Authority, the British commission that governs financial services firms, decided to investigate the York-based credit card insurer.

The FSA had launched its investigation in response to several customer complaints, and decided to do so with big public exposure. As if the investigation itself wasn’t bad enough, it was accompanied by newspaper headlines condemning CPP for unethical behavior and consumer deception.

The accusations were harsh. Employees were blamed for skimming customers through aggressive and deceptive tactics. The company’s stock tanked. Financing for the company became scarcer by the day. Thousands of families feared for their livelihood.

When we were called to assist in addressing the crisis, we personally reached out to more than three thousand customers. We found out that the majority of them were very happy. Many were thankful to the company for its insurance and services. At the time, CPP served eleven million credit card holders and provided the assurance that if a card was stolen or lost, customers’ lives would not be disrupted. Every day, CPP employees saved the day for honeymooners or family vacationers who lost their credit cards in foreign countries.

The demoralized workforce of CPP, however, didn’t know any of that. They assumed that whatever was published in the press was true. They forgot the importance of what they really did and the impact they had on their customers’ lives.

Our approach to help the company out of this crisis transferred employee focus from the investigation to the stories of customers they’d helped. We heavily emphasized the company’s core cause:

“Helping the customer in need.”

Insurance is an odd product—one you hope you never need to use. The only time you appreciate having insurance is when you’re in trouble. It is at that moment when you need the full force of CPP to replace your card, stop all fraudulent charges, and assure you that you may continue your long-planned vacation. You can relax and enjoy the time with your family while CPP makes all the problems disappear.

By focusing employees on their core cause of helping customers, we helped them regain their pride. This boost in confidence gave them the change resilience they needed to continue meeting customer needs during a government investigation. Banks that were marketing their services were so impressed by CPP’s ability to perform in a crisis that they decided to help finance the company. CPP not only survived—the company learned how to weather any crisis: by focusing on its purpose.

As we learned from our 2016 study with Harvard Business Review, companies fail to change when people aren’t connected to the change or fail to understand its purpose. The new system or program seems like another shiny new management toy. Why waste their time?

Helping employees see the connection between change and their core cause is the antidote to this lack of engagement. Remember that a core cause isn’t about you—it’s about the impact you’re making on another person. An organization’s core cause should be defined from the customer’s perspective. And we cannot declare victory until customers confirm that they have, in fact, been positively impacted.

It is at that moment when you think customer before you think process that you can connect to your purpose and understand your impact.
CHANGE RESILIENCE CHALLENGE #4
What are your customers’ dreams and aspirations? If you know the answer to that question—and can connect your actions to these aspirations—you will be more intrinsically motivated to do your work and better able to weather any change that comes your way.
The Language of Change
If you want to examine change at its highest level, check out Kickstarter. The crowdfunding site features new ideas from all kinds of creators: from up-and-coming musicians and designers to inventors and entrepreneurs seeking seed money. This site is all about selling the Next and convincing people to invest in a change yet to happen. If an idea strikes a chord, the level of interest can be staggering—even to the creators. Take Pebble, the e-paper watch—eighteen thousand people backed what was originally a $100,000 campaign. Funding hit $2.6 million in just three days.

Tanushree Mitra and Eric Gilbert of the Georgia Institute of Technology recently conducted a study whose aim was to identify the key phrases and words associated with the most successful Kickstarter campaigns. After studying some twenty thousand phrases in forty-five thousand campaigns, their conclusion was striking. They split the most successful phrases into four categories:

1. Reciprocity—Successful projects created a sense that, by supporting the project, backers were entering into a relationship with the creators.

2. Scarcity—When there was a limit on the number of products or rewards available, a project appealed to backers who wanted to be part of the “in crowd.”

3. Social Proof—Backers were drawn to products they felt had some sort of social benefit.

4. Social Identity—The idea that a certain product would establish you in a social group played an important role in getting backers on board.

There’s a compelling pattern here: three out of the four categories of the most successful phrases emphasized selflessness, impact on others, and connection. Whether knowingly or not, Kickstarter backers responded favorably when pitches emphasized social impact and reciprocity. Campaigns that highlighted selfish, individual benefits simply didn’t deliver the same level of success.

This study provides compelling evidence that people are willing to take a chance on change if there are social benefits to doing so. It stands in stark contrast to popular wisdom about change—for example, that a fear of embarrassment holds people back from changing.

This is exactly why a core cause is so important.

When it comes to our ability to absorb and adapt to change, knowing that the change will better allow us to help others is the key driver. Strengthening your relationships with those affected by the change will accelerate your commitment to personal and professional transformation.
Evolve, Don’t Change
By viewing change through the lens of the core cause, we downgrade the importance of each process or tool. We focus instead on who we are and what we stand for. We focus on that which stays constant even when everything else in the world appears to be changing.

At this point, you may be asking, “Well, if my core cause stays the same, what is this transformation I’m supposed to be embracing?”

Evolution.

Evolution means continually adapting and responding to new opportunities. Of course, not every opportunity is worth pursuing. But an understanding of your core cause will help you recognize which ones are.

I hope by now you’ve had an Aha! moment:

By retaining a strong commitment to your values, you make yourself future ready.

I know that when this insight hit me, I felt it was BIG. When I began sharing it with people, I noticed how it relaxed them. It validated what they’d done in the past—whatever change they were about to undertake was not a punishment for failure. Their previous successes were real, and they deserved recognition.

Thinking about change in this way frees people up to view an upcoming transformation in a more balanced and open-minded way. Transformation is no longer threatening. Their identity remains intact.

This is the foundation that change resilience is built on. With a strong and stable understanding of our purpose, we can adapt to any change—provided the alignment is right. We can then approach change from a position of power. Change becomes a tool to enhance our skills, not replace them.

It sparks the question: What are you waiting for?
About The Author
VCV Agency

Lior Arussy is the founder of Strativity Group and one of the world’s leading authorities on customer experience and customer-centric transformation. Many of the world’s top brands work with him to drive successful change efforts: Mercedes-Benz, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Thomson Reuters, HSBC, E.ON, FedEx, SAP, University of Pennsylvania, and Johnson & Johnson, among many others. In addition to his work with Strativity, Lior is the author of Exceptionalize It! He’s written over 250 articles for publications around the world, including the Harvard Business Review and has been featured in a multitude of magazines and media outlets including MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, The Wall Street Journal, and Fast Company.

Raves and Reviews

“Lior Arussy has written an incredibly important book for today’s changing times. It isn’t about change that is going to happen, it is about the change that is happening now, in this moment, and how you can be open and adaptive in the most positive way possible. Read this bookyour future depends on it!”Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times #1 bestselling author of Triggers and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“Lior Arussy’s new book provides a clear roadmap to one of the biggest challenges of our times – not just dealing with change, but embracing it and thriving in it. Lior’s common sense approach provides simple, clear examples of how all of us can stop living in fear of change and develop the resilience needed for “the relentless pursuit of What’s Next.”—Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance

“Next is Now is not just another business book about managing change – but rather a step-by-step guide for how managers and employees can embrace change with passion and excitement, every day.  If you want to connect with your customers, and make an impact, then read this book – and give it to everyone you know.”—Ron Ashkenas, Partner Emeritus, Schaffer Consulting, and author of Simply Effective

"Lior Arussy definitely succeeds in presenting a novel, refreshing practice-based perspective on change-resilience, which undoubtedly contributes a significant added-value to the literature on change in organizations and individuals as well."—Dr. Michael Bar-Eli, Professor and Chair of Business Administration at Ben-Gurion University, and author of BOOST! 

“Today’s world change is ever present and speed of change is actually increasing; in order to be successful in business we have to constantly be ready to change the way we do things. We all know that but still we all struggle with change programs in various ways. Lior Arussy’s book is an excellent guide that first explains why we individually struggle and then shows us how to embrace change focusing directly on us individually – its essential that we get ourselves ready for change.”—Dietmar Exler President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with saying the ‘only constant is change.’  Today, effectively embracing that constant is inextricably linked to business survival.  Next is Now is a revolutionary, yet pragmatic guide to not only managing change but driving and thriving in a world of cataclysmic explosions of information and technology. Lior Arussy has been entrusted to lead customer-centric change initiatives for some of the world’s most iconic brands.  His effectiveness, expertise, and wisdom jump off the pages of this book.  What are you waiting for?  Buy Next is Now and thrive when so many others will struggle to position their teams and business for the opportunities ahead.”—Joseph Michelli, New York Times #1 bestselling author of books like Driven to Delight, The New Gold Standard, The Zappos Experience, and Leading the Starbucks Way

“Lior Arussy provides a comprehensive and instructive roadmap for leading change and preparing yourself and your organization for the future. He generously shares insider insights, examples, and lessons learned from his many years advising top business leaders.”—Denise Lee Yohn, author of What Great Brands Do and FUSION: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World's Greatest Companies

“Every so often (and it is, sadly, all too rare), I meet a thinker, or interact with a consultant, or read a book that has a tremendous impact on how I make sense of the forces of disruption that surround us, and illuminates the challenges for leaders who aim to master those forces and renew their organizations. That’s why I stand in awe of Lior Arussy. He is a true ‘triple threat’ of transformation – as a thinker, consultant, and author, his ideas, methodologies, and messages amount to a manifesto for making it happen.”—William Taylor, Co-founder and founding editor, Fast Company

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