Fast Company

Remember: Shift Happens


Shifting your body shifts your mind. That's all there is to it.

By nature and circumstance, women do more shifting. And the way they do business reflects that.

The world is moving too fast to let your business stand still. A business that doesn't continually shift won't survive. It starts with those whose job it is to create the vision — a vision in which the whole team can believe, and more important, a vision that will continually challenge the team and those around it to shift.

Western Union is a good example of what happens when vision lacks shift. That former business icon suffered significantly because it refused to shift from "the way it's always been done." The unknown, AT&T, moved into the space created by Western Union's unwillingness to shift. Western Union refused the offer of a young Bell Company to buy the patent rights to the telephone saying, "Why would anyone want a telephone when they can send a telegram?" Its company biography is replete with its struggles to shift. Later, as the Internet and fax became clearly fixed on the horizon, Western Union, refusing to shift, held onto the Telex. We all know how that ended.

Success in this work/life revolves around "re-visioning" what's out there and seeing how to do it in a new and fresh way. We can only re-vision if we shift and look out a different window. Ask yourself: What important information about my work/life am I missing?

You have the opportunity a hundred times a day to ask questions that help you "re-vision" things as you move your body through your life. Think about using each personal interaction to help propel your thought process so you may learn what people are looking for in your offerings. As you move your body, shift your mind to the possibilities that are out there.

A lot of people just sit at their desk and put pegs in a hole. That's the old industrial model of work. The model for success in the 21st century is to get out there, interact, and absorb both what people are telling you and what you are seeing. Nothing better comes from doing the same thing in the same old way.

So shift away from continually putting those same pegs in the same hole. Instead, learn to train your mind to see new possibilities. Shift the way you look at people. Start by engaging people. As you meet them, actually engage them in conversation, look them in the eye, see their humanity. A perfunctory hello is just not good enough. Even though we're trained to respond only to that surface conversation, we will do better by engaging people better.

When you "re-vision" your work/life, you're making sure that shift happens.


A Women-Owned Business • www.csms-usa.com • Ramsey, N.J.

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  • Joan Mansbach

    Good thoughts - yet not always easy to "let go" and shift the paradigms that lock us in and narrow our thinking...but, when we do opportunities we never dreamed possible arise. Finding our own power and using it wisely can be amazing not only in business but every facet of our lives. Here's to being open to possibility. J. Mansbach