Adapting to the new normal - Business Works
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Adapting to the new normal

by Jeremy Payne, VP of Alliances, Enghouse Interactive Whatever its precise nature, when change happens it can drive organisations and people off course. But in such scenarios, the long-term prospects for future success will largely depend on the actions taken by those individuals or businesses particularly in the immediate aftermath says Jeremy Payne, VP of Alliances at Enghouse Interactive.

In the high-pressure communications space, change is a given, but sometimes it can come unexpectedly which makes preparing for it all but impossible. Even when change is on the horizon, such as the enhanced regulation around GDPR, or the arrival of 5G shaking up the communications, phone and App market, it is difficult to predict. Sometimes change is more sudden. Think of the dot-com bubble bursting or the troubles of Huawei following its blacklisting by the US government, or a financial services firm being hacked.

Typically, a number of characteristics will be fundamental to successfully pursuing this recovery. These include having the fighting spirit to keep going, the ability to accommodate yourself to the 'new normal' and move forwards positively and having the right support from an extended team to guide and support you.

When change happens

There is a lot we can learn from Army veteran, Simon Weston, who has experienced the importance of coming to terms with changed circumstances. He came back with serious injuries incurred during the Falklands War to become a familiar figure in the media and undertake a wide range of work for charity.

What is it that enabled Simon to move on from his horrific burns and rebuild his life? To find out, Enghouse Interactive recently invited Simon to speak to an audience of contact centre executives and business leaders about his experiences.

Simon's life changed in an instant during the Falklands conflict of 1982 when the ship he was on (the Sir Galahad) was set on fire by Argentine fighters in Port Pleasant. 48 soldiers and crewmen were killed with 78 receiving serious burns. Weston was one of these men who suffered 46% burns. He quickly had to adapt to a new reality - but it was not easy.

Professionalism helped Simon through in the immediate aftermath of the explosion. But the reality soon hit that everything had changed - including his sense of identity; security and self-confidence. He struggled for some time with nightmares, flashbacks and depression but he came through, knowing he had to adapt to a new normal.

As Simon himself says, "It's all about accepting the fact that change is coming around the corner and whether you like it or not is not really relevant. It's happening. All those who have taken change and moulded it, shaped it and done what they needed with it for themselves and the people they worked with and worked for, are all ten miles down the road, while everyone else is playing catch-up."

There are lessons to be learnt here for anyone in business. Change happens and often there is little that individuals or businesses can do to prepare for it. Yet, they do need to accept and adapt to it if they don't want to get left behind. We see the consequences every day. We have seen retailers fall by the wayside when they were too slow to react to the internet and communications companies side-lined because they failed to anticipate the impact of advanced new technologies.

Just keep moving ...

Having accepted change, individuals and businesses must move on positively and make that change work for them. For Simon, the first goal was simply to survive. For the first three-and-a-half weeks following the explosion, he went from an eighteen and a half stone infantryman and prop forward to weighing just under eight stone. In the years to come, he suffered psychological trauma and depression but he recovered to become a regular contributor on radio and television; an active campaigner in support of troops and veterans, and a contributor to, and founder of, several charities.

In pursuing this goal, dogged determination played a key part but so did teamwork and the help of people around him, including the RAF VC10 pilot who flew the casualties home from Montevideo in Uruguay, the medical teams who have over the years carried out nearly 100 operations or surgical procedures on him and the unstinting support of his family and friends.

That reliance on others plays a critical part in adapting to change. Weston needed help and guidance to continue on his journey. He could not do it all on his own and neither can individuals or businesses in the world of communications. Sharing resources is key to success in project management and partnerships. Vendors, resellers and distributors can work together on a variety of projects. Vendors could, for example, provide critical product training and support while resellers could help open new markets to vendors by giving them the benefit of their vertical expertise. All this teamwork is likely to benefit the end customer too by ensuring that they receive technology and supporting services that are tailored to their specific business environment and needs.

Forging ahead

Dealing with unplanned change is never easy. It takes resilience and the ability to accept and adapt to what has happened, together with a determination to continue down the road; to form partnerships and work together in teams to overcome challenges. Simon Weston has displayed all these qualities over the past four decades. Individuals and businesses working in the communications field can learn much from his example.

For more information, please contact: Enghouse Interactive

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