A timeless change statement: “I’ve never seen it like this!”`


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“I’ve been in this business for 30 years and I’ve never seen it like this.”

I can recall hearing that statement three times over the course of my career. The first time I heard it I was in my 20’s. My boss at the time had been a part of the Texas oil field service industry for over 30 years and the mid 80’s oil crash was taking its toll. What once had boomed was now busting, stripper wells that had been profitable were being plugged and new drilling activity came to a virtual stand still.

I also remember the second occasion as if it were yesterday. It was the early 90’s and I was at lunch with a co-worker who had just received their 30 year service pin from a major computer company. The World Wide Web was just beginning to make the world a much smaller place, and Louis Gerstner stepped in to save IBM from going out of business.

A couple of days ago I heard the statement again. Let’s just say that social media, digital marketing and mobile applications are proving to be major change agents for marketers in general. Tracking that statement for three decades it’s obvious that change is timeless and cuts across all sectors of the economy. How are you dealing with constant change? From my perspective I can vouch for the following:

1. Don’t try to ignore the situation creating the change because that will only keep you off balance.

2. Getting angry doesn’t help and often makes it worse.

3. The “good old days” never really happened, and wishful thinking is a waste of time.

More importantly; top management can’t hand out “grand plan” detailed answers to address the entire transition because all the information they need simply doesn’t exist. Their new strategy in its full detail will need to evolve during the change process. In short, top management doesn’t have all the answers because some of the questions keep shifting. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need your support. In fact, broad-based grassroots support of change can make the difference for every organization.

Alan See
Alan See is Principal and Chief Marketing Officer of CMO Temps, LLC. He is the American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year for Content Marketing and recognized as one of the "Top 50 Most Influential CMO's on Social Media" by Forbes. Alan is an active blogger and frequent presenter on topics that help organizations develop marketing strategies and sales initiatives to power profitable growth. Alan holds BBA and MBA degrees from Abilene Christian University.


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