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Embracing CHANGE
June 2009
In This Issue
Embracing CHANGE
Upcoming Training

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June 4
Chamber's Status Report
property tax appraisals

June 12 - 14
Folklife Festival

June 15

Chamber Challenge Golf Tournament

June 18

Unlocking Your Creativity

June 18

Chamber Mixer
at the Vidorra

June 30

Meet the New Mayor and City Council Members

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Pearl Farmer's Market

December 9
Small Business Conference
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 Embracing CHANGE
"Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others." - Jacob M. Braude

Have you ever been in a situation where things changed and you had to adjust? It may have been a time when you fought the change, or perhaps one when you welcomed the change. In either case, now that the change has happened, you have to adjust.

People stay with what's comfortable
There is a natural inclination, I think, for people to feel more comfortable with what they are used to. The old way of doing things might not even be healthy for us, but we fight the change. Sometimes it is simply habit that causes us to cling to an old way of doing things. Trying to change to healthier eating or increased exercise are perfect examples of this type of resistance. But there are times when it's not just habit. We are actually more comfortable with the way things are.

Change is easier when you aren't happy
I bought a new bed about ten days ago. I have had a waterbed for almost 25 years. I've been having trouble sleeping and have not been able to sleep on my side for the last few months. After a great deal of research and help from a friend who sells beds, Linna Lette (210-630-3313, at Factory Mattress across from the Forum), I bought a Tempur-Pedic . This mattress is very different and considerably firmer than the waterbed. Linna warned me that it might take awhile for my body to adjust to it.

In this case, there is no habit to overcome. The waterbed was moved out and the new bed was moved in. I've actually found the adjustment easy and am already sleeping more soundly. But it occurred to me that adjusting to change in the workplace is much like adjusting to a new mattress.

Team members must buy-in
For change to be accepted, the promised change needs to bring improved conditions for your team. For instance, if sales are falling off because of poor customer service, but your team has no incentive to improve (no profit sharing or other rewards), you will have a difficult time impressing on your team that better customer service will help them. They have no reason to be dissatisfied unless they have buy-in to the success of the company.

Education of your team is key. If you are not informing the team of the reasons for the change, they may not see the need. How many times have you heard, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"? This statement is common when team members are satisfied with things the way they are, even if a change could make their work easier or more productive.

Find the benefit for the team
To sell the change, you have to find a benefit that your team wants, not just a benefit to the company. In this economy, that may be as simple as a reduced possibility of layoffs. Be prepared, though, as the economy improves, to find additional benefits for your team to keep the members who have stuck out the hard times with you. People are motivated by different things, so a good team leader will find ways to reward employees that are significant to the individual team members.

Let your team know about the benefits and the adjustment might be easier than you thought. If the change is an improvement that will make life better for your team, you may find less resistance than you expected. Just like me and my bed...zzzzzzz.
blue puzzle Dan Scanlon provided a list of social or business networking sites including Delicious and Plaxo.  Dan won a $25 gift certificate to Nicavid's. (Check out Bebo and Ning as well.)

For this month's puzzle...normally Texas is ahead of the curve, but at one point, Texans were slow to get news. What significant event did Texans learn about in June, two and half years after the fact? The first person with the correct answer will win a $25 gift certificate at Nicavid's.
Crystallizations Training
creativity lock
Thursday, June 18
10 a.m. - 12 noon

Learn how to tap into the creative energy that we all have by silencing your inner critic. Discover ways to be more creative in your business and in your personal life. Creativity is a muscle that has to be exercised to work at an optimum level. Using examples from my own life as well as other anecdotes and exercises, I'll help you recongize the power you may not even know you have.
Session fee is $30.  You will leave with a wealth of information to become more creative and handouts that you can refer to when you need a boost after the class. Discounts are available for multiple participants from the same company.

All sessions are held at The Greater San Antonio Chamber's Small Business Resource Center, 1100 NW Loop 410 Ste 109, San Antonio, TX 78213 in the H.E.B. Federal Credit Union building, near the corner of Blanco Road and N.W. Loop 410. Call 210-863-2250 or email me at to reserve your space.
Embrace change in 2009!


Crystal Darby
Crystal Communications