by Allie Petty-Stone, HR and firm administrator, Alerding CPA Group

We could all agree that during the many seasons of this pandemic, the only thing that seemed consistent was change. Many organizations were facing dilemmas on business continuity and workforce retention while many of us were dealing with our own personal anxiety and uncertainty. We stood in a state of “standby” as we awaited each federal, state and/or municipal update, considering how each announcement could alter the terms of how we engaged business and how it may impact the livelihoods of our people.

The crisis demanded continual high-level interaction and engagement with our leadership and how we proceeded was crucial. It was during this period that communication was critical in keeping our staff informed, however, it felt every update became obsolete as a new media blast would often change the basis of our plan.

Through this dilemma, we quickly realized that good business and best laid plans can be suddenly upended by the happenings within our world. Our team had to be adaptive and malleable with onlooking colleagues and stakeholders counting on us; we had to be ready to respond.

First, let me say I’m a believer in finding the silver linings. Self-actualization can be surmised up by perceiving life’s challenges and difficult situations as a gift. It is within these parameters that we find out more about ourselves. Do you welcome the possibilities that can be evoked through change?

Challenges once perceived as an adversary can ultimately turn into an unintended friend. Yes, these disruptors are inconvenient to our way of life and have the poorest of timing. However, if you look on the flip side, these are tests of our readiness and our willingness to ponder solutions. Whether it be people related or situational, we have an instance to grow, learn and build our skills.

Use change as an opportunity

Change is the opportunity to upend the mundane and breathe new life in our own rationale. Engaging with colleagues, advisors and even a team of strong-minded friends is essential to draw on solutions, hone creativity and offer diverse opinions. These have been some difficult months and the struggle continues for many. Change also serves as a reminder to routinely evaluate our business model and to never get too comfortable with the status quo.

A crisis necessitates change and, as a result, we witnessed many businesses modify how they delivered services for business continuity. Many restaurants moved to a pick-up service during lockdown. Some businesses implemented work-from-home scenarios and implemented more technology to create better connections and a secure environment. Nonprofits held fundraisers through online events and auctions. This creative thinking led to alternate opportunities. These opportunities kept connection to their people and communities. Therefore, the pandemic offered an occasion to look through a new lens and create transformation.

Change also can be cruel, so I do not mean to oversimplify or diminish any pain. However, how you overcome your circumstances is what can make or break you. Accepting that there are times that things happen FOR us rather than TO us is a part of discernment.

Your perspective and next steps determine your resilience and agility through these experiences. With each hurdle, you will become more adept and learn to embrace change rather than just simply “getting through it.” I wish you a positively transformative 2022 and beyond.

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