Big Changes Require Big Steps (Right?)

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On May 2, 2016

Big-changes-require-big-steps-(Right?)Most of us have heard the sage advice attributed to the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” But if you’re looking to make big changes in your business, that single step needs to be a big one, right?

That might depend on what you consider a big step. Big changes generally come from changes in your thinking. But how do you change your thinking? Is that a big thing or a little thing?

Last January, a colleague realized that his business world is in a constant state of change. He knew that if he was going to make smart changes in his business, he needed to be better informed about several aspects of his business. He needed to challenge his own thinking and keep abreast of developments. So he took a small step.

He decided to read one business book a week on specific topics he’d identified as crucial for his company’s success. That’s a relatively small step. It’s not a huge financial investment. It’s not a major time commitment. Does it require commitment? Yes. Is it easy? No, but it’s manageable. And he’s created a habit that he can continue. By the end of this month, he’ll have 22 books under his belt.

His goal isn’t to see how many books he can read. Nobody is going to give him a gold star for “Most Books Read By a Small-to-Mid-Sized Company Executive.” He’s doing it so that he can be informed and make smart changes in his business.

Maybe reading a book a week isn’t realistic for you. But you can probably manage a chapter a day—if you make it a priority. Maybe you prefer listening to books or to TED talks. Maybe you glean information better in a seminar environment or a small group setting where ideas are discussed. It’s not about the method. It’s about taking small steps to keep informed and to make changes in your business based on information rather than whims.

Small steps can inspire big changes. What steps are you taking that will lead to the kinds of changes that will take your business to the next level of success?