Category: Change

The Toll of the Takeover: Change Your Mindset

 

In delivering my motivational addresses on Change Management, I am often asked about the toll that mergers and takeovers have on the employees of the organization.

I view mergers and takeovers as paralleling the experiences I encountered after my two accidents. I went from being a competitive martial artist and Division I football player to a quadriplegic; from physically in-control of myself to fighting for my life in a hospital bed. During my extensive rehab, I had to find a new mindset. It led me to inspiring employees undergoing change in their organizations to overcoming the hardship they face in losing the familiar and the predictable.

The Fear is Real

In his 1987 book, The Employee Guide to Mergers and Acquisitions, Dr. Price Pritchett identified the fears of employees when they realize their companies are about to undergo takeovers. The fears include: uncertainty, ambiguity, mistrust, and self-preservation. During the takeover period employees are on-edge; they tend to not believe anything related to them by managements; and many keep low profiles, preferring to stay hidden and stay behind the scenes. I realized these behaviors were very similar to the patient who blames the world for their troubles, does not follow doctor’s orders for strength and conditioning, and essentially gives up.

There are much better ways to change the negative mindset when a merger or takeover is about to unfold. In January 2019, The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine presented a paper entitled, “Dealing with the Emotional Impact of a Merger or Acquisition.” Not surprising, three emotions set in throughout the organization: shock and numbness, suffering (as the full impact sets in), and what is called “resolution,” or as I like to call it, the “what are you going to do about it?” stage. After my initial diagnosis, I was first in shock, then I realized what the outcome could be and finally, what could I do to change my mindset?

While the fear is real, the ultimate outcome is up to every employee of the organization to either see themselves as “sick” or to overcome the adversity of change and accept that the best change agent is you. In accepting the fact that the takeover or merger is happening, there is the choice to blame anyone and everything on the takeover or to accept the situation and handle it as you would any growth experience.

It Comes Down to Positive Mindset

The organization Total Wellness Health outlined mindset-changing attitudes whether your organization is undergoing a takeover or merger or other sweeping changes. Among the most important coping skills to help employees manage change are using positive messaging – be optimistic about the future; develop positive relationships, especially with your new co-workers; be upbeat, even if others wallow in negativity; and always communicate with others in a positive way.

In managing change we each have a choice. Many years ago, while lying in a hospital bed, I was determined to have an optimistic vision of wellness and I worked hard toward that goal. A positive mindset is contagious and affects everyone around you. The best way to manage change is to be a positive change agent.

Contact Scott Burrows, Change Management Mergers/Takeover Motivational Speaker, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

Is Your Sales Force Resisting the Changing Marketplace?

 

The increased challenge of adapting sales to online business platforms has brought heightened urgency to sales teams to meet the needs of their customers in a way that is practical and relevant. As a change management keynote speaker, I teach organizations how to adapt and move through change as opposed to resisting it. The focus and mindset I employed to overcome my physical challenges after my accident later became crucial tools for success in my corporate career as a top sales agent in the insurance and financial services industry.

Buyers are armed with more information than ever; decision making is usually a complex effort; sales platforms are often digital, and unless you’re careful, your buyers will believe they know more about your product than you. Sales reps have never worked harder to make the sale. Experts agree that if the representative lacks product knowledge in the form of hard numbers, clear-cut advantages, and the sheer determination to make the sale, the sale won’t get made.

Along with adversity in the sales climate, sales teams realize they may not have the internal support they had in the past to close the deal. Sales reps are often on their own and many organizations are unable to keep up with the changing landscape. It is up to each salesperson to be their own strongest advocate.

According to McKinsey & Company, in this period of expanding digital platforms and widespread use of online research by buyers, “up to 70% of change programs fail to achieve their goals, largely due to employee resistance and lack of management support.”

In an article for Street Savvy Sales Leadership (July 13, 2018), several factors were listed that sales reps must be aware of when overcoming the adversity of change. The article makes it quite clear that “change management is here to stay.” When confronted with sporadic or even continuous change, the sales reps who lack the mindset and the daily grit to ride out anything that comes their way can get left behind.

Business writer Paula Bauab for Heflo.com (August 14, 2018) stated: “You can expect that your sales team may be resistant to new processes, technology, team restructuring and leadership, but the right change management can address their concerns. Even a reluctant sales team will likely get on board if they’re involved in the brainstorming and decisions; they can see the benefits when the changes are made gradually.”

At the end of the day, sales reps must sell themselves on the premise that they can overcome any adversity confronting them.

While resistance to new sales processes, restructuring, and the way in which decisions are made may be one part of the equation for sales reps, the most important take-away is to not let that change define them. The most successful are those who navigate through and manage change and not let obstacles block their success.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Change Management Keynote Speaker for Sales Organizations through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

 

 

Is Healthcare Ready to Overcome the Challenge of Social Media?

 

Managing change has never been more difficult for all phases of healthcare than it is right now. Social media, whether Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other platform is representative of the challenge. As an overcoming adversity speaker for the healthcare industry, I know that social media and patient care can be either a supportive partnership or a treacherous interaction. It will take great determination for administrators to stand up to the unforeseen changes in managing social media priorities.

The vision to manage change

In February 2017, Mobihealth News ran an article entitled: “How social media can impact healthcare in the right – and wrong – ways.”

The article pointed out that social media is here to stay especially in regard to disseminating information, sharing research, patient experience and patient recruitment for clinical trials. However, healthcare is unlike any other industry. There are numerous compliance issues, especially around the FDA and HIPAA. The article states that navigating the doctor-patient relationship can be tricky:

“You can engage directly via social media with your patients about care, but don’t engage in a doctor-patient relationship.” It is a subtle but important difference. A physician can talk about a new treatment, where patients can read about the treatment, even where it’s offered, but there are risks in going deeper.  The article continues:

“Healthcare is the most regulated (of industries) and will continue to be so, and with the complexity of health laws and patient privacy, data protection will remain in the spotlight. So, as we look at these new opportunities, we need to also be thinking about active management of the new data. We have to build out the IT and compliance to evaluate the new risks of tools.”

As long as the healthcare industry keeps the conversation to IT, data protection and patient privacy, many of us might think of social media concerns as the limited domain of the computer geeks. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Professional and personal

In Health eCareers (March 2019), included an article entitled: “The Danger of Social Media for Healthcare Professionals.” It focused in the “people factor,” not IT departments or data storage.

The same HIPAA violations we talked about in general terms have gotten healthcare professionals into deep trouble. Such violations recently included a nurse who got fired for taking a selfie with a patient (at the request of the patient!), an ER physician who took a picture of a drunk patient, ER staffers fired for offering Facebook condolences to the family of a slain police officer.

In this time of rapid social media change, the majority of healthcare professionals are even confused about what constitutes their First Amendment rights. In a survey asking if being terminated over a social media post is an infringement of their First Amendment rights, 41 percent said “Yes,” and another 30 percent said “Not Sure.” Unfortunately, in a healthcare setting, any one of those 71 percent could be terminated for confusing their First Amendment rights with HIPAA privacy laws.

Incidentally, healthcare professionals are routinely being watched for social media posts. Social media monitoring takes place more than 55 percent of the time for those who are employed as well as those seeking employment.

The changes that social media has brought to healthcare are part of a much bigger picture of the challenge that technology presents to every healthcare setting.  The changes that are coming are stressful and confusing. Is your healthcare organization ready to rise above the challenge and overcome adversity, or will you become a victim to it?

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Overcoming Adversity Motivational Speaker for Managing Healthcare Change, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

 

 

To Change Careers at Midlife, Change Your Mindset

 

At the height of my career as a top producing sales agent in the insurance and financial sector, I suffered a second accident that forced me into recovery for nine months. During this time I had to reevaluate, reframe and expand my mindset and vision to include the challenges I was experiencing physically in relation to my career. This ‘setback’ allowed me time to reconnect with the passion I experienced educating my clients, the excitement I drew from viewing inspirational business speakers at the Million Dollar Round Table, and set the stage for a successful new career as an international motivational business speaker.

A Matter of Mindset

At the end of my keynote speeches on change, audience members frequently ask if it is possible for them to successfully change careers as they approach mid-life. I answer that change isn’t a matter of age, but of mindset, determination, persistence, and grit.

In September 2016, the University of Michigan studied occupational transitions of older Americans. They found that at what many of us consider retirement at age 62, about 57 percent are no longer in the labor force, but that 26 percent are still in their profession and 17 percent have decided to completely change their careers.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which conducts bootcamps for those who want to become entrepreneurs, found that people aged 55 to 64 now comprise about one-third of America’s entrepreneurs.

However, older employees aren’t just becoming entrepreneurial but are in demand as full-time employees.

As of February 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the unemployment rate for those 50 and above was lower at 3.2 percent, than the overall unemployment rate at 4.1 percent. These aren’t fast food jobs either, but careers as diverse as banking, healthcare and insurance.

The Determination to See It Through

Nevertheless, having the mindset to change jobs or create new jobs isn’t enough. Older workers need the determination and persistence to see it through. The website Next Avenue (December 21, 2017) stated:

Among the biggest obstacles to people’s ability to create a career they love (after 50) is a preconceived notion of ‘where they should be’ and what they ‘should do.’ But success doesn’t have to follow a scripted narrative.

To take the leap, you need to fundamentally believe that it’s never too late to transition into a career that aligns with who you are.”

Forbes magazine (June 21, 2017) debunked five myths normally associated with older employees determined to change careers. These myths included that it’s never too late to change careers; that it’s embarrassing to admit that you are not happy with a career you’ve been working at for many years; that the over 50 workers can’t get hired; that the only kind of work out there is part-time; and the biggest fear of all is that the older worker can’t compete against Millennials or younger.

Every one of these myths regarding change has been disproven providing you have the vision that lets you see that obstacles can be overcome.

How Determined Are You?

Nicole Maestas, Ph.D., is an economist, professor, and expert in the study of aging at Harvard University. In a recent interview for the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Maestas stated that when older workers are determined to work, they get work, when older workers want to succeed, they will succeed. She summarized:

“The labor-demand study simply shows that when there is a shortage of skilled workers, older workers will get jobs.”

To compete in the job market, workers over 50 will need to re-train themselves to be current on technology. Age will not be the factor to hold them back, rather an unwillingness to learn. In short, be a student.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Keynote and Breakout Speaker on Change through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169.

 

Year of Change Ahead for Financial Advisors: How Will You Respond?

Every one of us involved in the financial and insurance industry knows that 2019 will be a year of change.

Bob Veres, writing for Advisor Perspectives (December 10, 2018), pointed out at least five major challenges that will impact financial advisors this year. They include new “BI” or best interest standards and fiduciary oaths; planning for the coming Bear market and making clients your partners in the financial planning process; the pressure to shift away from AUM (percentage-based) portfolio revenue models to flat fees; the trend away from traditional insurance agencies to self-directed purchases; and the opportunities in utilizing customized “Robo” software within your practice. Veres concluded that change is never easy and financial advisors and insurance brokers must prepare for whatever is next.

Will You Evolve or Be Left Behind?

How will you adapt your business this year? Have you identified your strategies to meet the comprehensive financial planning needs of clients about to retire as well as younger generations embarking on their careers?

As a financial advisor, in order to stay ahead you will need to wear many hats in managing client expectations. Will you be able to show clients at all stages of their careers the value that you are bringing to the investing equation, and are you determined to make the necessary emotional investment and to be an educator as well as advisor?

In 2019, and beyond, financial advisors will need to focus on new niche markets to differentiate themselves. They will need to embrace the latest tools to set themselves apart in a highly competitive financial advisory market. It will not be a matter of offering customer service, but tapping into technology to access changing regulations and ultimately to use that information to recommend the right insurance and investment products.

The questions asked above, and many more, can only be answered by one person:  you. The expanding workload, the deluge of information, evolving fiduciary rules, the need to offer clients greater transparency, and the maze of ever-expanding investment options will require each financial advisor to have the grit to maintain their success and to rise above average. “Average” advisors will suffer from average on-line ratings especially as more millennials enter the work world. Average will mean being left behind.

Be a Student, Be Coachable

The most successful financial advisors will be those who understand that they are students and not “professors.” Being a student, even if you have been in the business for many years, means updating your practice management, understanding and employing new technologies and the educational components necessary to help your clients reach their goals. It means attending conferences that offer niche market products and opportunities, evaluating the latest practice management solutions and being facile enough to use the social media to set yourself up as an authority.

While new investors may not be sophisticated in terms of investing, they understand technology and how to access information. Financial advisors must match that intensity and sophistication and have the knowledge to answer tough questions their clients find online. It is a tall order but a tremendous opportunity.

The year ahead is where the financial advisor will be a student who is determined to learn what is needed to make the practice successful.

 

For more information on how financial advisors can develop a winning vision, contact Scott Burrows, Financial and Insurance Industry Motivational speaker, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

 

 

Scott Burrows: Change Management Speaker

Not long ago, I was in my office working on a keynote presentation when a meeting planner called me rather late at night. I picked up the phone and I know I surprised her.

“Oh, I thought you would be voicemail,” she stammered. She looked for the right words. “Are you Scott Burrows, the overcoming adversity speaker?”

I assured her I was, that I had overcome a lot of adversity in my life but that it didn’t define me. She gave me the name of her organization. She was in the healthcare industry and was considering a keynote motivational speaker to talk on corporate change and the management of change.

“I have done many keynotes on change for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.”

She confided that her industry was facing several major challenges. There was much concern throughout her association as to whether executives could adapt to some of the uncomfortable adjustments coming that would include initiating sweeping rules, being mindful of pricing and insurance regulations and the increased need for transparency. There were already a number of disagreements and foot-dragging among the association members and the companies they represented. They needed to understand the importance of change or get swept away.

She asked me if I had experience motivating executives to change their mindset. I asked her if she had a few minutes. She was stuck in the airport and she laughed that she had plenty of time!

Scott Burrows: Speaker on Corporate Change

I told her that I developed my life’s philosophy of VISION, MINDSET and GRIT out of my personal challenge and ultimately triumph. I wondered if she knew my story and she said she was only vaguely familiar with it.

I quickly summarized that when I was in my late teens, I was already playing Division I collegiate football and I was a kickboxing champion. I thought I was invulnerable and that I would be a champion kickboxer forever. A few weeks after ESPN broadcast one of my fights, I went out celebrating my victory with friends. Even though I was trained to engage a safety mindset working with hazardous materials and heavy equipment at a former job, I made a poor split-second decision to not put on my seatbelt. My friend lost control of his car. He ran off the road and crashed. I broke my neck and I was paralyzed from the chest down. They told me I would be quadriplegic. I could hear her gasp.

“I had no choice but to accept change,” I said. She told me she could understand that.

My challenge was a lot like what her organization was facing. Unless the members of her organization were willing to overcome their obstacles, unless they were motivated to find a new vision for themselves, to develop a mindset that was more powerful than any of their challenges, they would not get off the mat.

I added that as a speaker I knew that corporate change can’t occur without a daily dose of GRIT, the ability to grind things out every single day to achieve success. Commitment to really change is an extremely powerful weapon, but if it is haphazard little will be accomplished.

Keynote Speaker on Organizational Change

My own story is a story of rising above adversity through VISION and MINDSET to overcome paralysis and to rewire my brain and body. It led to a transformation in my physical and emotional status. I went far beyond what any of my physicians ever thought I could.  It did not and could not happen without GRIT, my forcing myself to literally rise out of my chair and to not accept the easy road but to be the best I could be. Modern day medical science tells us that we can go far beyond our initial prognosis if we put our minds and bodies to doing so.

“Using my own true-life story as an example,” I reassured her, “I can teach the members of your organization to prevail over their resistance to change and to empower themselves to be better and to be more successful than they ever believed.”

I am no longer a kickboxing champion, but I have been blessed to be able to show organizations to change their mindset from “Can’t do,” to “Can do!”  That is, to rise above their situations.

The meeting planner and I decided then and there to work together and I am happy to say my keynote address got through to the members of her organization. They rose above their fears, individually and collectively, and put plans into place to elevate their industry. They are better prepared for the years ahead and for whatever challenges will come. As a speaker it is impossible to say how proud it made me feel.

Want to be inspired to change?

To learn more about Scott Burrows, Keynote Motivational Speaker on Corporate and Organizational change, contact us today through this website or call our office at: (520) 548-1169

 

You’ve probably always been told that in order to achieve success you need to get something in return.

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Posted in Change on May 18, 2018.