Last week I ran a highly customized Peak Performance Leadership workshop and facilitated a strategy session in beautiful Colorado Springs. It was the perfect place to discuss climbing to higher levels of personal, team, and organization performance — especially during these fast changing and turbulent times. We also got to experience their first heavy snowfall — there’s a season change that came too fast!

Shift Happens - Jim ClemmerTo prepare for the session I interviewed all of the senior executive participants earlier by phone. We then used the summary and key themes of their input for assessment, learning, brainstorming, and action planning. Given the massive changes happening in their industry, I used the recently updated five minute video Shift Happens: Did You Know? Click on the title to view it on You Tube.

As with all the other times I’ve used it, this provocative video stimulated lively discussion about just how “we’re living in exponential times.” Here’s a small sample:

  •  “More than 3,000 new books are published every day.
  • A week’s worth of NY Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10 – 14 jobs… by age 38.
  • One out of four workers today is working for a company they have been employed by for less than one year. More than 1 out of 2 are working for a company that they have worked for for less than five years.
  • One out of eight couples married in the U.S. last year met online.”

Picking up on the video’s closing question “So, What Does It all Mean?” we agreed that our response to a fast moving world is to change or be changed. If the rate of external change exceeds our rate of internal change, we are eventually going to be changed.

We went on to discuss the biggest changes they’re seeing in their industry externally and what internal organizational changes are needed. In their case, the biggest internal changes they identified were:

  • Leadership/Culture Development
  • Sales Training/New Business Development
  • New Technology
  • Succession Planning/Generational Change
  • Improving Efficiency/Productivity
  • Organizational Restructuring/Building
  • Customer Service
  • Adapting to Market Changes

It’s often way too easy for executives to look out the window and point to changes they want to see in managing change for everyone else. It’s much tougher to look in the mirror at what personal change I need to make to be an authentic and effective change leader. Here’s the list they generated:

  • Culture/Generational Change
  • Retaining a Big Picture/Strategic Focus
  • Organization/Leadership Development
  • Personal Growth/Balance/Development
  • Employee Morale/Engagement
  • Sales/Business Development
  • Keeping up with Technology

What’s your personal, team, or organizational change list? Are you being those changes and truly leading by example? Who says so, besides you? How do you know?

Go to “Shift Happens: Video Shows How Our World is Spinning Ever Faster” for a 2010 blog post on the earlier version of this video and three central findings on change that came from writing my latest book Growing @ the Speed of Change.