“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy,

not on fighting the old, but building the new.”



Life and the events we experience often recirculate every so often. I use to think waiting for something to come back in style, whether in clothing or management theory would simply take 10 – 15 years. Now I run across this quote by Socrates, talking about change, adapting and the new normal. In case you are wondering, Socrates lived from 470 BC to 399 BC.  HIs quote is clearly as timely as it may have been during his lifetime.

This message is one I’d like my customers to grasp – the secret is not fighting the old, but building the new.  

Today’s businesses have already had a wild ride over the last few months, but now have to review and prepare for the realities of the new normal. More importantly, how do they accelerate the rebound and growth curve of the company?

Several plan elements come to mind. We think about re-connecting with customers on what’s happening in their organization and what major shifts they’re experiencing. How can we best serve them? Are any new opportunities emerging as others fade away? It’s time to get out of the weeds and focus on the big picture.

Very few of my customers have experienced an unforeseen windfall of business. Most have taken a financial hit in their business – temporary hit to a percentage loss. Regardless of industry sector, a new normal is emerging. Management teams are going through scenario planning and are adjusting budgets as we speak.

Organization structures and policies have shifted. Nearly all office and managerial staffs have been working remotely. A year ago, we would have been much more hesitant to allow employees to work remotely. Going forward, don’t be surprised if some ask to continue working remotely. From your perspective, it may make sense for some of the people and for the company.

Given my background in leadership & organization development, I believe companies need to be identifying their best leaders and high-potential employees, and actively working to retain their talent. I’m reading of furloughs, reduced hours, executive pay cuts and plans for workforce reductions if the economy drops any further.  Unfortunately, what we know is that the most talented people are often the first to leave.

So much has changed.  What are you seeing in your organization?  How is your company moving to identify and come out of the new normal in a better position?  What items are on your company checklists as you plan on rebounding and thriving in their new normal? Which aspects of the new plan will have the greatest impact in a competitive world?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Please share them in the comment section.


Dan serves customers as an advocate and champion to CEO’s, business owners and senior executives who share his passion for human potential, organization leadership and dynamic growth.  By choosing to strengthen their capability as executive leaders they engage their workforce, drive performance and build competitive advantage.

Years of leadership development and OD consulting experience fuels my belief that working with small and middle-market companies is the greatest opportunity for growth, jobs and economic prosperity.  In fact, Dunn & Bradstreet has confirmed that Vistage members grow 2.2 times faster than comparable companies.

Services to customers in Southern Wisconsin include the Vistage Chief Executive Roundtable, FEI’s CFO Roundtable and executive leadership coaching.