• Shift Happens (Again)

    arrowsFor years in the corporate world and today in my current consulting practice, my advice to bosses, peers, employees and clients is to be on the leading edge of CHANGE. Along with death and taxes it’s another constant and guarantee in life and business.  We can choose to brace for it and break, or be flexible and not only go with it, but lead our own change. In life and business there are three phases of change or growth:

    Dependent (Conformer)…Independent (Achiever)…Interdependent (Collaborator).


    1. Dependent Phase: When we start a new business venture, career or academic endeavor we are very much dependent on the world around us. We are to an extent “Conformers.” But these are also exciting and fun times and yet can also prove to be challenging. In this phase we are often tentative and humble as we learn about our new environment, job or target market. Eventually we become comfortable as we get a strong grasp of our career or business and begin to transition into the next phase.
    2. Independent Phase: In this phase things have become fairly routine and we can perform the task at hand with “our eyes closed.” We become an “Achiever” making things happen. We’re feeling comfortable and secure. It’s a warm and fuzzy environment and it feels pretty good. The problem for individuals and businesses that stay in this mode too long is that eventually they start to see the world around them is rapidly changing and they become confused. “It feels good here so why are you all moving so fast?” If individuals and businesses continue to resist the need to move forward they eventually retreat and fall into a “RUT.” This is where company’s fall behind, lose market share and potentially close the doors (Kodak, RIM, Swiss watch makers, etc.)
    3. Interdependent Phase: The key to avoiding the “RUT” is the paradox. At the edge of the Independent Achiever phase is a lot of Permanent Whitewater that carries over into the Independent phase and most people avoid. Why would we throw ourselves or our business into that kind of volatile situation?  For me the key to anyone’s success in growing their career or business is to have the courage to change things up and move forward. Take the leap into that whitewater. Sometimes, that means shifting into a Collaborative Mindset. In this Interdependent phase it’s all about making new connections, renewing and growing, being different, rethinking traditions and experimenting. Mergers and acquisitions are normally frightening and frustrating. But they also force companies into this phase of change and by default, force new thinking and flexibility. I have been blessed over the years to cycle through change and have chosen to lead my own change throughout my career and in my businesses.

    Over the past two years I have formed collaborative business alliances with a number of progressive companies (The Pulse Check, Miller Gleann Consulting, ABS Consulting and The Growth Coach).  Now, I am once again delighted to be entering into yet another exciting and complimentary business partnership.

    479608_shaking_handsAn underlying theme in my career, business and personal life has been to guide teams through incomprehension and adversity to understanding and success. I have also now discovered an even more direct and complementary avenue to leverage my passion for building strong and coherent teams in any organization.

    Derhak Ireland & Partners are a group of exceptionally talented individuals aiming to continually achieve and maintain higher standards in the field of “teaming up” and connecting the right individual with the right organization. We aim to build, enhance and sustain organizations by securing for them exceptional talent suited to their needs, and we stand behind our promise like no one else (up to a 24 month guarantee). What captured my full attention when I was approached by Derhak Ireland was the methodology around the way the right people are connected with the right organizations …a combination of Science and Insight. The fact that each applicant must complete an “Ascentii Role Fit Behavioural and Job Match Assessment” combined with a 24 month retention rate of 97.6% for placed candidates (the highest in Canada) closed the deal for me. It is one thing to be able to separately measure experience, competence, personality and passion. However, the ability to coalesce the results of these measurements to uncover the right fit is what differentiates Derhak Ireland. A difference I strived to find during my corporate tenure.

    My company, The Shifting Mindsets Consulting Alliance and I have partnered with Derhak Ireland because of my continuing quest to help organizations achieve and sustain their absolute highest level of performance and passion in order to achieve and sustain their absolute highest level of return and stakeholder value. There are many exceptional executives and managers out there but choosing the right fit for a particular organization is the value that Derhak Ireland’s clients have repeatedly come to witness and I am delighted to count myself in as a builder of and contributor to exceptional organizations of all kinds.

    Who do you know that is stuck in that “RUT” phase? Are you taking hold and leading your business and life forward?

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2 Responsesso far.

  1. Bob Woodcock says:

    Here’s to more whitewater Tony! It has been a pleasure to collaborate with you and I look forward to many more opportunities in the future. Here’s to an abundance of happiness, success and health in 2013.

  2. Art Rivard says:


    Excellent article.

    Looking forward to lunch tomorrow.


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