I grew up in Westlake, Ohio, and moved back there recently. It has been surreal driving past my old neighborhood where I delivered newspapers, the church where I made my first communion, the elementary school I attended. There is a memory around every corner.
The other day, I was waiting at a red light and spotted the old Shell gas station my parents used to go to. I remember sitting in the backseat of my mom’s powder blue station wagon, taking in the sweet smell of unleaded and watching a guy come out to wash the windows and – the best part – hand me a Dum Dum sucker. I probably bought my first tank of gas there, my first pack of cigarettes and my first six-pack. I know they fixed my car after I wrecked it at 21, but we won’t talk about that.
The station is now closed and abandoned and has been for some time. A glitzy Circle K stands across from it, beckoning drivers with Polar Pops, Frosters and hot food.
Seeing that empty building sitting forlornly on the corner surrounded by cracked concrete reminded me how much things have changed. We talk about change a lot in this magazine; how none of us really like it but have to accept it as inevitable and either adapt or die. As one of our contributors, Mitch Becker, is fond of saying, “I know less today than I did yesterday.”
Your business is most likely experiencing a tsunami of change today. How are you handling it? How are your employees handling it? Do you have the right culture for adapting to change? These are things you need to ask yourself today… because more change is in store tomorrow.