What to Do When You Experience Disruption at Work

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We’re in a time when disruption happens all the time. If you’re a millennial, you might still remember the time when film cameras, floppy disks, and phone pals were still a thing. Now all those go on one smartphone that you can buy at the mall for P5,000 (and on a 24 month installment). Industries, people, and workplaces get disrupted all the time, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

I hear about people all the time who experience disruption. When they do, their natural tendency is to complain and start blaming others. “Why did they have to change this?” “It’s all their fault!” But when we truly take the time to step back and look at our scenarios, we need to realize that change is natural. Sometimes things change for the better and sometimes for the worse. But the point is that they will change.

When disruption happens, we can respond three ways.

Wish it didn’t happen

Many people respond to change by wishing it didn’t happen. But genies don’t exist and we live in a world and workplace that does whatever it wants to without consulting us all the time. We need to realize that we are a small cog in a machine that keeps turning. I’m not saying that your voice doesn’t matter. But disruptions are outside of our control most of the time. And we have the choice to hustle harder when disruption happens or to stay complacent.

Watch it happen

When disruption happens, we can watch it and not care. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some people watch the disruption and go about their natural routine until it hit them. During World War 2, people heard the news of invasions, but many decided to stay in their homes thinking that the bombs were still miles away. When they realized that gunshot sounds were at their doorstep, it was too late. Most people today have the same mindset at work. They watch the disruption and just “go with the flow” once it affects them.

Make it happen

The last group of people are those that make the disruption happen. They challenge the status quo. They go above and beyond to try new things. Now, we need to realize that there is nothing ever easy about being a disruptor. But when we’re the ones that go “wait a minute, there’s a better way to do this,” we become leaders within the company and industry. Yes, there will be opposition, but there is also influence and positive change.

Listen to this podcast episode to learn more

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