How to Embrace Change to Evolve in Manufacturing

Challenges: Growth, Community

Posted by Meaghan Ziemba

How to Embrace Change to Evolve in Manufacturing

Change is scary, but when it is embraced, it encourages development and opens new doors of opportunity.

By: Meaghan Ziemba, Marketing Communications, MakingChips

At a recent WTMA luncheon in Elgin, Illinois, I had the pleasure of meeting some dynamic women in the manufacturing industry.

Creative Training Solutions founder and Owner, Stacia Skinner, talked about evolving in a changing environment and how to embrace change in proactive ways. Some of the tips she provided on how to handle change included:

  • Disrupt Your Habits
  • Accept Your Emotions to Change
  • Be Proactive, Not Reactive


Disrupt Your Habits

The fear of change is very real, especially for manufacturers who have been around for decades.

Common responses to change include:

  • “We’ve never done it that way before.”
  • “That’s not how we do things around here.”
  • “Why fix it if it’s not broke.”

When change presents itself, most feel uncomfortable, stressed, awkward, doubtful, and uncertain, so our initial reactions are to fight, flight, or freeze. 

One way to overcome the fear towards change is to disrupt the status quo or our current habits.

Being open-minded and stepping outside of our comfort zones provide new opportunities for growth and development.


Accept Your Emotions to Change

It is okay to be apprehensive and anxious towards change, but don’t let your emotions take over and prevent you from moving forward.

Decide on how you are going to handle change when it happens. Create a pros and cons list that allows you to reframe the situation with both the positives and the negatives.


Be Proactive, Not Reactive

With change, our survival brain kicks in and we tend to act first, rationalize second. Once you accept your natural emotions to change, you can move forward with a plan that prepares you for the “what ifs”. Without a plan, change can be devastating and lead your business to failure.

Being proactive allows you to adapt and be flexible. It also forces you to stop smoking the hopium.

Hopium is “counting on and forecasting what is out of your control.” So, what do we do to avoid it?

Be realistic.

As Skinner points out in one of her articles, we don’t make money off of wishes and hopes. We get paid on what becomes reality. By being real and proactive, we have the potential to:

  • Gain new business and grow existing accounts.
  • Build new relationships with prospects and grow current relationships with customers.
  • Network and attend new events.
  • Grow sales and come up with new ideas.

Manufacturing is changing, and if we do not change along with it, our competitors will continue to grow while we become stagnant.