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The Change Gap
Profiting from Uncertainty
by Sue Stebbins

Change. We hear this word every day in reference to politics, business and education. We demand it and claim to strive for it. But do we know how to enact it? Do we know what we want to change and why?

Change Gap Rising

In IBM's 2006 Global CEO Report, 57% of polled CEOs reported that they effectively managed change. However, 65% indicated that they expected their organizations to face "substantial or very substantial change" in the coming years. Therefore, the gap between managing and facing change was 8% in 2006. This is the change gap.

A mere two years later, in IBM's 2008 CEO Report, the percentage of CEOs who reported they effectively managed change had only risen by 1%--to 58%. In the meantime, the percentage who anticipated substantial change jumped to 80%. In just two years the change gap had nearly tripled, rising from 8% to 22%.

The Change Gap

Clearly, CEOs are feeling less certain about how to anticipate, respond to, and enact change. "We have seen more change in the last ten years than in the previous 90," remarks Ad J. Scheepbouwer, CEO of KPN Telecom.

Factors Accounting for the Gap

A confluence of factors account for this change gap, most notably an accelerated pace as well as a broader set of changes brought on by market shifts, the influence of technology, and, perhaps most importantly, a dearth of leaders who possess the skills necessary to address new challenges.

Internalized Stress and Overwhelm

Interestingly, according to David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, "smart, sensitive, and creative" people are most likely to struggle with maintaining the strategic focus needed to maximize productivity by addressing challenges. He attributes this to their heightened capacity for visualizing stressful scenarios, which then trigger a physical response to stress that overwhelms them.

Increasing productivity and effectiveness require focusing larger project goals with executable actions: Identify desired outcomes and then focus on the specific actions necessary to achieve those outcomes.

Success Creates Success

Success creates its own cycle of further success, as the 2008 Global CEO Study revealed: Financial outperformers face a smaller change gap than underperformers. Increasing productivity and effectives improves self-esteem and sense of control. This leads to acting instead of being acted upon by deadlines, by others, by pressure.

Strategic Introspection Leads to Bridging the Change Gap

The act of visualizing success before the fact through strategic introspection enables leaders to bridge the change gap. This is the method at the heart of The Successwaves Process TM , and it creates accelerated breakthrough results. Through strategic introspection leaders creatively imagine and visualize:

  1. What would the change look and feel like if we already had it in place?
  2. What are the resources we need to support this in happening?
  3. What is the next immediate action we need to take to implement this now?

By taking as few as ten minutes a day to quietly visualize their desired outcome, business owners and leaders can begin to shape the next steps they will take to develop highly effective solutions.

About the Author:

Sue Stebbins aka The Maven of Accelerated Results and her Successwaves Coaching Partners are the trusted go to source for the world's leading experts, executives, business owners, and professionals in career transition who want to powerfully and quickly gain the clarity and master the proven innovation strategies they need in order to transform their business, grow their income, and experience fulfillment. She can be reached toll free at (866) 731-8344; .


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