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Attitudes Toward Change – Survey Results

As the world is changing rapidly, businesses and employees are left to try and keep up and adapt. Navigating new technologies and crisis after crisis, it seems that the only constant these days is change. 

We were curious about how people feel about these constant changes, especially within the world of business. So, we asked them.

We conducted a survey asking our social media audience about their views on change in the business world and their industry. We received 66 responses in total and are now excited to share a summary of our findings with you.

Summary of the results

We want to be transparent and say this is by no means a research study, but we hope it provides you with some insight into how your colleagues and peers might feel in these unprecedented times and how they are preparing for what’s to come. 

Here we will go through the main findings and general themes that came up in the survey. You can find a more detailed report of the results at the end of this article. 

Change is happening fast

Nearly all (92.4%) of respondents agreed that change is accelerating in their business at least to some degree. Only 6.1% felt that the rate of change had stayed the same. Of course, there may be some industries less affected than others, but the general consensus seems to be that the rate at which things are changing has been accelerating. 

The main thing our audience seems to be worried about, according to the survey, is keeping up with the change. Many felt that change is happening too fast, and the adaptation to it is too slow. Some worry that they or their companies are not changing fast enough, leading to staying behind and losing profitability to competitors. 

“Prepare your organization at all levels by focusing on individual and organizational resilience”

The Big Three: Leadership, Sustainability, Technology

The three main themes that came up in many of the answers were leadership, sustainability, and technology. These topics were mentioned in the top 4 aspects that should be focused on and also in the top 5 of what needs to change.

Technology & Digitalization

The number one topic was technology and making efficient use of digitalization. When asked what needs to change in your industry or business environment, most answers had to do with adopting new technologies. Many respondents wrote that learning more about and utilizing AI and automation is something that is needed in their company or industry. With the new ChatGPT and other AI tools becoming available, there are several ways businesses can make use of the rapidly advancing technology and use it to their advantage. This, of course, requires resources for learning and adaptation—another topic that came up several times. 

“The whole way of working – digitalization is key to moving forward”

Leadership & Business Models

The other popular topic was leadership and changes in business models. It seems that many people are worried about either their own leadership skills or the skills of those leading their companies. As the world changes, the way we conduct business changes, and this requires businesses to adapt. The leadership skills of yesterday may not be relevant tomorrow, and the business model that worked 10 years ago may not work as well in the future. Again, learning and adaptation are key. The six most important skills needed from leaders were voted to be communication skills, openness, long-term vision, empathy, cross-cultural management, and innovation.

“Change is hard, with good transparent management it is easier to facilitate.”

Sustainability

Last, but definitely not least, the third most popular theme was sustainability. Sustainability was voted one of the 3 key things to be focused on, and it was named among the top 3 things that need to change. While it may be the obvious answer when talking about change and the future, we found it comforting to know that it is on top of mind for businesses and business leaders. The whole world seems to be waking up to the fact that we have a climate crisis happening right now, and we need to do everything we can to fight it—as businesses, as consumers, and as people living on this planet. 

“Sustainability needs to become the foundation of every business.”

Adapting to Change

Education and learning were also discussed in many of the answers. Some felt that the education system is not keeping up with the demands of the changes in the business environment, nor is it paying enough attention to student wellbeing. Employee well-being was also a topic that came up several times, together with concerns about poor leadership and a lack of employees. 

“Too much pressure. People entering burnout due to unclear direction of leadership”

However, on a positive note, most people were more confident than not in their company’s leaders to be able to navigate the uncertainty of the business environment, and many felt their company is creating and leading change rather than merely trying to survive. 

When it comes to what is needed from leaders to drive and manage change, over half of the respondents agreed on communication skills. Just over 50% voted for openness and long-term vision, and almost 40% voted for empathy. Over 20% agreed that innovation is important.

”How will this action of ours impact our grandchildren?” should be the first question.”

“Our youth has been resilient and brave but they really need support and guidance to be able to keep up hope for the future and themselves.”

Full Report of Results

You can find a report of the survey results below, and if you answered the survey, compare your answers to those of the other respondents. 

Participant Demographics

 

Seniority level

  • 33.3% Founder
  • 25.8% Manager
  • 12.1% Director
  • 12.1% C-level
  • 6.1% Employee
  • 10.6% Other

Change in general 

What aspects should be focused on when it comes to changes in our business environment? (Vote for 1-3)

  • Leadership – 54.5%
  • Resilience – 34.8%
  • Sustainability – 33.3%
  • Innovation – 31.8%
  • Community – 28.8%
  • AI & Automation – 27.3%
  • Business Models – 24.2%
  • Technology – 16.7%
  • Education – 15.2%
  • Strategy – 9.1%
  • Other: 6%

What do you think needs to change in your industry and/or the business environment in the upcoming years?

Top themes mentioned:

  1. Technology/AI/automation/digitalisation 
  2. Sustainability 
  3. Business model/ways of working/employee wellbeing
  4. Leadership
  5. Learning & Adaptation

Leadership and Change 

What do you think is needed from leadership to drive and manage change? (Vote for 1-3)

  • Communication skills – 54.5%
  • Openness – 45.5%
  • Long-term vision – 43.9%
  • Empathy – 39.4%
  • Innovation – 22.7%
  • Cross-cultural management – 22.7%
  • Creativity – 19.7%
  • Risk-taking – 13.6%
  • Industry-specific knowledge – 12.1%
  • Other – 13.5%

How confident are you in the ability of your company’s leadership to navigate the uncertainty of the business environment?

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being “Not confident at all” and 10 being “Extremely confident”

When it comes to change, is your company creating and leading change, or trying to survive and manage it?

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being “Survive and manage” and 10 being “Creating and leading”.

 

What are your fears and concerns about future changes in your company, industry, and/or the business environment?

Top themes mentioned in the answers:

  1. Too much change/change is too fast
  2. Unemployment
  3. Lack of qualified employees
  4. Poor leadership

Change is constant, focus on teams capabilities to live in the constant

 

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