A Workplace “Change” Lesson from a Rafting Guide

My wife and I and 24 others were standing on the river bed of the Gallatin River preparing our rafts for a white water excursion while on vacation.

After placing the rafts on the edge of the water, the head rafting guide call us together for a safety talk.

The instructions were pretty generic, and some basic common sense but did include specific scenarios we needed to aware of.

About mid-way through the 10-minute talk, a young boy of about 12 years old raised his hand.

The guide acknowledged him for a question.

I couldn’t hear it completely, but it began with “what if…”

Without skipping a beat replied the guide replied:

“Young man, in life there are a lot of ‘what if’s,” you’re just going to have to adapt and overcome!”

With that the guide gave us a few more instructions after which the young man’s hand was again in the air.

His older sister standing in front of me begged the guide not to call on her little brother again, to no avail.

Another “what if” question ensued.

The guide responded with just 3 words, “adapt and overcome!”

I thought that was such great advice, especially for a very impressionable young man like that.

So many of my small business clients seem to struggle with employees who struggle with “change” in their workplace.

In the 21st century change is coming at us faster than ever, especially regarding technology.

Employees of different ages and generations are all struggling with various levels of change.

Small business leaders must be steadfast in their expectations regarding employees dealing with workplace change.

The expectation should be that employees be proactive in identifying ways to “adapt and overcome.”

If a 12-year old boy rafting down white water rapids can do it, adult employees in a work environment certainly can.

’til next time, make it a great week!



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