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MANAGING CHANGE IS KEY TO THE FUTURE.

Business as we know it today will be different tomorrow. No matter how large or small the business is, managers must be able to deal effectively with change. Change must be managed both internally, and externally.

Internal change.The foundation of a manager's ability to deal with change begins with his/her attitude toward change. Overcoming the fear of change is the first step to mastering and controlling it. Change can be very difficult because it reaches into the unknown and less predictable realm of the human experience. However, the rewards of having a proactive attitude toward change can be significant.

I am not advocating that all managers need to change everything they do all in the name of "change." What I am suggesting is that companies have a need for controlled, well-thought out, responsible change. The changes may be relted to: flexible working hours for employees, "coach and players" management styles, new product development, improved sales and distribution channels, and manufacturing processes.

Some of the more obvious benefits of incorporating a positive attitude toward change include potential for: 1) increased flexibility in uncertain markets, 2) improved profitability, 3 ) improved quality and service, 4) increase in employee well-being and productivity.

Over time, many U.S. companies have made efforts to be proactive in their research and development of new products and response to change. Companies that refuse to change quickly become obsolete and fail. Companies that are willing to promote change for ongoing improvement will be the industry leaders in the future.

External change.

Small and large companies are often faced with events outside the business that force change and require flexibility. The environmental change include: factors relating to the local/national economy, industry specific events, and political and social influences.

The post-World Ware Ii attitude of produce as much as you can and wil will sell no longer fits the global economy, Since the supply of goods and services has met the demand, companies have been forced to change their strategies. The companies that recognized the need for the changes survived and the ones that didn't failed.

Small businesses can benefit through the changes in technology such as:P computers, telecommunications, improved methods of product distribution and product manufacturing. Many small businesses have grown to become large corporations because of the changes in technology that have taken place in the past 15 years. Some companies have developed new products from existing technology, and other have benefitted from the application of the new techology.

In addition to the changes in technology, the recent political and social changes in many countries throughout the world present pportunities and challenges for large and small businesses. The demand for goods and services in the underdeveloped educated countries is high, especially in the former soviet Union. It is apparent on a global basis by the political changes taking place in various countries. The risk is high for companies entering the global markets, but the risk is high for companies unwilling to change.

Companies will be successful in the future if their managers have the courage to change the things they can, the peace of mind to accept the things they can't and the wisdom to know the difference.

Bryan J. Irving has had experience in commercial lending and completed a graduate degree in accounting from the University of Utah. He is employed by the Salt Lake office of KPMG Peat Marwick.