Bywater Consulting Group, LLC
Liz Bywater, PhD

June 18 , 2007

Change is Good

My children love eating at Applebee's. Their food selections are remarkably consistent — chicken nuggets for my daughter and mac 'n cheese for the little guy. You might say my kids are real creatures of habit. They'd never guess — nor would they care — that Applebee's has been under fire for sagging performance. The restaurant chain has, in fact, recently been called "a study in stagnation." Performance has declined and profitability
has dropped.

So what gives? Is there something particularly unusual or unique about the Applebee's story? Is it to be dismissed as merely an anomaly? Or is there some fundamental lesson to be gleaned about the relationship between stagnation and decline, change and growth?

Truth is, there is nothing all that surprising in the Applebee's scenario. For companies and individuals alike, stagnation inevitably leads to decline. You've got to continually get better, or you'll eventually get worse.

The antidote to stagnation and decline? Change. Constant, ongoing, meaningful, productive change. It can be small scale or large, subtle or overt. The point is that deliberate, calculated change leads directly to growth and progress.

Self-development and continuous learning are essential in the quest for growth. Read. Take classes. Join a mastermind group or form one of your own. Challenge yourself. Take risks. Continually raise the bar. Above all, keep moving forward.

Change need not be scary and it need not overwhelm. Particularly when supported by others, change initiatives can be extremely energizing and motivating — both to your business and to you personally. Let people know what sort of change you have in mind. Seek their input, solicit their support. Then go for it. Put your best foot forward and do something new.

What sort of change have you embraced lately? How have you moved yourself and your business forward? Even more to the point, what will you do differently tomorrow?

In the Press

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Busy People Can Find Time for Themselves
Bucks County Courier Times/

Long Weekends Substitute for Long Vacations
USA Today

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Best personal regards,

Liz Bywater, PhD

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