Remove the rose-tinted spectacles and embrace change now

Bob Young is managing director of CHL Mortgages



While the start of a new year presents the perfect opportunity to effect change in one’s personal or professional life, people are often afraid to make anything more significant than superficial amendments.


Half-hearted resolutions are often broken before the first week of January is out and new workplace objectives are often waylaid by burgeoning inboxes. So why is there such a chasm between what we intend to do and what we end up achieving?


Most of us agree on an intellectual level that change is a positive thing, but few of us back this up with our actions. It is almost as if people are happy to suggest alterations to other people but don’t have the courage to transform their own circumstances. After all, even with the most meticulous preparation, change entails a journey into the unknown and it is this uncertainty which causes trepidation in some parties and complete inactivity in others.


Take the mortgage market for example. How many people in our industry are waiting for things to turn the corner and return to ‘normal’ before they alter their way of operating?


And sticking to this mind set despite all the indications suggesting that the situation we now find ourselves in is the new normal? 


The Mortgage Market Review, the Retail Distribution Review, funding constraints, a reduced number of lenders, economic uncertainty – none of these are temporary issues that will disappear overnight and allow the good times to return, they are a permanent part of the marketplace that must be factored into the way we conduct business.


The sooner some individuals realise this, remove the rose-tinted spectacles and start to embrace change now, the better.


Once you realise that things won’t return to the ‘old normal’ and start thinking differently, it is easier to spot changes that can be made and identify opportunities. There are always opportunities when the economy is struggling and now is no exception. Some of the world’s finest businesses and ideas were born out of recessions or hardship and if one can thrive in the tough times, then it makes things a darn sight easier once the wind is at one’s back.


One of the reasons I feel so passionately about making positive amendments rather than procrastinating is because effecting change is a key part of my role at CHL.


From the outside it isn’t always apparent when things are changing within a business but we have been working hard on our internal processes from reducing arrears to managing our book and ensuring we are in the best shape we can be in.


As such, change doesn’t always have to be immediately noticeable to the rest of the industry such as personnel reshuffles, brand overhauls or product launches, but alterations made behind closed doors can have just as much of an impact in the long run.


Why not make 2013 the year you stick to your professional resolutions and embrace change rather than leaving it to your competitors to steal a march?