Don't be afraid to be a Shift Disturber, Gzik tells TTAND agents

Don’t be afraid to be a Shift Disturber, Gzik tells TTAND agents

TORONTO — Not everyone’s a fan of change. But staying on top of change, and making the most of it – even when it’s a year-long-plus pandemic – is a sure-fire way to succeed in tough times.

Gary Gzik with BizXcel tackled best practices for these ever-changing times in his online presentation for The Travel Agent Next Door’s Virtual Networking Event. The event took place last week, with Gzik as keynote speaker.

“We are not in a normal world at all,” Gzik told TTAND agents. “We’ve been forced into big change because of the pandemic… it’s taught us that we can’t sit back and be complacent.”

The answer, according to Gzik, is to become a Shift Disturber. Yes, make sure you’ve got the ‘f’ in ‘Shift’. Anticipating change and even instigating change is one of the best ways to survive and thrive in challenging times, he says.

“When we put so much energy into who we were before, we’re not shifting,” said Gzik. “Clients’ needs have changed. The industry’s needs have changed.”

Companies like Amazon, IKEA, Apple and Tesla have all made fortunes many times over by being shift disturbers, and by anticipating and leading change. And, Gzik points out, 75% of major corporations are making innovation a top 3 priority for 2021, in response to the pandemic.


So what are the 5 tenets for being a shift disturber? Gzik laid it out during his presentation:

1. Stay curious

2. Welcome different perspectives and experiences

3. Challenge the status quo

4. Be a lifelong learner

5. Find opportunities

Gzik also encouraged agents to give themselves a pat on the back for navigating all the changes so far. “Look at how much we’ve learned from the pandemic. How many of us knew how to do a Zoom call?” Gzik said.

He also urged agents to make peace with the learning process. “It’s okay to fail. It means you tried something new. Always try to fail forward.”

Gzik also stressed the need to review business practices and strategies coming out of the pandemic. “Busy-ness does not mean good business,” he said.

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