Dear Friends and Colleagues:
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
– Alan Watts
When my son left for college, it made quite a change in our household. Depending on how my wife and I see it, the change either reduces our complexity or it leaves us feeling a little empty. Either way, it’s a change. Thinking about how change affects us got me thinking about the whole idea of change and, as I am prone to do, I extended the idea of change to our business.
When we look at our companies day to day we tend to see the same things: good people, steady clients, important work and the culture and values that make us what we are. These things don’t change all that much.
Look deeper, though, and you usually find that things are always in flux – different ways of working, technology improvements, generational diversity, new products and services, different clients and the many people that grow and change inside your company. It’s not a new concept, but looking from that perspective, you could say the main thing most of us have experienced is change.
But here’s the thing: it’s so constant we hardly notice, until something new sneaks up on us and makes us change.
I’m thinking we need to ask ourselves “how much better could our future be if we looked for, embraced and leveraged change – how exhilarating! And why not?
People say they don’t like change … but I wonder; we make changes willingly throughout our lives, we take different jobs, move to different cities, commit to significant relationships and sometimes we have children (now there’s change for you) – and we do this expectantly and often with great joy. So where does the “people don’t like change” come in?
Maybe it’s the difference between choosing change and having change happen to you. If it’s the former, you can embrace it. So what if we start choosing our own change?
Maybe we get too comfortable and fall prey to “that’s how we do things around here” syndrome, and change catches us unaware! What if we “outlawed” complacency in our companies?
Maybe we don’t want to do the hard work of making our own future. What’s really keeping us from planning our new future now?
Maybe some of us are afraid of what the future might hold, so we resist change and miss opportunities to change for the better. What if we are open and actively looking for new approaches and ideas?
One thing change makes you do is get clear about what you’re doing. If you’re not clear, change will make that clear for sure.
Another thing change makes you do is focus – focus is required to either make change or keep the course when unexpected change happens.
So, as I think about what changes are in store for our companies my advice is to ask yourself “Am I choosing my own change?” and “What kind of change do I want to make happen?” If you want change to work for you, first get clear about what you do and focus on how you do it. Then choose change, embrace it, look for new opportunities and make good things happen!