It’s been said that the only constant is change. This paradox says that change is inevitable. But, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
An old proverb says “may you live in uninteresting times”. By this, it is assumed that living in a time when things are ‘normal’, ‘predictable’ and without changes, is a good thing.
When things are going well, why would you want to change? In sport, coaches say to change a losing game but stick to a winning game. So, if you’re winning, why change?
Change requires effort. Adapting to new circumstances requires energy and sometimes we don’t have, or want to use, this energy.
But, this is unrealistic. Change is inevitable and, while we may not like it, we must either adapt or die. The better managers will know this, may even prepare for this, yet will certainly accept this. They can, then, use change as a good thing. They can also prepare their colleagues for inevitable and, at times, disturbing disruptions.
Change can refresh things. Like in nature, old things will die off and new things will emerge. This is healthy and normal. It’s about rejuvenating. It creates new opportunities.
We’ve all seen how 2020 and COVID-19 has created an incredible amount of flux throughout the world. But, look closely. Some industries have emerged and flourished. For example, I heard this morning that someone bought a Pub in Orange, NSW, just before the virus hit Australia. Then, everything shut down, including the Pub. You might think that the new owner would go under, but he adapted, started making sanitizer from the brewery on his new premises, and this new business boomed!
Yes, there can be a certain amount of sadness when things change. We might see those things that have been around for a while disappear. The Buddhists would say that our attachment to things is the cause of our suffering. Alternatively, to let go is to free oneself of suffering.
We might also be somewhat nervous about adopting new things. But, with courage, planning, and a little determination, we can use change to propel us forward in a positive and rewarding way.
So, as 2020 changes in to 2021, think for a moment about what that might mean for you, for those around you, and for those for whom you are responsible. Are you ready for change? Will it be a positive experience for all concerned?
Finally, for an excellent, simple, short, yet really powerful message on change, consider reading a book by Spencer Johnson called ‘Who moved my cheese?’. It tells of two mice who enjoyed bountiful amounts of cheese until one day, inexplicably, their cheese started to go off. One mouse stayed, reluctant to move while the other mouse courageously went to look for more cheese. Which mouse do you think survived?
Knowledge is power