“Change” is the most celebrated term in corporate life, leadership circles, professional and personal lives and even in country governance across the globe. Most people take pride in speaking for change, but fall short is imbibing and implementing it. Many talk about it but don’t know what to do with it.
An aspirant gets a new job of his choice and hence he loves it and puts in hard work. Years pass by and his conviction gets consolidated that he would never like to leave such a job. His management starts to perceive him as a liability; but he believes in his loyalty and one fateful day, he faces termination.
You develop a taste for sugar coated donuts and get hooked to eating couple of them every morning. You believe you are young with no family history of blood sugar problem; so, why not enjoy it. In time to come, you discover alarmingly high level of blood sugar and then you start spending time and money on medical experts and medicines; at the same time, you find it painful to miss taste of donuts.
Look at the iconic companies like General Motors, Ford, Siemens, BlackBerry and many more. These organizations did not change in or with time and hence faced blow to their businesses or serious crisis, resulting into painful restructuring, sell offs or even closure of several of their units.
Rise of right wing voices or parties in USA, Europe and Brexit are clear indications of ruling parties giving a cold shoulder to changing their policies in time and now their people are forcing them to change albeit in wrong direction.
Is it not a clear indication that waiting for crisis to come and then change is very costly and complex? Very often, changing under constraints may not be a blessing but a bane.
Why “Change” receives more of lip service than living examples
It has become a fashion to talk about change; but hardly anyone is willing to walk for a change. Celebrities proudly pronounce “Change is the only constant in Universe”, not knowing what exactly it means. Change is a continuum; not a constant. Universe actually has no constant.
Then, we are ever ready to pass our sermons how and why others should change, forgetting that if we want to change others, that change has to first originate from us. A step ahead, people talk about grand changes in systems at company, community or country level; but most prefer to be spectators and fight shy of becoming part of system. Unless you become part of change, bringing change is only a pipe dream.
In more than 90% of cases, it is a decorative word in speeches and essays, until crisis descends.
Biggest confusion is “Why and what change”
Homilies aside, herds hardly understand correct definition of change!
Nothing is static around us. We and our environments are continuously changing. So, change is nothing but adjusting to changes happening internally and externally to us with time, so that we can accomplish our short and long term goals in least time and resistance.
So first of all, to talk of change without your goals in mind is foolhardy. Then comes, identifying what incremental changes have happened in and around you, followed by planned steps to effect the change.
Crisis comes out, when accumulated changes crash the system
By and large, people like to be inert to changes, because of inertia that they develop from their comfort zones.
Changes not made but accumulated over time burst out in form of crisis or even conflicts. You or people at large than have no choice or time but brace or face changes thrust upon you. You like it or not, such forced changes are bound to be painful; some of these may be right but a lot would not be. You would react against such forced changes; but would have no recourse left and hence, these become chaotic.
Changing by choice is indeed chaste
Very fact that change is continuum tells us that we must live side by side of changes that are arising and align with them in time. This alone can make us very efficient, ebullient and agile.
Changing by choice makes the Change a pleasure and not pain; it can be a nice asset but never liability.