Is it ironic that change is the only constant in our lives?
Facebook changes its layout; your favourite cafe changes ownership; your local shoe repairer changes location; your kids change school; the party changes its leader; your supplier changes its prices; the weather forecast changes to ‘mostly sunny’; your organisation changes its structure… Change, change, change. No wonder change management is such a hot topic! Often times, these changes are unavoidable and our choices are restricted to fighting or adapting.
And then come the changes we go through as individuals which might affect our teams, workplaces, careers and whole personal lives. Some are easy to own, others are real battles.
I caught up with a friend yesterday who was telling me about someone who, after 16 years of working with the same employer, quit her job looking for a different challenge. Despite the senior position she held, she’s been finding it hard to find employment due to her reputation as a difficult worker with dictatorship style management. She became aware of this and decided to take the necessary steps to change, but she hasn’t been given the opportunity to prove herself yet.
This story made me wonder… How willing are we as a society to take people out of the pigeonholes we have so easily boxed them into and support them through change? Could accepting someone else’s transformation be a threat to our own comfort? And if so, are we overrating the risks over the opportunities it could present to us – both individually and as organisations?
Keeping an open-mind amid insecurity is hard stuff, I admit. But the beauty of life is that it is merely a series of events – if we realise we’ve stuffed up, we can change it! And most likely, we will have learnt from our mistake… So there’s always a benefit to giving change a chance.