Everything changes, pretty much constantly. From the minutiae of our daily lives, to the operations of a global organisation, we’re in a state of flux. There are cycles, lifespans, tipping points. Things get worn out, used up or thrown away. We get bored or tired or sick. All those variables, all those interactions, all those risks and possibilities. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to comprehend. It’s chaos.
It’s not new, but it is gathering pace, and has been for a while. There’s so many woods and trees we wouldn’t know where to start.
At first (a long time ago) we enjoyed the status quo. All things and all people had a time and a place. There was an understanding. We worked together to keep things the same. People who went against the grain were outcasts and ostracised.
Soon change of a type and magnitude that had never before been experienced turned the World upside down. Order was swept away. We responded. We coped. Because we had to.
Then came change management. If we couldn’t see the wood for the trees we chopped them down and made them into something more useful and recognisable. We had project plans, procedures and charts. We deceived ourselves that change could be incremental and that we could negotiate our way through it step by step. We failed.
Now we’ve realised we can’t control it. Now we see the whole darn forest and we’re at ease with it, man. Change is all around us. Accept it.
A better approach we would say. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, and that’s change itself. Our new found acceptance seems to have created the illusion that change is universally good. Same may be mundane and monotonous, but it’s also safe and comforting. Change can be bad and scary.
So our approach might have evolved but underlying attitudes are still lurking. Yes there’s the openly change adverse. But even those who welcome change can be rocked by death, redundancy, crime, accident or disaster.
Yes change is all around us, but have we changed our minds? Can we change the minds of others? That’s the hardest part of all.