I’m sure that all of you are familiar with Heraclitus’ saying, “The only thing that is constant is change.” This is an undeniable truth, especially in the speed-enabled, super-tech, fast-paced world in which we live. But the message I want to get across to you today is exemplified in another favorite saying of mine, “If you do not create change, change will create you*.”
Distilled and simplified, these are the reasons why embracing change is more important than ever:
- Change is inevitable and constant.
- We exist in a world of breakneck speed.
- If you do not control change, change will control you.
While youth are at the forefront of change and thrive on it, those of us who consider ourselves more, ah-hum, “experienced” in life and career can be the most resistant to change. After all, we know what works by now, right? Beware. Past experience can be deceiving and dangerous. In Marshall Goldsmith’s and Mark Reiter’s book “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” they paint a clear picture of how past successes limit our ability to deal with new challenges: “We get positive reinforcement from our past successes, and, in a mental leap that’s easy to justify, we think that our past success is predictive of great things in our future… our delusions become a serious liability when we need to change. We sit there with the godlike feelings, and when someone tries to make us change, we regard them with unadulterated bafflement.”
Today, companies need to reinvent themselves every 2-3 years just to survive, what worked is quickly passé, and tradition is no longer cherished. We’re in a world that no longer seeks innovation — we’re in a world that is demanding total reinvention (think how Jobs completely reinvented the phone). To thrive in this environment, we must, as individuals, be willing and eager to be adept in change capability.
That made clear, allow me another aphorism, this one from Oprah, “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” Well said. That’s step one. If you need an attitude adjustment in this area, get out your screwdriver. Strive to not just be open, but to embrace change. We must adopt today’s type of evolution for what it is: exciting, adventurous, intriguing, and a path to higher knowledge. I believe that attaining new knowledge is the fountain of youth!
Step two is about the competence of managing change. This can be learned and even developed into a strong muscle. One of the main reasons managing change can be difficult for companies and individuals is that they have a bias toward stability. Who can blame them? But it’s now perilous and paralyzing to remain too stable and predictable with relatively low volatility.
It’s a whole new world that demands new talents, attitudes, and skills. Whether an individual or business, if you’d like to begin – or improve – on embracing change for happiness and success, if you’d like to ensure you control change instead of it controlling you, feel free to hop on a FREE call with me. Book a time in my calendar at www.calendly.com/danielle-silverman. I would be honoured to work with you.