Do You Embrace Change?
I have found that it is quite useful to embrace change, to be a person who seeks out the new and different.
As the saying goes, “There is one constant in life, and that is change”.
Of comfort to those who dread change should be another saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.
How do you approach change? Many I’ve known try to avoid change at all costs. They’re even willing to perpetuate policies and approaches that no longer make sense, just so they will not have to deal with change. Logically, we know this does not make sense, but by and large, human behavior is not based on logic, it’s based on emotion.
So what’s so bad about change? For most, the answer to this question is: I’m comfortable with the current approach and I went to a lot of trouble to learn and understand it, so I do not want to have to learn something new. In many cases, the truth is that they did not actually go “to a lot of trouble to learn and understand it”; rather, it just fell into their lap and it just “is”. They’re lazy and afraid and they just don’t want to have to deal with yet another new thing.
Unfortunately for those who approach life this way, as the saying goes, change is the only constant. Even if much of the change is just a repositioning or a repackaging of old ideas, concepts and approaches, as far as our minds go, it’s different. So, deal with it. Don’t try to avoid it. Embrace it. Seek ways to find and even encourage change. This brings to mind the title of a book I once read, “If It Ain’t Broke, Break It,” by Robert Kriegel. It was quite a while back, so I don’t recall all the details, but if I remember correctly, the main theme was to challenge “conventional wisdom”. The mindset that “we do it this way because we’ve always done it this way,” simply does not make sense, particularly in a world as dynamic as the one in which we live.
The idea of challenging “conventional wisdom” appeals to me viscerally. It describes who I am and who I’ve always aspired to be: someone who doesn’t just take “that’s how it is” as an answer. This can lead to its challenges, of course, particularly in environments where the “powers that be” make major efforts to indoctrinate their subordinates. I’m sure you can think of a few environments like that.
So what does this mean to the entrepreneur and the high achiever? In my experience, those who embrace change, or at a minimum, are willing and able to deal with it head-on, rather than doing all they can to avoid it, tend to have better outcomes in the world of achievement and entrepreneurship. They are introspective in all that they do and even though they don’t just do whatever “the man” says, they are coachable. They will challenge most everything they hear, but they do so with an open mind. They embrace change, but do not fall victim to “shiny object syndrome”. They approach all problems and issues as opportunities and they understand that change is an unavoidable element of progress. They are not intellectually (or otherwise) lazy; rather, they are intellectually curious and have a strong desire to continually improve and tweak wherever they can. They do so without succumbing to the circularity and paralyzing nature of perfectionism.
How do you approach change? Would you say you embrace the opportunity to find better solutions, or do you stonewall every suggested change that comes your way? Are you a change agent, or are you a staunch protector of the status quo?
I encourage you to open your mind to change. Challenge everything, of course, but do it in the spirit of confronting the dynamic nature of our world and business operating environment, rather than burying your head in the sand, or worse yet, actively trying to impede every potentially beneficial change that comes your way.
I look forward to your thoughts and questions. Please leave a comment (“response”) below or in the upper right corner of this post.
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