Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Revisiting The Challenge of Change

Change is hard, change is never easy. The only thing constant of course is CHANGE.

Charles Kettering who was an American electrical engineer and manufacturer in the late 1900's said "The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress".

Goethe, the German poet and dramatist said "Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for change".

Given the insight of the ages, it is helpful to understand the steps involved in change. First step is problem recognition. Sometimes problems just arrive and hit us on the head. Other times, a nagging feeling gives us a sense of things to come.

The second thing to do when examining change is to identify the causes. What exactly caused this? Sometimes the cause is simple, other times a complex series of events created the change. The third step is going through the change. Change, when possible, is most often most comfortable when we implement it ourselves. Often case this is not what happens. Change happens then we change. Finally we need to evaluate the changes we have undertaken.

Change is a laboratory for self and organizational growth. Although we may fear it, it is best to embrace it and learn from it. Change is hard, change takes work but in the end we grow.

I originally wrote this article in the late 1990's and then posted this article on my Transition Your Life blog in October of 2007. Somethings are worth revisiting and contemplating for new lessons, insights and thoughts.

1 comment:

Fred said...

We can also think of change from a physics perspective. By Newtonian laws, any time there is a change in speed or direction there is a force. Similarly in everyday living situations, we experience these changes as forces impinging on our consciousness if internal or organizationally if external. So changes can be circumstantial - and as Terry suggests - we must embrace those changes to our best advantage. But general principles, like physical laws, which describe the changes, do not change, and we can use those principles to guide us through the minefields or windy moors that can unmoor us or send us astray. For example, one good set of principles are Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (as well as his later 8th Habit). Another could be the Serenity Prayer or the tenets of your particular religion. Being aware of our principles when confronted with all the inevitable challenges of changes can allow us to navigate our actions more wisely.