The 10 Realities of Change

by : Valarie A. Washington

I've seen several articles that begin with lines like "the only constant today is change." I assert that change that is constant can't really be called change. It's simply a new reality. It's time that we accept that things simply don't stay the same and speed to change is the new reality of business. Like any other new reality it requires new responses.

There is not more change than there was in the past the change just comes more quickly. Compared to the "good old days" the impact of change today is like stepping into a tub of hot water - once you figure out that you're in it, it's difficult to react gracefully. Jumping out is the natural response and there you stand bare and exposed.

Several months ago I was working with a group of clients and one gentleman began expressing his frustration with the impending changes in his organization. He said with a straight face (though I had trouble keeping one), "I can't believe what they are doing around here. They've been talking about this stuff for 10 years and now BAM out of no where they want to change things."

The impact of change can have severe consequences when people are not prepared. I find that people don't struggle as much with change itself but become frustrated with continued attempts at addressing the future with the outdated responses.

There are 10 things that you should know about change.

  1. Change will come.

  2. Change is necessary.

  3. Change is predictable.

  4. The sooner change is predicted the slower change appears.

  5. Change always provides opportunities.

  6. Change doesn't define goals, it expands options.

  7. Those who are ready will survive.

  8. Those who anticipate will thrive.

  9. Those who resist will lag behind.

  10. What is now old will be new again.

Change is inevitable. There is not one among us who is immune. It is non-discriminating and can be relentless. We don't chose how much or how often we are subjected to the shifts; however we DO chose how we are going to respond. Being prepared means keeping pace.

A focus on clearly identified goals provides a sense of continuity so that it doesn't feel like starting over every time you are confronted with some "sudden" change in direction.