Change is inevitable. Even change, itself, is changing. We see that the rate and degree of change is increasing. Big change is happening more frequently and the size and scale of the change is greater. It can be a very scary proposition when you take this to it’s logical conclusion.
We have a paradoxical capability to both adapt to change and at the same time an inherent resistance to change. his is what allows us to function on a day to day basis. Our ability to adapt to change is why we are here as a species. Our resistance to change is what allows us to function on a day to day basis, if we only thought about the imminent change then we’d never do what we do because we’d only have to change it.
As I see it there are 5 stages to dealing with change.
1: Being a victim to change
2: Preparing for the unknown
3: Seeking out change
4: Embracing the benefits of change
5: Being the change
Most people find themselves in one of the fist two stages and in fact most people are huddled in the first stage. But to be fair, not matter how hard we try we all become victims to change at some point. Many people who are adaptable and seem to always land on their feet are often at the second stage. Fewer people are at the third stage where they actively seek change and many of these people do so recklessly. I will safely propose that the fewest number of people and organizations are truly in the fourth stage where they have embraced change and it’s benefits. This is not to say that many people do not benefit from change, in fact all people can benefit from change, even its victims.
The last stage has two flavors, those that are intentional agents of change and those that are hapless agents of change. Most people like engineers are the hapless kind. Hapless agents of change are those who do not embrace change but those who embrace the tools of change, namely technology, without understanding what they are dealing with. History is filled with hapless change agents.
I’m not going to go into each stage of change at the moment but I will tackle each in future posts. I will say that moving through each stage takes a willful and deliberate effort to change oneself and become increasingly aware of your world. Being self aware of yourself and your place in the world is an undervalued, powerful capability. It’s harder than you realize and the more self aware you are and the more self mastery you have the more you are able to drive change in the world. I think too many people focus on their outside environment and not enough time on their own self improvement.