The phrase change management is widely used, but I have always thought it is quite peculiar. Change happens, or better yet, change is always happening. Change is something a person or an organization lives inside of. I don’t believe change is something that can be managed. It is ever-present. It is a force, or a process, that occurs whether we manage it or not. To imply that change can be managed is to imply that it’s bad and needs to be dealt with. We change lightbulbs because they burn out. We change systems because they are no longer working effectively. When we look at change as an object, we get apprehensive – maybe even scared.
Instead, I prefer the word evolve. To evolve is to grow and to move our relationship with the world and with ourselves from one place to another place. Evolving, growing, widening of perspective and abilities are some of the essential elements of moving from one place to another. The flow of evolution is that ever-present element of our collective relationships. Our mission at Aspire is all about growth and development. Those we serve move from one place to another. They acquire new perspectives, new skills, a renewed confidence and power. Those we work with – our peers, leaders, direct reports – also move from one place to another. We also acquire new perspectives, new skills, and a renewed confidence and power.
Evolution can be difficult and uncomfortable because we leave the person we were behind and become a new person with more thoughts, ideas, and new perspectives. We are not the same person today who we were yesterday or will be tomorrow. We have evolved onto unsteady ground and begin the process of becoming comfortable once again with our new, wider vantage point. When this process is temporarily completed, we are ready to do it all over again. We exist in a fluid state. Organizations and agencies such as Aspire exist in this fluid state as well. We go through continual cycles of evolution, growth, discomfort, embodiment, comfort, evolution, growth, and on and on.
You have probably realized by now that I love words and therefore love quotes. Let me leave you with one relating to change. It was said by one of my favorite television characters. “Change ain’t looking for friends. Change calls the tune we dance to.” Change, or evolution, is an ever-present element of being human. Let’s not fear it and run from it as if it were going to devour us. Let’s instead embrace it as we would a loved one and dance with it, enjoying the tune, the feeling, and the thrill of the journey. We at Aspire are all dancing together to the tune of change and I am so grateful that we are supporting each other as we do it together.
Take care and be well.