The Change Chimera

Change. The only constant. We need to change in order to survive. What a chimera! As if we don’t know how to change, what to change and when to change. We even know why change and what we want to change into! Or so we think.


Image from wikipedia

Change implies flexibility. Adaptability. Tolerance. Patience. Determination. Decisiveness. Deference. Honor. All these things, just to name a few. How many of these factors do you take into account when initiating a “change?” How many of the changes you initiate or are in the midst of, are tactical in nature and how many are strategic? I frame the question this way in order that we may all purpose to take stock. I am not saying that you need to be more of a tactical agent or more of a strategic agent, I am saying we all need to be strategic and stop this false separation of tactical and strategic. If the temperature is too low, adjust the thermostat or put on an extra layer of clothing. If the workplace is too dark, turn on a few lights or raise the shades. Tactical-level change is at the level of templating, more or less. People causing tactical-level change usually, not always but usually, have been allocated a certain amount of resources to effect the changes and those changes are effected within clearly defined boundaries. That is not a bad thing at all. It is a necessary thing and should occur without too much skull sweat. What I am saying is that we need, all of us, to move beyond that and raise our change efforts to the strategic level.

woman-climbing-success-ladderToo much of what I have read, seen and heard are talking about tactical-level change. Change at this level is of course constant, which is why we hear so much of that chimera in the first place. At very low levels, dynamic equilibrium in a fluid’s solutes across a semipermeable membrane is an example of constant change. Our bodies demonstrate this too, because of homeostasis. Physically speaking, we are not the same person we were just a year ago. All our bones are not the same, they have all been renewed, to cite just one example. If you run a business, tweaking your processes, modifying your products, offering new and “innovative” solutions in response to customer needs, are all part of tactical-level change. These are all necessary, and get this; they are ordinary everyday adjustments. Stop beating your breasts about it.

Real change is when we realize that, no matter what you and I may hope for, certain things are going to be inevitable and certain things are not. Climate change is inevitable, but not quite in the manner the carbon credits people would have you think. Get all the facts right and don’t jump onto bandwagons just because everybody else is doing so. Genetic entropy leading to our eventual extinction is also inevitable. You can try to slow it down, but it has already been happening, and the downward spiral looks pretty scary. There is nothing we can do physically about that, but we can all choose to prosecute highly responsible, value-adding businesses in the face of that fact. Non-chimeric change occurs when our businesses help people to lead more responsible, fruitful and fulfilling lives instead of causing them to fritter their time and resources away on stuff that won’t matter even in a short year’s time.

Is your business changing in that direction? Is your business growing in a healthy manner? Does your business bring real benefits to those it serves? How so? How would you be able to effect non-chimeric change for your business and for all your stakeholders? Is that something you would want to do?

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