Home > Leadership, The Monday Musings Column > The times they are a changin’

The times they are a changin’

Change is with us all of the time; before I finish the first draft of these words the sun will almost have set on Wiltshire as another day spins to a close. The world has moved on and tomorrow will bring another day.

We don’t all take kindly to change though, for it brings new things and takes away those that we are familiar and comfortable with. That new day tomorrow could bring all sorts of things; some will excite and delight us, some will challenge or scare us and we never quite k now what is around that next corner.

It is easy to see why we often have a natural resistance to change because most of us like the familiar and comfortable and it is only when we get bored with that that we want to change. Then we get that buzz of something exciting as we plan redecorating the room, moving house, buying a new car or whatever. These are changes that we enjoy.

Other change is less welcome, especially that which is forced upon us, but change will happen whether or not we like it and so we have to learn to deal with it. Life isn’t fair and never will be, no matter how much we try to make it so, because we know from the world around us that it is those that can adapt best to change that survive and thrive; seen a Pterodactyl around lately, or maybe a Dodo?

As the big 60 looms for me there are times when I feel I would be happier back in the 1960’s, but why? When I really think about it what was so attractive about that decade that took me from 8 to 17? It isn’t so much the comforts of not having responsibilities and carefree youth; no, it’s about how exiting those times were for someone of my age, and the reason for all that excitement was that there was so much changing all around me and within me. My fondness for those times comes from memories of all of that excitement and change.

Maybe that is why I became such an enthusiast for change, although I was in my forties before I realised that I was an incurable change junkie. But it was that I had become able to make change happen that cemented the package for gradually I had got into positions at work where I could do things and that was due to people working on me and putting their faith in me.

One of the standard things that we do when developing people is to take them out of their comfort zone. Done well that can be a powerful tool to help bring on the next generation of leaders and we need to have people who can embrace and thrive on change if we are to take business and society forward. I was lucky to find myself with people who helped me, saw that there was some spark, provided the fuel and fanned until the flame burst into life.

One of my projects is a procurement transformation where I am working in a team that includes people the same age of one of my grandchildren. It is a fantastic stimulus to be able to bounce ideas around and spark off each other because, even at my age, there is still so much to learn and do. The baton is passing on to new generations, but that is how it has to be, to quote a line from my own youth, The times they are a changin’. They always will.

 

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