Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How Long is A Minute?

In response to my recent post So, What's Constant About Change?, Myron Radio, President of The R Group, and an authority on successfully guiding organizations through change initiatives, emailed me the following.  

"In reference to the concept of Constant Change, Anthony Robbins once said, "If you're not moving forward, you're sliding back."  In my experience, there are three types of Change... Evolutionary (constant improvement), Revolutionary (a major change taken on to vastly improve one's position) and Chaotic (we don't ever see it coming - think 09/11).  The range of emotions one encounters across this continuum vary from "OK let's do this" on one end to "Oh no - what just happened"."

As I read this, I was reminded of an exchange.  It went like this. Question asked was, "How long is a minute?".  Response given, "Depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on."  I believe this captures well the essence of how change is often viewed.

Returning to types of change Myron mentions, using 9/11 as one example, for those who planned it, it was most likely Revolutionary.  Yet for those who didn't see it coming, it was Chaotic.  In the business world, say executives of a large corporation decide to close an office.  By these executives it may be viewed as Evolutionary, yet by those impacted, Chaotic.  Of a reverse example, say there is a major earthquake that causes severe damage. For those affected it's chaotic, yet when viewed from a geological time perspective, it's evolutionary. 

Based on the above, it becomes apparent that change has two sides.  That is on one side there's the initiator and on the other those who are impacted.  How then one views and responds to change becomes largely a function of one's frame of reference, one's mindset. 

With this said, when change happens by which you are impacted, how do you see it, and respond to it?  And on the flip side where you are the intiator, how do you see it and how do you expect others to see it and respond to it?

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