Why Change?

I have a ChapStick habit. Over the years I’ve changed from glossy, to all natural, to tinted, to medicated. I’ve even used different brands but never gone out with naked lips. That would feel funny to me, and according to the advertising professionals it would also be unhealthy, unattractive, and affect my quality of life. So I’m in! I love my ChapStick.

Suppose I was suddenly, and without consultation, deprived of my ChapStick. This is no laughing matter, because as Mark Twain says, “Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.” Even if it’s for a good reason, abrupt change is hard! And I can’t think of any good reason to give up my ChapStick. But what if it wasn’t my decision?

It’s the same with organizational change. Moving from familiar tasks, procedures or policies to new ways of doing your job is a process that takes time. Have you asked any of these questions in the last five years: Why do we have to change? Why are these the right changes? Is this organization capable of handling the changes? What will the organization do to help me through the changes?

Or you can always feel free to look around for yourself. The important thing is to learn ways to change habitual actions in your own life, and then bring that knowledge and skill to the organization for collective change. It’s a life skill, really, and one that our girls, our families and our neighborhoods need to practice in order to enjoy a healthy quality of life. And that new shade of ChapStick- Hibiscus- doesn’t hurt, either!

2 thoughts on “Why Change?

  1. Tonya King

    I’ve always been taught that “change is good”, regardless of how “good” it can be, change does seem to be difficult in some circumstances. I love a good object lesson and love your chapstick example. Thank you for a positive and humorous approach to change!

    1. nwinfrey

      I wonder who first said those words “change is good.” I suspect they meant the theory of change, or a situation when change was their idea, or they were reflecting on the benefits of change after all the dust settled. But when I’ve been in the midst of change myself I don’t recall thinking, “Wow! This is some good stuff!”

      Thanks for your comments Tonya. Has anyone else wrestled with change? How did you manage to make it “good?”

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