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To Change: A Rose By Any Other Name

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One of my supervisors (and friend) at the office wants me to stop using the word change when talking about modifying procedures. He’s well intentioned. People see the word and roll their eyes or sigh in frustration at the status quo being updated once again.

It’s not really a concern for me, I can use a thesaurus and find other useful creative words that mean the same thing as the dreaded word… but I don’t think it’ll make a difference. People are fearful of the concept of things being done different and of challenging themselves more than they are the use of a word in a communication. 

I keep thinking back to an appendix in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous titled  Spiritual Experience that uses many different words for change in just two pages. The purpose of this appendix help readers of the basic text understand a dramatic spiritual experience with white lights and wind doesn’t have to accompany the entire psychic change necessary to recover from alcoholism, and in fact it is pretty rare in the membership they say. (it sold well back in the day)

The trick I think, and I haven’t shared this with him yet, is to get the team to embrace adjustments and grow with them rather than avoid language or concepts that may bring about fear and uncertainty.

The goal is to get the team to want to change (oops) themselves and continuously improve upon the process and therefore the overall business atmosphere for the company. That’s the rub… how do we accomplish that transition within the current dynamic.

Like the aforementioned book states over and over again, “we have to want to” [recover] and it’s easier to just keep your head down and trudge along the path.

“This is how it’s always been done” is a transformation killer – it builds walls to block the way of new concepts and ideas that promote a shift in procedures. We need to find a way to get people to think “How can this be done more efficiently, more consistently and more easily to get to the same destination.”

Some people refuse to advance, they find comfort and security in the mundane and everyday. I’m not that type, I like variationtransformation, and revolution. 

Some quotes to start my day off right – I have a few battles to fight and I plan to win.

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for ti to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” C. S. Lewis

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Winston Churchill

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance.” Alan Watts

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Lao Tzu

“Everyone thinks of changing the world,but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” John F. Kennedy

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama

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