I had the pleasure of listening to and be outraged by a cleric who opened his sermon “…over the course of several millennia, nothing has really changed, there has been no progress that is meaningful and man faces the same challenges today as he always has”
The pleasure came from having such a provocative statement shake the way I think (always good for the soul) – and then compounded from a most unexpected source – in a small face to face meeting, me and about 12 other folks and Steve Ballmer where the prevailing complaint to him was “Microsoft is exhausting to work for because of the rate of change”. Steve pushed back on that with an argument that computer’s still operate in binary, the web is still HTML and the internet runs on TCP/IP same as it did 20 years ago and it was at this point I began to see the truth of the cleric’s point of view.
It is not really change that exhausts us, is is the shrinking, ever shorter attention spans and the need to be agile that is hard to keep pace with but accepting that really nothing significant has changed at all will keep you sane.
These then are the tenets of change as I have discovered:
- Change is a label for a thing called opportunity. Opportunities multiply as they are seized
- Nothing ever changes, except the label
- Yesterday you needed for yourself and your tribe to be fed, be healthy, to prosper, to serve purpose and to enjoy one another. You’ll need that tomorrow, come what may.
- Change the method (label) often – but shoot for the same result all the time
- Einstein is still right – The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results (change the method)
The core message of this post, along with the others this week must surely be that you cannot spend too much time in thinking about “what the result you are looking for?” Stay focused, prioritised on this and the changes of label or method you choose to achieve it.
I for one would not want to roll back the clock or technical progress where I was not as intimately connected to the world as I currently feel thanks to twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. – the price I have to pay is the attention span I can have for such an enormous constituency and fluid change of agenda – but I have found ways to take energy from it and not just become drained by it. The secret is to jump in, Go! start now.