4 March 2019

Dean Trust Q&A - collaboration, education and business - Lawrence Jones MBE

Does anyone really like change?

Far too often when I speak with people about a potential change, you see their entire body language shift. Of course, people are cautious about the unknown. It’s human biology to be nervous of uncertainty; it’s the way we’re wired.

But when you really think about it, how many hours have you wasted worrying about change, only for it to deliver the most positive outcomes? You could have achieved so much more with that energy and brain power.

In a video for TED.com, former Netflix culture champion Patty McCord says: “Every company needs to be excited for change. Beware of the smoke of nostalgia. If you find yourself saying, “Remember the way it used to be?” I want you to shift your thinking to say, “Think about the way it’s going to be.”

“If I had a dream company, I would walk in the door and I would say, “Everything’s changed, all bets are off. We were running as fast as we can to the right, and now we’ll take a hard left.” And everybody would go “Yes!”

“It’s a pretty exciting world out there, and it’s changing all the time. The more we embrace it and get excited about it, the more fun we’re going to have.”

Whilst I am not sure I am an advocate for completely ripping up the rule book of what works now and has worked previously, I can certainly get on board with being positive about change, rather than shying away from it.

The pace of change

Consider the number of opportunities that you have missed simply because it meant a change.

I’m not saying it’s easy. There are many factors to consider, especially with big personal change. I wrote last week of how we become entrenched in our own stories, almost fearful to rewrite them. Our stories become comfortable; a part of our identity.

I see it in the same light as forming a new habit. The next time you’re presented with a potential change, pause. Take a moment before reacting, before that knot makes an appearance in the pit of your stomach. Consciously shift your mindset to consider the positives.

Or actively seek change, even in the smallest places – wear a different colour, eat something a little different from the menu. These tiny, 1% changes build into habits, eventually shifting your mindset.

Change should never be something to be afraid of. As people, as a society and a planet, everything around us and about us is constantly changing. So, instead of wasting energy fearing that, why not embrace it?


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