Change is a Journey. Embrace it!
By Dr Marvia Evangelist-Roach, CCMP™
You’ve worked hard throughout the year 2020 and now is the perfect opportunity for a weekend family getaway to a super all-inclusive resort in the garden parish of St Ann. Family aboard and you are all on your journey. You are fired up! The weather broadcaster predicted a weekend of fair skies and sunshine. Not to mention, with Edward Seaga Highway, you will arrive at your destination in no time. Yes! Just what the doctor ordered.
As you head towards the entrance of the highway you realise a sign: ‘Road closed – massive oil spill ahead’. Oh no! You and your family are horrified! You are now forced to take an alternative route. You dread driving over Flat Bridge and through Fern Gully, and you do not know the route through Sligoville. What do you do? Do you (a) huff, puff, and argue as you make your way through an alternative route, (b) see this as an omen to abort the family getaway and head back home, or (c) use this adventure as an enhancement to your weekend family getaway?
It should come as no surprise, that your response to the road closure and diversion will determine exactly the type of weekend you and your family will have. It is far easier to choose options ‘a’ and ‘b’ because the highway route was the programmed route. It could get you to St Ann quicker, with fewer humps and corners. It was easier. But what now? How do you adjust to this change? Do YOU adjust to this change?
This analogy is very similar to organisational change. Employees are sometimes afraid to embrace change because they are more comfortable with what they already know and are accustomed to. They become so comfortable with the current state of being that it becomes difficult to explore new possibilities. For some, it becomes almost impossible to learn new ways of working or thinking. Others made attempts to embrace change in the past but were bitten by bad experiences, so they fall into a wait-and-see mode. Change should never be feared, instead, it should be embraced. Importantly, failure to embrace change because of fear does not protect individuals in a dynamic or changing organisation, it instead secures their unplanned exit. The truth is, employers are constantly seeking employees who are dynamic, flexible, and responsive to change. This is how organisations succeed in achieving their vision and strategic objectives.
We should use this opportunity to examine our approach and responsiveness to change. Any opportunity to embrace change that leads to progress must be embraced, otherwise we run the risk of being left behind. In addition, meaningful change does not lie in the end state or the destination. It is derived from the experience of the journey towards the end state, or the transformed state. Enjoy the journey. Similar to the earlier analogy, by viewing the traffic detour as an adventure to enhance your weekend family getaway, so should you view organisational change as an opportunity to learn and grow personally and professionally.