Directly from the book
Chapter 19. Embrace Change.
Today is certainly different than yesterday and tomorrow
will no doubt be different than today.
Change is inevitable. It is said, change is the only
constant in the universe. Change is one experience in life everyone has in common. When
change is offered to us, or thrust upon us, for the most part, we resist the change. It is
comfortable to leave things the way they have always been. This "comfort zone"
of our existence gives us protection from the rest of the world. It also prevents us from
perceiving the opportunities seen only from a different viewpoint.
When things change, our perception lags behind. Our
experience holds the patterns we use to find definition, understanding and comprehension.
Using the past as a model, we perceive things as they always were. These models in life
are called paradigms. Paradigms are the patterns of the way we perceive the world. Change
is the changing or shifting of one or more paradigms. In other words we must be aware
Paradigms and perception.
A paradigm is "an example serving as a model;
pattern." Generally, paradigms are patterns held by groups of people. As individuals,
we have our own patterns of reality. These patterns are just as powerful as any paradigm
held by a larger group. Another word for these personal patterns of reality is perception.
Perception: "immediate or intuitive
Recognition: "the identification of something as
having been previously seen, heard, known, etc."
By substituting the definition of recognition inside the
definition of perception, perception then becomes "immediate or intuitive
identification of something previously seen, heard or known."
We perceive the world through that which we have seen, heard
and known - our experience. Things outside our experience have a difficult time becoming
part of our acceptable reality because they don't fit, don't look right, don't sound right
or don't make sense to us. In other words, these new experiences (changes) being offered
do not match the model (paradigm) of the way things have been.
When your patterns of
reality do not match the patterns of others, conflict occurs.
A paradigm can be so strong it will filter away anything not
matching the known pattern. We are blind to the opportunities a new paradigm offers. When
our paradigms change, our filters change and we are allowed to perceive something that was
imperceptible in the past. The result of a paradigm shift is to see things as never
before; to become aware of the obvious. Most people get through the "shift" of
change by processing the new in terms of the old. They filter, modify, distort and reshape
the new in an attempt to get it to match the patterns they can conceive. Seems to me, all
of this is a great deal of work. Wouldn't it be easier to accept change, embrace it and
get on with it? Obviously, from what we have learned, it is easier to say it than to do
it. There are some techniques to help:
Listen - Review - Restate
Listen to others and your own self-talk for
statements suggesting a change (shift) in the paradigm (filter). There are three primary
ways people will indicate a perception has changed:
"Oh, I see your point now! I must have been blind not
to see what you were showing me."
"Hmmm, I hear you now! I must have been deaf not to
have heard what you were saying to me."
"Ah, I understand you now! I must have been numb not to
sense what you were offering to me."
Review the information previously filtered away by
the old paradigm whenever a shift is detected through one of the above or similar
statements. This also applies when your internal thoughts are similar to the examples
above. It is wise to go back several minutes, even hours or days to re-examine the issues,
because up to the point the perception shifted, the information was not getting through
Restate the elements of the change after the review.
Do all the parties involved understand each other? Get agreement of the common perception
(the new pattern or paradigm) before moving on. Assuming your thinking has now been
changed through what you have learned in this chapter, the following will help summarize
(review) what has been covered:
The weather is a great example of constant change. No matter
where you travel in the world, the locals pride themselves in the fact their weather is
unpredictable. They will tell you, "If you don't like the weather, just wait a few
minutes, it will change." The same is true of many things in life, "If you don't
like the way things are, wait a while, they will change, and maybe you'll like things the
new way." Sadly, the corollary is also true, "If you like the way things are,
wait a while, things will change and you might not like the change." What many people
have learned during their lives is this: most of the time we do not want things to change.
We are accustomed to the way things are and to change things puts us into stressful
situations as we explore the unknown territory of the "new way."
Change is around whether we like it or not; therefore, it is
beneficial to take full advantage of change and the opportunities within the change.
Controlling unwanted change. When presented with a new way
of doing something, if you feel the change is not for the best, you are faced with one of
three possible paths.
1. Change it. If you have the power and authority to
change things for the better, then do so!
2. Influence it. If you are not able to change things
yourself, but are able to influence those who have the power and authority to change
things, then get on with influencing them!
3. Embrace it. If you cannot change things yourself
and you cannot influence those in authority, then get on with the change and stop
resisting the inevitable! Resisting inevitable change is futile by definition.
technologists resist change.
Technical people tend to strongly resist change to the
technology of their expertise. This is because they know (very well) the way things are.
Any proposed change threatens the very thing that makes them an expert. Allowing change to
take place puts the technologist in the vulnerable position of not knowing the way things
are. There is the added fear that there may be others (peers, strangers, competitors) who
know the intricacies of the new way better than the technologist does. Knowing more, the
"others" may become more valuable than the technologist who knows and believes
in the current way.
Success strategies for any
There are three things to do to be successful regarding
change. First, become aware that
Without change we stagnate.
There once was a billionaire who decided to build a castle.
To add to its charm a moat was built around the castle. It did not take long for the moat
to become filled with algae and slime. It created quite a stink. The design was flawed.
There was no provision to allow fresh water in and old water out. The moat become stagnant
and the castle became unlivable. A better design would have been to frequently drain and
refill the moat. Unfortunately, that also kills all the good little frogs and fishes in
the moat. The best design of all allows the living creatures in the moat to survive, by
continuously supplying fresh water and draining off the old. Successful people frequently
let fresh ideas in and stale ideas out.
Second, become an advocate of change rather than an
adversary. Learn all you can about the changes and the opportunities within it. Accelerate
past the resistors and even past the instigators of the change.
Successful people take
advantage of the opportunities within change.
Third, come to the realization that the only way to improve
things is to change them.
If you continue to think
in ways you've always
you'll continue to get
what you always got!
Strategies for dealing
successfully with inevitable change:
- Since it is inevitable - Embrace it.
- Learn what is needed. Seek to learn even more. Learn it.
- Become an advocate for the change. Lead it!
- Accelerate past those who resist. Surpass the expertise of
the instigators of the change.