My good friend Bill Petrie said something about change that has stuck with me. He said that we all say we want change, but it’s not that simple.
“We all like change…as long as we are the ones creating the change. If other people are driving the change, we don’t like it very much at all.”
When I first heard him say that, I was a bit hesitant. I thought he was being pessimistic. But I think there is a lot of truth to that statement. We like change, as long as it’s our kind of change. We like progress, as long as it progresses we get to define. And to be fair, I am probably the same way.
But when the “only constant is change,” being constantly frustrated by it is not a terribly productive or happy way to go through life.
Yesterday I posted a video about a change I felt we needed to make in my community. It was met with varying degrees of excitement and rage. People who were already pre-disposed to think it was a good idea, looked at it as progress. Those who disliked the idea immediately viewed the idea as heresy. (And of course, there were plenty of folks in between). This was why I was a bit nervous to post it…I talked about that here.
My goal with the video was to start a conversation. And while many people are uncomfortable with the conversation, the video certainly created that! Maybe that was the wrong way to go. Maybe, as Seth Godin often says, I should have tried to create a consensus and gain enrollment in the journey. Rather than just shove my idea out there, maybe that would have been a more diplomatic way to go.
The challenge I often see with trying to create that sort of consensus is that there are people in the journey who don’t want that change…and will never enroll.
So if I wait until “everyone is on board,” then we would never move forward at all.
P.S. If you watched the video yesterday and still disagree, I totally respect that. Thanks for at least keeping an open mind and going along for the ride. Here’s to a tomorrow full of productive change.