There is a curse attributed to the Chinese, which is translated two ways:
May you never be bored and May you live in interesting times.
The implication is that change brings depths of distress you would only wish on your worst enemies; yet in business we regularly seek out, bring about, volunteer for, and initiate change.
Moving a pebble can bring about an avalanche.
If you have ever played the game Jenga, which involves removing blocks from the bottom of a tower in order to place them at the top, building ever higher, without undermining the structure to the point that the tower collapses, you will understand the principle of planning for enough change, and knowing when to stop.
The rules of Jenga insist you keep going until disaster strikes. This is unnecessary and undesirable in the business world, but still people will keep moving the foundations in search of greater height.
And often, it is not height that is achieved. The wearying cycle of what goes around comes around; the endless centralise/decentralise; specialise/generalise game, leaves one thinking that the most radical change might be to stop changing, but, but, but!
As Darwin observed,
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent but the one most responsive to change.
Do changes happen to you?
Are you the grist in the mill, or are you the grain?
Are you the millstone, grinding without thought,
or the miller, gauging the setting of the stones, the strength and direction of the wind, ready to turn the sails to the most favourable direction, or apply the brake when the wind is too strong, or there has been enough grain ground; Can you keep a weather eye out, can you harness unpredictable forces, and turn them to positive, productive energy?
or are you the wind that drives that sail, literally the wind of change?
Be the change you want to see in the world. Gandhi
copyright Cherry Potts, Change from Choice 2008