Posts Tagged ‘embrace’

Should we fear change or embrace it?

by Vijay Peduru on January 1, 2010

ChangeOur natural instinct is to fight change. We always want stability. Our ancestors in the jungle had to be extra cautious about any change in the surroundings  and that instinct still remains in our genes and we fear change. We imagine something bad is going to happen and that is why we fear change.

In the Industrial Revolution, change was slow..  People went to the same factory and almost did the same job and their day was almost the same the whole 40 years of their working life.

If we look at the current reality in our knowledge economy , Change is happening at lightning pace in the world. If we live in this ever changing world and if we fear change. we are stressed every moment. When we are stressed, the side effects are unhappiness and health problems.. Is there a way out.  Yes there is and… it is to learn to embrace change. Like any other skill this can be learnt and can become enjoyable.

There are three ways to learn to embrace change:

  1. Accept that most of the time change cannot be anticipated and we will always live in uncertainties : If we look at it, we cannot stop the change happening in the world, so accept it. Seth Godin in his book “Survival is not enough” talks about the following article he read in the New york times. It explains why most of the time, we may not be able to anticipate change  The title was “What happens when the Jaguars die”
  2. “Jaguars, as it turns out live is Mexico. Their favorite food is rabbits. And when jaguars die(due to encroachments on their habitat by people), the rabbits multiply like , well, rabbits. And when the number of rabbits dramatically increases, the grassland turns to desert. In other words, a small change in the status of one animal ( the jaguar) can lead to millions of acres becoming a desert.

    The ecosystem is very responsive. kill off one crop and entire species that depend on it become extinct–Just like the ecosystem your business operates in. A small change– say the availability of competitive pricing data to your customer base– can have implications for the way your company must run all of its operations in order to succeed”

    There are very few ecosystems which are stable but the majority of them are unstable. So accept that we cannot always anticipate change and will have to accept uncertainty.

  3. Know that we are capable of embracing change: In our workplace or in any endeavor we don’t like, change appears as bad and threatening.. but you change the context – for example, lets say you are planning to go on a vacation… suddenly Change is fun, exploring is fun. mystery is fun. This indicates, that we are capable of embracing change if we decide to embrace it.
  4. Embrace Change: The only way, species in our planet earth survived is by evolving themselves. Seth Godin recommends to to get into the habit of making frequent small changes first, then work your way to bigger and bigger things.  He calls it zooming .. Zooming is about constant change, for no particular reason, and with no particular goal.

Zooming is about stretching your limits by adapting to new ideas, opportunities, and challenges without triggering our inherent human change-avoidance reflex. Zooming is about adapting small changes over time. You can practice zooming in everyday life,  Seth Godin proposes the following five simple things to try in our daily lives.

  1. For dinner tonight, eat a food that you’ve never tasted. Then try another one tomorrow night.
  2. On your way to work tomorrow, listen to a CD from a musical genre that you hate or that’s new to you.
  3. Once a week, meet with someone from outside your area of expertise. Go to a trade show on a topic in which you have no interest whatsoever.
  4. Read a magazine you’ve never read before.
  5. Change the layout of your office.

…or just do something for the first time, as often as possible. Once you master these five steps, you are much more likely to invent five more steps and gradually you will view every change as an opportunity. Companies that zoom do the same thing.

Keep Zooming…