Only six weeks away from welcoming our son into this world, I can’t think of a more appropriate time to think about change.
Ever since reading the classics of business literature – the likes of Peter Drucker, Marshall Goldsmith, and Jim Collins – I’ve focused a lot on change and being a change agent. If there is one thing that all business gurus seem to agree on, it’s that change is necessary for growth and success.
However, lately I’ve started to think about change differently, both at home and at work.
I used to see change as an event. I thought it went like this:
Leaders study the academic research about the proper way to structure a business or solve a problem. They analyze the best solution to fit their situation and – Boom! They make a change.
They gather everyone together, state the change, and instantly snap to the “correct” way of operating. Done and done.
For roughly the first ten years of my career, this is how I understood change.
Step 1) Study – what is the “right” approach to structure a business or solve a problem
Step 2) Trigger the change
Step 3) Everything works just as planned
How was I supposed to know any different? That’s how it was always framed in the textbooks.
The problem is: I never actually saw these steps play out. When I was involved in change, we always got stuck between steps two and three. The change had been triggered, but things still didn’t work perfectly.
Sitting, now, in the room that will become the nursery for my son, in the house we bought last year, in the neighborhood we’re still getting to know, with a travel schedule that bring me 9,000 miles in the next 10 days, what I realize now is that I had it all wrong.
You never actually get to step three.
True change is about living in between steps two and three – all the while pushing forward and really living change as your lifestyle with courage and curiosity.