I know that the wag who said this was poking fun at his organization and I’m not interested in that, but haven’t you sometimes felt the same? I have. Sure, intellectually I know that change is healthy and productive and that it usually accompanies or foretells a period of rapid growth, personal and organizational development, and progress. But that is hard to remember when you’re struggling just to catch your breath.
I suppose part of the stress is because I don’t do my best work when the landscape around me is shifting rapidly. Oh, I like to think of myself as an agile, adaptable, leader, shifting gears on the fly and adapting to meet the conditions around me, but as my father was fond of saying “I’m not the man I used to be and never was…” The truth is that I am probably more hidebound and intractable than I should be.
Honestly,being out of the old comfort zone is a good thing and that some of my rough edges get knocked off whenever the world shifts and I’m forced to break away from my habits and adapt. In fact, those circumstances are probably the only times I learn new things: new technologies, useful new ways of communicating more clearly, better ways of dealing with difficult customers, etc.. For example, in the last six months, we’ve become more involved in an area of operations which we’ve always been able to take for granted—and as a result I have a much greater intimacy with that discipline and a greater appreciation for my colleagues in that discipline than ever before.
Sometimes even change we long for is painful. We’re beginning to replace an ancient software program at the very center of our business operations. The existing system is cumbersome, constrained, inconvenient, and difficult to use. But the change is still excruciating, with a great wailing and gnashing of teeth.
And certainly, the current booming economy is to be preferred over the Great Recession, but the rising tide really does lift all ships and along with the recovery comes all the other complications for anyone in the facilities world. Competition for talent is getting intense and we’re having to be a lot more competitive to get our work done than we’ve been in recent years, and that applies to contracting as well as recruitment.
So, what of all this? What we know for sure is that change is the one thing we can count on. And whether we like it or not, it’s going to affect us in ways we can’t even envision yet. For my part, I’m going to keep reminding myself that I choose how to perceive the world and I’m choosing to see this as a period of opportunity and growth. And as we’ve discussed previously, we’re here because this work matters.
Oh, and as a colleague puts it, “buckle up and hold on tight”.