Change We Choose

I don't quite know what to do with the phrase "The only constant is change."

You probably see it as often as I do, and maybe you know what is intended.  But it's abstract - it doesn't tell us anything useful.  This is particularly true for leaders, who often have great discretion in whether or not to change.

"The only constant is change" doesn't tell us whether this new sales comp plan will be better or worse than the old one.  It doesn't tell us whether the buying influences for that key customer segment are different than they used to be... and therefore whether we need to revise our approach.

Some of us are inclined to Not Change, particularly those who have been in a leadership role a long time.  We have a hard time seeing past what has "always" worked.  But that cherished tradition probably began its life as an upstart action.

Some of us are inclined to Change, particularly those who are new to a leadership role.  We have an urge to make an impression.  It's the same urge that leads someone to spray paint his nickname on railcars... and is often about as productive.

I have high regard for those who step outside themselves and think critically.

"It doesn't matter if I like it, or want it, or not.  Is it the right thing for us?"

It's a pleasure to see long time leaders revisiting assumptions and turning a critical eye on their favorite methods.  And it's equally a pleasure to see leaders new to a role sorting the wash carefully, with a keen eye for both babies and bathwater.

Where should you step back and ask, "Does change make sense here?"