The definition of Change in Dictionary.com is: to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: to change one’s name; to change one’s opinion; to change the course of history. This refers to a change that a person would make. The kind of change I am talking about is “Change Itself,” that is, the change that is taking place constantly 24-7 in all aspects of our lives.
Change is constant, change is dynamic, change is going on around us in every aspect of our lives every second of the day and it is increasing in speed. Nothing is the same right now as it was when you started reading this blog post. Our planet is changing, the ocean is changing, the earth is changing, the air is changing, the weather is changing, the animals are changing, people are changing, situations are changing, politics are changing, ideas are changing, solutions are changing, business is changing, the way people interact is changing, our bodies are changing, our thinking is changing and this list goes on and on. This is a fact, everything is in motion, is changing all the time.
In business as in life, it is important to be able to adapt to change. These are some of the familiar businesses that have failed since 1997: F. W. Woolworth Company, Bethlehem Steel, Converse, Montgomery Wards, Polaroid Corporation, Schwinn Bicycle Corporation, Sunbeam Products, TWA, Enron, Arthur Anderson, Global Crossing, Spiegel, Musicland, Tower Records, Bennigan’s, Circuit City Stores, Countrywide Financial, Lehman Brothers, Lenox, Linens ‘n Things, Tropicana Entertainment, Wachovia, Trump Entertainment Resorts, Blockbuster, Inc., Hollywood Video, just to name a few. The inability to recognize change and to adapt to it within their business had an impact on why these businesses failed.
Another way of looking at change is it is with us, we can’t get away from it, it is happening constantly, so why not “embrace it.” Change is a given, it is happening, it is part of and effects everything we do, so why not factor it into our thinking. When you come up with a solution, know that it may not work forever, it may be great for “right now” but it may not be great next week, or next month, or next year. Many people cringe when they think of change and the problems it causes when you have to deal with it. Another way of looking at it is to see it, to work with it to know it is part of everything we deal with, to design with it, to use it as an integral part of the process. If it isn’t considered as part of the process, if it isn’t looked at straight on and worked into your thinking, the results can be like some of the failed businesses mentioned above.