I’ve changed, and I’m proud of it
“You’ve changed” is a phrase that gets used regularly as an insult. It’s seen as disappointing if someone changes to be/act differently as they get older. But why? This makes no sense. If no one changed, then no one would improve, and so we limit ourselves to the lives we have at whatever point it is no longer socially acceptable to “change”. Instead of thinking like this we should celebrate change, and strive for it. “You’ve changed” should be a compliment.
This way of thinking permeates the workplace as well. Many organisations do things just because “that’s how it’s always been done”. Some people find comfort in things being the same, and others get nostalgic about how the “old times were the best”. Either way, this way of thinking is not going to help an organisation move forward. Just ask Blockbuster.
A similar issue comes from the manager that likes to enforce their way of working. Some managers like to define the way that a team/company works, and believe that their experience and intelligence means that they are best to decide how things should run. Whilst their experience can be extremely valuable, the problem comes when they struggle to admit that they are wrong, or don’t know the best way to do something. If they are not open to new ways of working or ideas from others, then it will halt progress and ensure that no one “changes”.
Some people are probably scared of change because they are worried that the new reality won’t suit them. And those that are scared to admit that they don’t know everything are probably worried about looking weak. But those that have the bravery to do these things are the only people I look for when recruiting. The ones that have:
- The ability to admit that they are wrong
- The desire to change and improve
Of course some technical skills will also be required for a role, but besides those, the above are non-negotiable. If all the members of a team have these abilities, then the team will continue to improve indefinitely. And that’s the sort of team you need to survive.
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